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While the masses are zonked out on their couches, they won't notice the next drone strike...
Why the GOP Should Opt to Legalize Marijuana
Consider for a moment, a Republican Party that'in the guise of righteousness'stands up and supports the legalization of marijuana. It's such a Hail Mary, out-of-left-field type play that it just might actually work in their favor. It could be a move that polarizes our nation in the same way the Civil Rights movement did. The south was a Democratic stronghold until it was effectively dismantled by Richard Nixon and the Republican Party. They worked to appeal to white southerners and capitalize on the anti-civil rights sentiment that pervaded the region. And it was successful. Demographic changes like this happen as the political consciousness of our country evolves. What might be unheard of today can easily be commonplace tomorrow.
If the Republicans could get ahead of the curve on the legalization issue, they might have themselves a platform that young people care about. They could harness that energy and momentum to gain back the political capital that's been lost in recent years. The youth of America, oftentimes hapless and fickle, would probably support the move. Democrats would be lambasted as weak-minded and spineless for not taking a real position on the matter (as they should be). Libertarians would feel more comfortable aligning themselves with the Republicans. And they would have a strange bedfellow: the Neoconservative, authoritarian Right.
Though it's counterintuitive, this is why a long-game Neo-Conservative (i.e. a Fascist) might have a glimmer in his eye at the thought of legalizing pot: its legalization would ultimately work to subvert what little populist rage exists in the United States. Consider the drug's effects: sluggishness, increasing ease of amusement, trouble thinking and problem solving, etc. An authoritarian government wants these things for its citizens. While the masses are zonked out on their couches, they won't notice the next drone strike that winds up killing civilians. They won't care about the vague legal justifications used for such attacks'justifications that twist words and obscure meanings with an impressive Orwellian prowess. They won't care about these secret memos floating around regarding the killing of American citizens who, without trial or council, can be legally subject to such a strike. And who's to say they'll care when the doctrine of torture is brought back? A lethargic, apathetic youth culture is precisely what George W. Bush wanted when his administration deceived the public into the Iraq War. Will the stoned masses care when Habeas corpus is suspended right here on American soil? Maybe they'll be too high to notice.
It's already happening with legal pharmaceutical drugs. Stressed out at work? Here's a pill to keep you cool until your heart explodes at age 50. Don't for a minute consider that this stress you're feeling might be a sign things are going deplorably wrong in this country. It is true that in principle, the legalization of marijuana (and all drugs, for that matter), is the right thing for the United States. People ought to be able to ingest whatever they want, and the government shouldn't have a say in the matter. Not only that, legalization is a natural step in the political evolution of the country. Numerous states are in the process of legalizing and decriminalizing the marijuana, and there are surely more to come. More freedom is categorically good. But "good" and "right" are both ethical terms that do not concern many politicians. They'll go with whatever the polls suggest. A touchy subject like marijuana might be relatively taboo right now. It might just take a particularly eloquent serpent from the Grand Old Party to hijack the issue for a larger agenda. One ought not discount the manner in which special interest issues can be used as an oppressive tool for those in power. Now is the time for a more concerned, more educated public. We can't allow ourselves to be drugged into a stupefied complacency.
David Stockdale, : David Stockdale does not enjoy writing about himself in the third person. But he does what he must to get by. Stockdale grew up in Chicago Ridge, a small suburban town on the southwest side of Chicago. With a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago, he is still pretty green behind the ears. Nonetheless, he is determined to find his very own creative place in a world of users, manipulators and "phonies," (as Holden Caufield might put it), and all without... (more...)