27 May 2005
You can't destroy reasoning if you don't have any
President Bush has been in office now for more than four years. In that time, he has never vetoed a bill, which is amazing when you consider that the average president vetoes a lot of bills in just one term.
Now, Bush is talking up the fact that there is a bill out there that he will veto if Congress sends it to him for his signature. I should be happy about this, because it should be a sign that he is finally exercising some restraint when it comes to fiscal responsibility.
The bill Bush is threatening to veto has to do with appropriating more federal funds, but increased spending has nothing to do with the reason Bush has promised to veto it.
The Republican majority House passed a bill this week that calls for allowing federal funds to be used in the research of embryonic stem cells. Currently, due to an executive order Bush made shortly after taking office in 2001, no federal money can be used to create new embryos for the purpose of scientific research into the prevention and treatment of disease.
Bush is against using embryonic stem cells for research. It violates what he calls the "culture of life" that he wants our society to be. Discussion after discussion about this issue seems to always come back to a single fact-while no one knows for sure if embryonic stem cell research will lead to cures for serious disease, there do appear to be gains that can be made by this.
Bush says that he will "not destroy life to save life." From this statement, I assume he believes that life begins at conception. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose. However, he appears to either not realize or not worry about the number of embryos that already exist in labs and clinics across the nation that will never actually become a full term baby. There are simply too many.
Perhaps I could better grasp the president's feeling on this issue if I didn't find his direct words, "I will not destroy life to save life," hypocritical. I do respect the fact that this is a so called "moral issue," but because an issue is deemed moral does not mean it can't be treated logically.
Remember, please, that while he was governor of Texas, no state executed more criminals than Texas. Some of those executed may actually have been innocent or mentally retarded, though Bush has never admitted that. In his adamant defense of the death penalty, Bushhas said that his main reason for supporting it is because it prevents future crimes. In other words, a person who might commit murder won't because he/she sees that in Texas, those who do commit murder are executed.
One could say that when a criminal is executed, a life is destroyed. It may not have been much of a life, but it still was one. However, according to Bush, the execution saved the life(s) of other potential victim(s).
So it would seem to me, that when he was governor of Texas, George W. Bush certainly did not mind "destroying life to save life." Remember that those are his words, not mine.
There is something else to ponder here. Although he has never commented on it himself, a large portion of the so called "religious right" that Bush and his fellow Republicans depend greatly upon do not believe in evolution. Instead, they believe in the biblical description of creationism. In some areas of this country, evolution is indeed a "four letter word." There has even been public debate about eliminating it from school curiculums.
Think for a moment about what you have heard about stem cell research, whether you support it or not. Think about the types of disease that many scientists believe could be controlled one day because of stem cell possibilities. It's diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's that are usually talked about, along with diabetes and cancer. There are a potential unlimited amount of ailments that could be better treated through stem cell research.
The is no way of knowing what benefits are possible without having the opportunity to do the research. Enough Republican members of Congress understood this to even get the bill this far. Who could possibly not be in favor of seeing those paralyzed walk again, or avoiding a scenario such as Nancy Reagan's, where she spent the last decade of her life watching her husband waste away from a degenerative brain disease?
It appears that the president doesn't believe that it is important enough to perhaps end the pain and suffering of people inflicted with such diseases. As such, it appears that he is telling the nation that unfortunately, if you get sick or hurt, there is only so much that medicine and science can do for you.
I can only imagine what it must feel like for someone in a wheelchair to hear the leader of this country effectively say "sorry, but I can't help you."
People afflicted with disease grow weaker as their ailments progress, and as a general rule those who are not affected by disease live longer than those who do.
Charles Darwin created a theory about this type of event. He called it "Survival of the Fittest." It is his primary theory of evolution, that the stronger survive, while the weaker pass away.
By saying that he "refuses to destroy life to save it" is Bush also implicitly agreeing with Darwin, that these situations are truly a case of survival of the fittest?
Wonder what his religious right friends think about that.