By now we’re well aware of the Michael J. Fox stem cell ad and subsequent Rush Limbaugh commentary on same.

Some are accusing Fox of being used by the Dems, but Fox insists he’s bipartisan. When asked by Katie Couric if he’d ever supported a Republican, Fox said he supported Arlen Specter. So the short answer to Couric’s question is “no.”

Others are accusing Limbaugh of insensitivity toward the Parkinson’s suffering Fox, angered to the core with Rush for not treating Fox with all the love and understanding with which the left embraced Limbaugh when he announced he was a chronic pain sufferer, had gone deaf and was addicted to prescription pain medication (pause for recovery from sarcasm overdose).

Through all the somewhat meaningless ancillary carping, this debate has produced some questions that need to be addressed.

It’s important to remember that this debate is, first and foremost, political, and I know of no disease that was cured by a politician. Of course, politicians make those claims all the time. Remember when John Edwards said that if John Kerry were elected, people like Christopher Reeves would walk again? Boy, those bumper stickers are correct ? Jesus was, indeed, a liberal. Edwards never has explained why Kerry can’t simply walk from the mainland to Nantucket.

The first problem is that the Fox ad was clearly an emotional plea, and perhaps an effective one, to undecided voters who are otherwise this close to flipping a coin. Political views aside, when you think about the scope of our problems, is it a good thing for the country that a political candidate – who, if elected, will help decide the direction of the nation in an age of global strife, terrorism, domestic flaps, illegal immigration, and all the rest – could be put into office simply because many Missourians would like nothing more than to see the guy who played Marty McFly in “Back to the Future” movies resume a normal acting career?

Embryonic stem cells had also better yield a way to handle national defense and the economy – both of which seem to have become mere side issues in this particular election.

Then of course the embryonic stem cell debate leads us into a different area. I’m pro-life, but I’d like to try to approach the discussion from a different angle; one of practicality.

Among all the diseases in the history of mankind that have been cured, there is one single common denominator among all of them – a human being or beings discovered the cures. Not the ozone, not a spotted owl, not a Prius – but a human being. Jonas Salk wasn’t initially able to develop a polio vaccine because of politics – he was able to develop it because he was, first and foremost, alive.

Embryonic stem cell research, as it’s performed today, involves one ingredient to get started: a dead human being, which has been either aborted or created to serve as a stem cell farm. It’s in the better interest of all of us that the baseline for when a human being becomes a human being be established precisely at the moment of conception. Otherwise the question is open to the arbitrary whims of self-serving politicians, overpopulation activists annoyed by the crowded subway, the desperate suffering who are misled into the belief that killing is a cure, or worse yet, despots who will undoubtedly be allowed to commit genocide under the guise of scientific progress.

What if one of these destroyed “embryos” was destined to be the very person to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease? Talk about a “one wheel in the sand” approach to disease eradication.

In other words, the odds are ever increasing that God will send us the future scientist who will find a cure for these horrible diseases, but he or she will be killed. Why? So we can find a cure for these horrible diseases. It makes you dizzier than Paris Hilton trying to figure out a Rubik’s Cube, doesn’t it?

Supporting the killing of human beings in order to find a cure for your disease is like a wealthy hemorrhoid sufferer bulldozing a Preparation H factory in order to build “The Institute for the Research of Rectal Itch.”

Political affiliations are meaningless in this argument, and, yes, there are many other very important issues – with one caveat: I’ll never vote for the Donner Party candidate, be they Republican or Democrat.

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