The news you're not supposed to know...

Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand the World
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
Article posted Sep 07 2012, 6:33 AM Category: Commentary Source: Anthony Gregory Print

Social Liberalism and the Drug War

By Anthony Gregory

In the 1990s, I read an interview with a rock star optimistic about the country's direction. He thought President Clinton's admission to having tried marijuana was a good sign. America was becoming more socially liberal. The new generation was in charge. And as one consequence, maybe the disastrous war on drugs would end.

Not only did Clinton continue waging the drug war as rigorously as his predecessor. He stepped it up in Latin America and began the crackdowns on California's medical marijuana dispensaries.

I believe the country has become more socially liberal since then. We have good reason to conclude that the last three presidents in a row have used illicit drugs, and people seem less concerned about this than they would have before. Other social mores have seemed to move in a "liberal" direction.

Politicians at the Democratic National Convention this week have voiced more socially liberal views on gay marriage and gays in the military than would have been welcome even four years ago, back when Obama opposed gay marriage, to say nothing of twelve years ago, when the Democratic president had been the one to sign Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

To advertise actor Kal Penn's involvement with the convention, the Democrats produced a commercial featuring Obama, Penn, and John Cho, Penn's co-star from the Harold and Kumar stoner comedies. The ad capitalized on the humor of these cannabis-themed films quite effectively. It surely aimed at the youth vote, but also showed that the times are a-changin'. It is difficult to imagine Jimmy Carter doing an ad with Cheech and Chong. Apparently we have seen a shift toward social liberalism on the issue of pot.

At the convention last night, Penn talked up Obama's agenda in a most favorable light, scoring socially liberal points regarding gays and immigrants. He spoke elsewhere in defense of Obama's drug policy, getting the facts totally wrong.

Contrary to Penn's apologetics, not only has the war on marijuana and other drugs continued; it has escalated. Indeed, Obama perhaps enjoys the distinction as being both the president with the most richly documented youth of exuberant illegal drug experimentation and the most energetic drug warrior president in American history. He has ramped up the crackdowns on medical marijuana dispensaries by as much as a factor of eight over Bush. There are more Americans in prison for drugs than ever before. Tens of thousands of Mexicans have died in the border violence during Obama's term, all so the U.S. government could continue to impose its drug policy on the continent. Obama has signed off on increased drug enforcement spending and sent the Marines to Guatemala on another pointless interdiction mission.

On the drug war, a massive assault on personal liberty and human life, as well as on most other civil liberties issues--immigration, detention policy, presidential power concerning war captives, the militarization of law enforcement, attacks on whistleblowers--Obama has if anything been worse than his more socially conservative predecessor.

I frequently favor what is called social liberalism. But if the Obama and Clinton administrations have shown anything about social liberalism, it is that it is at best an insufficient bulwark of civil and personal liberty. Even if it helped in overthrowing alcohol prohibition, it has so far done little to stem the greater harms caused by drug prohibition. Even if it eventually softens the public into tolerating legal weed, it will fail to lead people to the principled reasons to oppose the war on other drugs and similar assaults on self-ownership. Surely if social liberalism can be reconciled with a powerful and expansive government, it can easily be reconciled with Big Brother.

A socially liberal culture might protect some freedoms, but it actually fails far more often than is usually assumed in stopping the persecution of the "other," reducing injustice against minorities, shielding the individual against institutional oppression, or defending free thought, tolerance, and bodily freedom. Social liberals, particularly the social democrats supporting Obama, might at times advance a more multicultural, egalitarian, feminist, or politically correct police state than what their partisan opponents have in mind. But a socially liberal president is perfectly capable of smashing lives and liberties in the most backwards of crusades, even against something that was once his own beloved pastime. It might seem very hypocritical, but the socially liberal state typically is.

Latest Commentary
- A Major Win For The Opponents of The 'War On Drugs'
- 33 Heroes Are Possibly Dead and No One Cares Because They Aren't Cops
- This Has Become Routine
- I Wish Nobody Was Bombing Syria
- 'Neutralizing' John Lennon: One Man Against The 'Monster'
- The Menace of Egalitarianism
- College Campuses Are Not Gun-Free Zones
- Why is Washington Against Russia Bombing ISIS and Al-Qaeda?

Comments 1 - 2 of 2 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Sep 08 2012, 3:51 PM

6464 Funny how people can openly admit to committing certain illegal acts and nothing happens to them.

Posted: Sep 10 2012, 1:54 AM

66220 Marijuana will ruin your life and the cops will make sure of that.

Add Comment


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below

Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy

Advanced Search


Remember Me
Forgot Password?

School Cop Tells 16-Yr-Old Student He "Ruined His Life" By Smoking Pot Before Homecoming Dance, Student Commits Suicide - 10/07VIDEO: Dashcam Refutes Cop's Story of "Fearing For His Life," Shows Him Taser Man For Parking Ticket - 10/06Woman Called 911 to Report Stolen Wallet, Crazed Cop Showed Up and Beat Her Unconscious - 10/06Drudge on AJ: Copyright Laws Will Destroy the Internet - 10/06"Elections Are Fixed and US Created ISIS," Rage Against The Machine Bassist Lets Them Have It - 10/0733 Heroes Are Possibly Dead and No One Cares Because They Aren't Cops - 10/07A Major Win For The Opponents of The 'War On Drugs' - 10/07'Neutralizing' John Lennon: One Man Against The 'Monster' - 10/06

Man Follows Speeding Cop, Finds Out He Was Speeding To Buy PeanutsMission Creeps: Homeland Security Agents Confiscate Women's Panties For 'Copyright Infringement'Cop Shoots Couple's Dog, Threatens Jail For Trying To Save Dog's LifeSWAT Team Shoots Teen Girl & Her Dog During Pot Raid On Wrong HomeDurham, NC Cop Testifies Faking 911 Calls To Enter Homes Is "Official Policy"Indiana Sheriff Says US A "War Zone" To Justify New MRAP Military VehicleTampa Cops Surveil Pot Dealer, Catch Him Selling Pot, Raid His Home & Kill Him"You Just Shot An Unarmed Man!": Witness Says Police Shot His Friend With His Hands Up