March 15th, 2014 by Nicole
I was doing research online the other day and managed to trigger a pop-up ad “Sponsored by Compassion and Choices” (formerly the Hemlock Society), the well-funded group behind the push to legalize assisted suicide. I won’t reproduce the ad here, although I made sure to take a screenshot, but it’s a fairly sophisticated ad with a picture and quote from Stephen Hawking above some text and an e-mail sign-up form. There were two things I found startling about it: first of all, it claims that
Death-with-dignity opponents will stop at nothing to prevent choice at end of life, even calling Hawking “stupid.”
Groan. Yeah, that’s it. We want dying people to have no dignity and no choices…is my sarcasm coming across loudly enough?
Second, it mentions Connecticut. Openly, specifically, by name.
If you are thinking “What the…?” you are not alone.
Back in September of last year, Hawking did a 180 on his previously-held position against assisted suicide. C&C gushed over his fame as if the unified opposition of at least 15 advocacy groups for people with disabilities* meant nothing. I couldn’t remember who would have called him stupid, though (and had to figure it out myself, since they ever-so-helpfully provided no citation). After poking around the webs a bit, I concluded that they meant this piece by Stephen Drake of Not Dead Yet.
Now, come on. If you’re going to argue that Drake called Hawking stupid, you have to concede that Drake first called him a genius. While it may be too fine a distinction for C&C, I think average folks recognize that brilliant people can say, think, and do stupid things. In fact, most of us can humbly admit that we have had our own share of folly.
It is our understanding that Drake himself will respond in the due course of time, and we would be happy to share his response when it becomes available.
Now that we’ve cleared up once and for all the difference between persons and ideas, what in the heck does any of this have to do with the upcoming hearing on H.B. 5326, or with the myriad objections to it that can be raised?
The answer is…nothing. It’s a complete red herring meant to smear legitimate opposition, rile people up and become a distraction from the real issues. Tactics like this are born out of the weakness of one’s position — but this is what we have come to expect from an out-of-state, astroturf organization that has already spent $65,000 on advertising in a little over a year, according to documents that the Office of State Ethics makes available online.
Let’s stay focused and send C&C a message that we don’t buy what they’re selling. If they are willing to mislead the public about something this simple, why trust them on matters of life and death?
*Second Thoughts-CT fact sheet