What do bioethicists think of Donald Trump?
Probably not much. Trump views on bioethical issues are either ill-defined or extreme: He flip-flopped on abortion this week, appearing to change position three times in the space of a day. And after the Brussell’s terrorist attacks he called for a liberisation of US laws on turture of terrorist suspects.
Yet there’s perhaps more to the story than these off-the-cuff remarks. Leading US bioethicist and former presidential advisor Johnathan D. Moreno believes Trump implicitly represents a certain attractive moral conservativism; at least, a conservativism attractive to Republican voters.
in a recent article of the Huffington Post, Moreno discussed the evolution of GOP rhetoric on bioethics in the past ten years. According to Moreno, many Trump supporters are protest voters reacting to the weakened social conservativism of the party.
Moreno believes this turn away from social issues –including cloning and stem research – damaged the party’s prospects and alienated their conservative voter base. Trump, Moreno believes, represents a reaction to the soft approach to social and bioethical issues.
Interestingly, Princeton Professor Robert George, a member of George W. Bush’s President’s Council on Bioethics, has publicly chastised Trump for his “oafishness” and “demagoguery”. George co-signed a letter published in The National Review last month that labelled Trump “manifestly unfit to be president of the United States.”