JUST 10 Questions for Ron Reagan

Ron Reagan calls himself "an insider on the outside, and an outsider who is on the inside." Indeed, as the son of Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States, Ron has had a special seat at the table of American politics. However, as an intellectual and outspoken media personality, he has been known to stand outside the fray and just ask people to think about issues from a perspective that is anything but ordinary in the political spectrum. He is the host of The Ron Regan Show on Air America Radio, which can be heard nightly on Air America radio from 6 - 9 EST, or online any time at www.airamerica.com.

1) For very personal reasons, you have been very vocal in your support of stem-cell research, why does it matter to those of us who haven't been so directly impacted?
All of us will suffer ill health at some point in our lives. It seems rational and humane to support potentially life-saving medical research.

2) What role do you think "plain old people" can play in the understanding and advancement of stem-cell research?
It is worth everyone's time to understand the basic science involved. Once you reach that understanding, you'll be much more likely to urge your elected representatives to do the right thing by supporting federal funding for stem cell research.

3) What excites you most about the potential of stem-cell research?

Research on stem cells has the potential to transform many people's lives for the better by leading to treatments or cures for myriad diseases and conditions.

4) What role do you think the media plays (or should) in helping people understand complex issues?
The media doesn't do "complex" particularly well. Science, medical or otherwise, is often given short shrift. This is an unfortunate byproduct of the profit motive and the belief shared by many media producer's that the public is uninterested.

5) Religious beliefs play a huge part in how people feel about stem-cell research, how can we reconcile that with our separation of church and state?
Law and policy should be the province of reason not faith.

6) As a very diverse population - which is our greatest strength - how can we achieve freedom of religion?
Last time I checked freedom of (and from) religion was enshrined in our constitution.

7) What is the role of the non-religious amongst us to help bridge gaps caused by opposing religions?

Speak truth even to religious authority.

8) As people, when we set aside politics and religion, we probably all have more common causes that unite us than that divide us, how can we start focusing on those issues?

Life is a brief and precious opportunity, after which, who knows? Holding that thought in mind would prove constructive.

9) When did you realize that it was important to fight for the things you believe in?
About the time I realized that not fighting would allow some of the worst sorts of people to run roughshod over you.

10) Besides stem-cell research, if you had a magic wand, what are 3 things you would "fix" if you could?
Assuming you mean in a policy sense: abandon the idea that buying and selling is the highest purpose to which humans can aspire, then reform our economic system with humane goals in mind; provide equivalent health care for all with a universal single payer system; start taking the education of our children seriously - no more wasting time arguing over Darwin.

Stem Cell Research

"Law and policy should be the province of reason not faith."

Ron is so right on this. We can easily see restrictive societies around the globe where the population is ruled by so-called 'religious leaders" - i.e. the election in Iran and the way women are treated in the middle east. These are 'so called' leaders because the core of every religion teaches peace, love and acceptance of all. Unfortunately, unscrupulous people exploit faith to justify their own agenda. This happens in every religion, every political group and every 'cause'.