But in all seriousness, it is a burden because I take over this awesome responsibility at a time when our moral stock as a nation has sunk so low that it is hard to imagine it sinking any lower. The problems of the economy, over-stated by some, are real. The problems in health care, in education, in getting the poor to bear some responsibility for their own situation, in dealing with our still ballooning Federal deficit are real too. But underlying all of these is the fact that as a nation we have turned away from God. We have turned our back on Him.
Of course I subscribe to our Constitutionally mandated protections of religious freedom. All of our cherished freedoms are built on provisions of the Constitution such as those protections. But does that mean that there is an impenetrable wall of separation between church and state- Does that mean that we must shun God in any public place or ceremony- Does that mean that we must exclude religion from the public square- I don't believe for a moment that it does. And I pledge that this Administration will do everything in its power to restore God to His rightful place in our public life, within Constitutional limits, of course.
And as we restore God to His rightful place in our public life, we must restore Him to His rightful place in our private lives as well. For only by doing so can we recover from the depths of moral degeneracy into which we have plunged by turning our backs on Him.
Everywhere we turn we see evidence of this, from the glorification by our liberal-dominated media of the sexual act to the promotion of homosexuality as a preferred way of life. Some say that the series of natural disasters that has plagued our great land since Hurricane Andrew of 1992 is God's way of telling us that we must reform before it is too late.
But perhaps there is no symbol of our moral decay more prominent than the use of drugs. So powerfully do I feel this to be true, that it is to the use of illegal drugs and what the Pine Administration will do about it to which I will devote the rest of my address to you today.
Although these poisonous drugs, chief among them marijuana, heroin, and cocaine, have been illegal for many years, some of our people persist in their use. Thus these people fall into what some would call a double sin: the sin of use and the sin of violating the law. As our great and revered first Drug Czar, Dr. William Bennett, said way back in 1989 (Weinraub): "We identify the chief and seminal wrong here as drug use. Drug use, we say, is simply morally wrong."
President George Bush saw the problem with simple clarity (Pear): "People think the problem in our world is crack, or suicide, or babies having babies. Those are symptoms. The disease is moral emptiness. "
But in this case the immoral act of taking is compounded by the fact that that taking is a crime. And so the taking of illegal drugs, to say nothing of their importation, distribution, and sale, must all be treated as all crime should be. As once again Dr. Bennett said, oh so long ago (Massing): "Those who use, sell, and traffic in drugs must be confronted, and must suffer consequences. . . . We must build more prisons. There must be more jails."
So, as our nation descends into the slime of moral turpitude, it becomes apparent that symbolic of that descent is the double sin of drug-taking. To destroy the sin and redeem ourselves from it calls for nothing short of War.
Now we have had drug wars in the past. In fact President Bush and the revered Dr. Bennett did their best to launch a truly effective one. But as we have seen so many times, they were thwarted in their efforts by the liberal do-gooders and do-nothings. Well, I am announcing today, as the first priority of this Administration, The Real War on Drugs. We are going to do it, and this time we are going to do it right.
During the election campaign we promised you a Federal budget, in balance, now, that will also deliver an across-the-board 10% tax cut. That was our number one promise. But as our first order of business, even before we submit that budget, we are going to send to the Congress our program for The Real War on Drugs. Once and for all, we are going to solve this problem. We are going to win this war. We are going to begin the long and arduous process of rescuing our nation from sin, and we are going to begin it right now.
The Real War on Drugs has three distinct arms.
1. Interdiction. The lily-livered ones of the last eight years suspended this operation telling us that it could never be done right. Well, it simply never was done right. We are going to do whatever it takes to stop the growing of drugs in whichever countries persist in growing them to poison our young people.
First, if it proves necessary, we will not hesitate to use our own military forces to destroy those drugs at their source. Second, as proposed not too long ago by the Great One, Newt Gingrich, we are going to enact the death penalty for drug smugglers. As Mr. Newt once said (NYT): "The first time we execute 27 or 30 or 35 people at one time, and they go around Colombia and France and Thailand and Mexico and they say, 'Hi, would you like to carry some drugs into the U.S.-' the price of carrying drugs will have gone up dramatically."
Furthermore, as proposed by the same fount of wisdom, we are going to modify the provisions these vermin will find waiting for them when they enter our criminal justice system: "They'd have one chance to appeal. They wouldn't have 10 years of playing games with the system."
2. Street supply reduction. The lily-livered ones of the last eight years de-emphasized the arrest and incarceration of the snakes and gutter rats who sell and use drugs on the street. They told us that the effort was futile, that when one was sent to jail, another would always appear. They told us too that the filling of our jails and prisons with non-violent drug offenders just didn't make sense, especially since it cost so much to build the prison beds we needed, and overcrowding kept violent, non-drug, criminals on the street.