I'm hanging over at Belmont Club and found a comment I rather liked.
121. sgiIt is the hubris that gets you. The "We Won" mentality. The Tea Party successes are not a call for Republican Socialism. What do I mean by that? The idea that you can eliminate vice by an act of Congress. What you really need is an Act of Congress AND a police state. I do not think the American people will stand for such a thing. One good example is the coming vote in California on the legalization of marijuana. Even five years ago such a vote was unthinkable. Win or lose in California - the tide is turning against pot prohibition. Eventually we will take the Swiss example to heart and legalize all drugs, for the simple reason that taking distribution out of the hands of criminals will make our streets safer and better protect our children.
If there is one thing and one thing only that will alienate other American voters from tea party candidates it is their social conservatism. Personal freedom must be extended to all Americans, even if their personal choices are offensive to social conservatives. Small government, freedom and responsibility are birds of a feather.
September 15, 2010 - 2:12 pm
So my socon friends, if you are really interested in smaller government and wish to stem the drift into an American police state you must consider the will of the people. Keep in mind:
DRUG WAR = BIG GOVERNMENT
Funny thing is that a contender for the Republican Presidential Nomination in 2012 agrees with me.
Gary Johnson, former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico, supports legalization of marijuana and argues that it will lead to a more effective fight against drugs. He blames the stalemate on the federal government and on both Republicans and Democrats.One thing to keep in mind about the Swiss exaple so far is that they were against the legalization of pot. Why? Well you know - it is a REALLY dangerous drug. Still. The prohibition regime is breaking down. Socons can either get with the program or get drowned when the next tide of change rolls in. That would be unfortunate because we really do need smaller government.
"For the most part, politics is about following the herd as opposed to providing leadership," Johnson, who is speculated to be considering a run for the White House in 2012, told ABC News. "For me, it was a cost-benefit analysis, period. It's the fact that half of what we spend in law enforcement and the courts and the prisons is drug related, to what end?"
Johnson disagrees with the idea that dabbling in the politics of drugs would be harmful -- he cites his own approval rating as governor, saying it was steady even after he made his position known.
"It's a really good political issue because it's the truth. It's the emperor wears no clothes," he said.
But I do have another arrow in my quiver. Mexico. And Mexico is a disaster area and is getting worse.
It is wrecking the government of Mexico. It is financing the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is throwing 11,000 Britons into jail. It is corrupting democracy throughout Latin America. It is devastating the ghettoes of America and propagating Aids in urban Europe. Its turnover is some £200bn a year, on which it pays not a penny of tax. Thousands round the world die of it and millions are impoverished. It is the biggest man-made blight on the face of the earth.Ah. Yes the hypocrites. That would be my socon friends who are all for smaller government except when it comes to their pet social engineering projects. Making people more moral at the point of a government gun.
No, it is not drugs. They are as old as humanity. Drugs will always be a challenge to individual and communal discipline, alongside alcohol and nicotine. The curse is different: the declaration by states that some drugs are illegal and that those who supply and use them are criminals. This is the root of the evil.
By outlawing products – poppy and coca – that are in massive global demand, governments merely hand huge untaxed profits to those outside the law and propagate anarchy. Repressive regimes, such as some Muslim ones, have managed to curb domestic alcohol consumption, but no one has been able to stop the global market in heroin and cocaine. It is too big and too lucrative, rivalling arms and oil on the international monetary exchanges. Forty years of "the war on drugs" have defeated all-comers, except political hypocrites.
Most western governments have turned a blind eye and decided to ride with the menace, since the chief price of their failure is paid by the poor. In Britain Tony Blair, Jack Straw and Gordon Brown felt tackling the drugs economy was not worth antagonising rightwing newspapers. Like most rich westerners they relied on regarding drugs as a menace among the poor but a youthful indiscretion among their own offspring.Not to mention three American Presidents. So far. How is it that the elite are never subject (effectively) to their own laws? It is a mystery. None the less when there is one law for the common man and another for the aristocrats support for the rule of law breaks down.
But things get funnier. Much funnier. And not in a good way.
In countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, drugs are so endemic that criminalising them merely fuels a colossal corruption. It is rendering futile Nato's Afghan war effort, which requires the retraining of an army and police too addicted either to cure or to sack. Poppies are the chief source of cash for farmers whose hearts and minds Nato needs to win, yet whose poppy crop (ultimately for Nato nations) finances the Taliban. It is crazy.Just like alcohol prohibition the effort to stamp out vice (harming one's self) has corrupted institutions and individuals.
The worst impact of criminalisation is on Latin America. Here the slow emergence of democratic governments – from Bolivia through Peru and Columbia to Mexico – is being jeopardised by America's "counter-narcotics" diplomacy through the US Drug Enforcement Agency. Rather than try to stem its own voracious appetite for drugs, rich America shifts guilt on to poor supplier countries. Never was the law of economics – demand always evokes supply – so traduced as in Washington's drugs policy. America spends $40bn a year on narcotics policy, imprisoning a staggering 1.5m of its citizens under it.
Cocaine supplies routed through Mexico have made that country the drugs equivalent of a Gulf oil state. An estimated 500,000 people are employed in the trade, all at risk of their lives, with 45,000 soldiers deployed against them. Border provinces are largely in the hands of drug barons and their private armies. In the past four years 28,000 Mexicans have died in drug wars, a slaughter that would outrage the world if caused by any other industry (such as oil). Mexico's experience puts in the shade the gangsterism of America's last failed experiment in prohibition, the prewar alcohol ban.
I think we ought to put an end to this foolishness before America winds up like Mexico and socons get a semi-permanent black eye (nothing is permanent in American politics - after all socons have come back despite the failure of one of their pet projects - alcohol prohibition).
Cross Posted at Classical Values