Royal blood for America

A vial of Ronald Reagan’s blood was going to be auctioned online.  After a time of outrage, the person who owned the vial–which was taken from the hospital that treated the president after the assassination attempt–had second thoughts and donated it to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

But, as Dana Milbank points out, that means that the blood is in conservative hands.  With the genetic material found in the blood, wouldn’t we be able to clone Ronald Reagan?

All Republican candidates, seemingly, present themselves as Reagan come back.  Why don’t we just take advantage of genetic engineering and come up with the real thing?

Milbank, a liberal, makes the case that today’s conservatives wouldn’t really want another Reagan, that the old one himself would prove too liberal by today’s standards, inasmuch as he occasionally raised taxes, passed environmental regulations, expanded Social Security and Medicare, and often compromised with Democrats.

I think the difference is that conservatives trusted Reagan when he found it necessary to do such things and they don’t trust anyone else.

I suspect it is true that character, let alone politics, is not exclusively in the genes, that it is shaped by life experiences and personal convictions.  But let us assume that by cloning Reagan’s blood, we could get another Reagan.  He would have to grow up first, of course, but in the meantime we could keep cloning so that we had a new version of the same man every eight years.

Such a mindset may account for the archaic notion of “royal blood”–the assumption that the son of a good ruler will be like his father, who, in a sense would still be present in the bloodline.  But cloning would allow us to make a new kind of royal blood.

We could make the Reagan clone a king, in this sense, or we could retain our republic and just vote in another of his clones every four years.  Or, to keep it fair and to keep democracy alive, we could also clone great Democrats.  I’m sure FDR’s hair is on some brush of his in some museum.

This would be the solution of the common complaint today that there are no great leaders today anymore.  We can just use modern technology to manufacture some.

Clone one for the Gipper? – The Washington Post.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Tom Hering

    It’s nurture as well as nature that makes the man. So we’d have to put the clones through all the same experiences as the original. Which means the world would get a remake of Bedtime for Bonzo every eight years. Which means we’d have to listen to “Get your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape!” over and over again.

    Oh wait. Wasn’t that line from that Moses movie? I’m so confused.

  • Tom Hering

    It’s nurture as well as nature that makes the man. So we’d have to put the clones through all the same experiences as the original. Which means the world would get a remake of Bedtime for Bonzo every eight years. Which means we’d have to listen to “Get your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape!” over and over again.

    Oh wait. Wasn’t that line from that Moses movie? I’m so confused.

  • Michael B.

    We were talking about the no-fault divorce law on the forum yesterday. Did you know that Ronald Reagan signed a bill to get rid of the no-fault divorce laws while he was governor of California? As abortion is another frequent topic on the forum, you should know he also signed into law one of the most liberal abortion-right laws at the time, several years prior to Roe vs. Wade. He’s not this conservative god that many make him out to be.

  • Michael B.

    We were talking about the no-fault divorce law on the forum yesterday. Did you know that Ronald Reagan signed a bill to get rid of the no-fault divorce laws while he was governor of California? As abortion is another frequent topic on the forum, you should know he also signed into law one of the most liberal abortion-right laws at the time, several years prior to Roe vs. Wade. He’s not this conservative god that many make him out to be.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @2 Also, he signed the law for amnesty for illegal immigrants.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @2 Also, he signed the law for amnesty for illegal immigrants.

  • Michael B.

    @sg

    interesting. Didn’t know about that.

  • Michael B.

    @sg

    interesting. Didn’t know about that.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    This is a great idea whose time has come. Every eight years the FDR Clone and the Reagan Clone, could fight to the death in some spectacular made for TV Presidential Smackdown. It would all be over quickly. We could all cheer our favorite. It would be immensely better than the current federal election hell the nation is subjected to. I’m sure all the campaign money everyone would save would more than cover the production values. ;)

  • Bryan Lindemood

    This is a great idea whose time has come. Every eight years the FDR Clone and the Reagan Clone, could fight to the death in some spectacular made for TV Presidential Smackdown. It would all be over quickly. We could all cheer our favorite. It would be immensely better than the current federal election hell the nation is subjected to. I’m sure all the campaign money everyone would save would more than cover the production values. ;)

  • Cincinnatus

    Gadzooks! Reagan was a raving neoconservative, i.e. a barely reconstructed leftist. Why would we want to clone him?

  • Cincinnatus

    Gadzooks! Reagan was a raving neoconservative, i.e. a barely reconstructed leftist. Why would we want to clone him?

  • Dan Kempin

    It seems that we have had a lot of attempts at conservative discussion lately framed by writers from the Washington Post.

  • Dan Kempin

    It seems that we have had a lot of attempts at conservative discussion lately framed by writers from the Washington Post.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @#7 I think it comes from that isolated worldview of the DC area that Mollie’s article (linked yesterday) was discussing. ;)

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @#7 I think it comes from that isolated worldview of the DC area that Mollie’s article (linked yesterday) was discussing. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Today is Wacky Wednesday, no?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Today is Wacky Wednesday, no?

  • DonS

    Milbank’s article is illuminating as to the way we view one another in caricature. For example, liberals think conservatives are always against all taxes, no matter what. Conservatives see liberals as always seeking to raise real spending, and to find new ways to raise revenue to support their spending addiction. These “always” and “never” perceptions stifle any accommodation between the two philosophies.

    In truth, historically, before our current age dominated entitlement spending, the two parties often worked together. Spending was more focused on appropriate government spending, such as defense and infrastructure support and maintenance, and agreements would be reached, like the Reagan tax reforms of 1981 and 1986, which lowered some tax rates and deductions in exchange for higher revenues because of a broader tax base, so that the overall effect was a general tax increase. Thoughtful conservatives now also recognize that tax revenues will need to increase, but those increases need to be obtained through more productive and broad-based taxation that does not punish productivity, ensures that most Americans have a stake in “investing” in America, rather than just taking from productive Americans, and is accompanied by committed and long-term real spending reductions. Conservatives don’t trust liberals to follow through with the spending reductions that have been promised in the past, because they are usually later undone, and turn out not to be real, once the real tax increases that were negotiated are in place. Trust must be restored between the two political camps if progress is to be made in bringing our budgetary problems to a resolution while building our productive economy.

  • DonS

    Milbank’s article is illuminating as to the way we view one another in caricature. For example, liberals think conservatives are always against all taxes, no matter what. Conservatives see liberals as always seeking to raise real spending, and to find new ways to raise revenue to support their spending addiction. These “always” and “never” perceptions stifle any accommodation between the two philosophies.

    In truth, historically, before our current age dominated entitlement spending, the two parties often worked together. Spending was more focused on appropriate government spending, such as defense and infrastructure support and maintenance, and agreements would be reached, like the Reagan tax reforms of 1981 and 1986, which lowered some tax rates and deductions in exchange for higher revenues because of a broader tax base, so that the overall effect was a general tax increase. Thoughtful conservatives now also recognize that tax revenues will need to increase, but those increases need to be obtained through more productive and broad-based taxation that does not punish productivity, ensures that most Americans have a stake in “investing” in America, rather than just taking from productive Americans, and is accompanied by committed and long-term real spending reductions. Conservatives don’t trust liberals to follow through with the spending reductions that have been promised in the past, because they are usually later undone, and turn out not to be real, once the real tax increases that were negotiated are in place. Trust must be restored between the two political camps if progress is to be made in bringing our budgetary problems to a resolution while building our productive economy.

  • formerly just steve

    I can’t believe it. Ten posts and nobody’s made a comparison to the Boys from Brazil yet. The Huff Post crowd wouldn’t have made it to three posts.

  • formerly just steve

    I can’t believe it. Ten posts and nobody’s made a comparison to the Boys from Brazil yet. The Huff Post crowd wouldn’t have made it to three posts.

  • Joanne

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/epigenetics.html

    This is a link to the NOVA program on epigenetics. As with all science, there is always something else to learn. I’ve always noticed that twins are never the exact same, that something beside the same DNA was making them different. And today we call that epigenetics and have learned that it can even block the expression of a DNA instruction. I haven’t watched this NOVA program but they are usually very good at covering pure science (STEM).

    Reagan was primarily an anti-communist. All during the 50s, you could catch him on TV talking against the evils of communism. He was genuine about that.

    But do please remember that at his time at least 1/3 of congressional Republicans were liberals, and another 1/3 were moderates, and about 1/3 was this new thing called conservatives. The Democrates of the time were similarly oriented, except you’d probably call the conservative Democrats traditionalists, instead of the new term conservative, which I think we borrowed from England.

    And, as always, I look more at control of the House and Senate as to what happens in Washington. Without the line-item veto, many presidents have signed bills that came from an opposition congress, full of crape but with something that they did want. When you tell me a bill was signed, I’ll always want to know which party controlled the House, which party controlled the Senate, and which party was the president.

    For over 40 years the Democrats had a lock on congress and Republican presidents had to play ball to get anything at all. So, when a president signs a bill, how much of it was his idea or even something he remotely wanted. Then how much of it was stuff he absolutely hated but accepted it on a compromise to get something he did want.

    However, when you run out of money and you’ve promised to give people money you don’t and never will have, it’s very hard to compromise with a group that wants to spend full speed ahead. Now we see groups trying to carve out protected spending that will still get funded even when we go into bankruptcy.

    May you live in uninteresting times.

  • Joanne

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/epigenetics.html

    This is a link to the NOVA program on epigenetics. As with all science, there is always something else to learn. I’ve always noticed that twins are never the exact same, that something beside the same DNA was making them different. And today we call that epigenetics and have learned that it can even block the expression of a DNA instruction. I haven’t watched this NOVA program but they are usually very good at covering pure science (STEM).

    Reagan was primarily an anti-communist. All during the 50s, you could catch him on TV talking against the evils of communism. He was genuine about that.

    But do please remember that at his time at least 1/3 of congressional Republicans were liberals, and another 1/3 were moderates, and about 1/3 was this new thing called conservatives. The Democrates of the time were similarly oriented, except you’d probably call the conservative Democrats traditionalists, instead of the new term conservative, which I think we borrowed from England.

    And, as always, I look more at control of the House and Senate as to what happens in Washington. Without the line-item veto, many presidents have signed bills that came from an opposition congress, full of crape but with something that they did want. When you tell me a bill was signed, I’ll always want to know which party controlled the House, which party controlled the Senate, and which party was the president.

    For over 40 years the Democrats had a lock on congress and Republican presidents had to play ball to get anything at all. So, when a president signs a bill, how much of it was his idea or even something he remotely wanted. Then how much of it was stuff he absolutely hated but accepted it on a compromise to get something he did want.

    However, when you run out of money and you’ve promised to give people money you don’t and never will have, it’s very hard to compromise with a group that wants to spend full speed ahead. Now we see groups trying to carve out protected spending that will still get funded even when we go into bankruptcy.

    May you live in uninteresting times.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    May you live in uninteresting times.

    Yesssss!

    I love how you think!!!

    When I was young, and friends complained of boredom, I told them I liked boring because boring meant that nothing bad was happening.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    May you live in uninteresting times.

    Yesssss!

    I love how you think!!!

    When I was young, and friends complained of boredom, I told them I liked boring because boring meant that nothing bad was happening.


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