Finally, a reason to vote against Bush

that can be taken seriously – that isn’t either a blatant distortion (Iraq is a disaster!), a reason to vote for Bush (he’s going to reduce Social Security benefits! He’s going to go to war against Iran!), or a failing that Kerry would magnify if he got the chance (he spends too damn much money!)

Apparently, the current administration is pushing for a UN convention intended to ban all forms of cloning worldwide. (Another link here; Kleiman’s post has a link to a Financial Times article that requires registration and payment)

This is absolutely insane. To protect organisms that cannot possibly be people, that don’t even have the most rudimentary brains that are the first and most basic requirement for sentient life, the Administration is advocating that all of humanity be forbidden to investigate or use techniques that may lead to the possibility of transplanting your own matching organs or even replacing your entire body, and show an exciting prospect for one day finally eliminating the dreaded, agonizing, degenerative disease that has plagued every last generation of humanity since the very beginning of the race, perhaps in time to save you from certain death.

To be sure, the UN has no power to actually enforce such a prohibition, and the US Congress declined to enact one on its own and would probably continue to do so even if the UN asked it to. But how much needed and useful investment would go on in this country in the presence of an Administration that openly advocates criminalizing the fruit of such long and expensive labors?

If only his opponent, and his entire party, weren’t so openly hostile to the very idea of market forces being allowed to produce technological improvements, price reduction, and increased supply in the medical field, and in favor of “solving” the problems caused by ill-advised interventions in the marketplace by adding more interventions.

If only his opposition wasn’t so disdainful of the very possibility of bringing some measure of liberty and democracy to places that knew only oppression and jihad, or so committed to the notion that the introduction of free-market capitalism is a provocation that enrages the locals and understandably makes them turn into jihadis and plot revenge against such outrageous injury.

Damn, I’m really beginning to hate this election.

(Update: Maybe Bush is pushing for UN action because it has little practical effect, while allowing him to pretend to take positive action against the evils of cloning and stem-cell research. If we grant that assumption, this move goes into the “reasons to vote for Bush” column. But I don’t know if that explanation makes sense. What do y’all think?)