Is America finally coming to its senses, or is this a case of self-discovery?
Obama won the election, gay marriage gets approved in two states, and legal marijuana gets the nod in a few others. From my point of view, this is clearly a step in the direction of rationality. But I think there might be more to it than that.
Maybe it's personal. But something tells me that America is rediscovering its respect for freedom.
I take a liberal position on most social issues, often a radical position. Yet despite my contempt for Ronald Reagan's war on drugs back in the 1980s, I also admired the courage and patriotism he displayed when staring down the Soviet threat. I admired Margaret Thatcher for that reason as well. No, I don't like the domestic policies she laid down and, no, I'm no fan of Reagan's domestic policies or even most of his foreign policies. But the Soviets really were a menace, and here's something my many left leaning friends often want to strangle me for pointing out: we could easily have "lost" the cold war if not for those two plucky politicians. The Soviets really were a threat. They were enemies of freedom.
Yet Thatcher and Reagan displayed an inconsistency, and I will use Reagan as an example. How could a politician who holds freedom so high support one the most repressive policies in U.S. history? Under his tenure, the war on drugs caused the U.S. to surpass both the Soviet Union and apartheid South Africa in persons jailed per capita.
This paradox tears at me, and in part it's personal. My parents were Hungarian immigrants, who came here looking for a decent life and freedom from totalitarian oppression. They found both. My dad had spent three years starving and freezing in a Soviet Gulag, and my mom took part in the Hungarian anti-communist revolution of 1956. Nobody hates totalitarian socialism more than I do, and I see my fight against drug prohibition as an extension of the same ideal.
Freedom is something I hold very high.
I call on the American people to wake up and smell the coffee: the war on drugs is the most repressive domestic policy currently pursued by the USA. It's bloody Un-American, and the time has come to take it down.
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