Want to be President? Give Up a Kidney

May 10 2007, 1:05 PM
I wrote last week about how Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, one of the myriad Republican candidates for President, admitted in a debate that he did not believe in evolution. But the question about evolution apparently wasn't the most egregious in the mind of Tancredo, as M.E. Sprengelmeyer of the Rocky Mountain News writes in his blog "Back Roads to the White House":
When Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado was dying to talk about illegal immigration, and everyone in the audience expected him to talk about illegal immigration, why did he get a question about organ transplantation instead? It's a mystery, and one that was still bothering Tancredo when he made a Sunday morning visit to This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News... ...Well, the mystery has been solved -- we think. It's too strange and complicated to explain, so we'll leave it to an expert science fiction writer at the Memphis Flyer magazine. (You've got to check this out -- at least if your name is Tom.)
If you follow the link provided by Sprengelmeyer's blog, you'll find Tancredo's response to the organ transplant question:
Here, in its entirely, is the response from Tancredo, hitherto best known for his adamant opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants, whom he wants treated as felons: ""Well, I don't believe that the goal of the United States..that the president of the United States should be putting forth a plan to do such a thing. The reality is that technology and the advent of technology in a variety of areas is going at a pace where, I believe, we can look forward...we can look forward to a variety of things that will allow us to cure diseases that we do not have a cure for...." Tancredo then went on something of a bender. "But the idea that I take is inherent in this question - that we should somehow be growing these things, that we should somehow be cloning people for the purpose of using these kinds of, uh, attitudes is ridiculous. I absolutely would not support it." Growing these things? Using these kinds of, uh, attitudes?
I don't fault Tancredo for not having a good answer to this question, because I'm sure he hasn't spent a lot of time thinking about how to address the organ transplants issue. Frankly, I doubt he even knew there was an "organ transplants issue." It's the first I've heard of it. Nevertheless, this question got me thinking: We should require candidates for President to donate an organ in order to run for the office. That would show us how serious some of these candidates really are, and we could really have a good debate about what organs they chose to donate. For example, if you donated a kidney, does that make you a more compassionate candidate than if you merely donated a piece of your liver?