Dedicated to the
Sovereignty of

President Bush Didn't Address the Real Issue


Everyone will be talking about President Bush's decision in favor of federal funding for limited stem cell research, but almost no one is talking about the most basic issue at hand. Mr. Bush's Thursday evening speech did a good job defining the scientific and moral issues. His decision was to "allow federal funds to be used for research on these existing stem cell lines, where the life-and-death decision has already been made". One could make reasonable moral arguments - ones that respected life - for either side of this decision.

The one thing that is not debatable, however, is the constitutionality of the federal government funding stem cell research at all! Whether morally right or wrong, there is absolutely NO constitutional authority for federal funding of medical research, but no one seems to even be asking this question.

The wisdom of the founding fathers is once again manifested. They recognized that the several states were diverse and that the basis of their association with one another must be things that they held as common ground. All the states desired an alliance that would foster a strong national defense, and all wanted to facilitate things like free travel and trade among themselves. A common currency and "full faith and credit" for contractual obligations was in everyone's interest. These sort of things are the constitutional purview of the general government. However, more personal issues like moral decisions about involvement (your tax dollars) in stem cell research are NOT federal matters as far as the U.S. Constitution is concerned.

The founders recognized that the federal government would be governed by people with greatly varied values in a far away city (They should see us now!). They were unwilling to trust the most important things to those people. Neither should we.

"Our citizens have wisely formed themselves into one nation as to others and several States as among themselves. To the united nation belong our external and mutual relations; to each State, severally, the care of our persons, our property, our reputation and religious freedom."
--Thomas Jefferson: To Rhode Island Assembly, 1801. ME 10:262

By: Ron Calzone
Feedback to the author

Missouri First Main Page

More Essays

Copyright 2000 Missouri First, Inc.

Home - - Charter - - Essays - - Projects - - MO History - - MF News -
- Messages - - Links - - Search - - Contacts - - Join - - Contribute