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The Serialization (6) of The 15% Solution: Section 2; The History. Chap. 3: The Real Drug War; Part 1

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President Trump's (carefully chosen) Attorney General Jefferson Davis P.G.T Beauregard Sessions (his full name) has just announced that he plans to re-intensify the "Drug War," starting off with the re-institution, across the board, of mandatory minimum prison sentences for non-violent drug law offenders, across the board. This is despite the facts that over the 50 years or so of the "Drug War" a) draconian imprisonment and prison sentences have done nothing to reduce the use of the Recreational Mood Alerting Drugs (primarily, marijuana, heroin and cocaine) against the use of which the "Drug War" is supposedly aimed and b) that it results in the imprisonment of non-white drug users in about a 3:1 ratio to white drug users. If he does give a major speech on his "new" program, the President who, in "The 15% Solution" was elected in 2000, devoted almost his entire Inaugural Address to the subject. I am confident that the new A.G. would find much of that text entirely to his liking.

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In this installment of the book, some introductory comments are offered. The speech itself will appear in the next installment.


Author's Commentary

The year 2000 marked the election of President Carnathon Pine, who came to be known as the Last Republican. A former Republican Senate majority leader, he was known for his sharp tongue, his war"'damaged leg, and over the course of a long and not otherwise dis tinguished career, his exquisite at tention to politics rather than policy and governance. At age 74, he was the oldest man ever to be elected President.

He had run on a platform of "if not her, then me," "everything they do is wrong," and, referring to the series of natural disasters which had befall en America annually since Hurricane An drew of 1992 and the Great Floods of 1993, "God is pun ishing America for its sinful ways." This theme had be come increasingly popular for Right"'Wing Reaction aries since the mid"'90s. For example, in 1993 Christian Coali tion lead er Pat Robert son said this about the flooding in the mid"'west of the old U.S. (Right"'Wing Watch):

"I just grieve to see this happening and we have to pray for them [the victims]. But . . . the Bible makes it very clear. When you take God out of your life, and the Supreme Court clearly mandat ed God out, . . . and [when you] have a Presi dent . . . who is opening the flood gates of homo sexuality and opening as best he is able the floodgates of this horror of abor tion, . . . [then] the Bi ble says that the blood of the innocents will cry out against us and the land will be cleansed and the only way it will be cleansed is through the blood of others . . . So don't be surprised if you see natural disas ters (700 Club, July 2, 1993)."

For the focus of their Year 2000 campaign, the Right"'Wing Reac tion aries took off from the Republican 1996 Presidential election plat form. That plat form itself was much like the 1992 Platform (Bond), which had essential ly been written by the Christian Coalition. Howev er, by the Year 2000, the Re publi can Party, now the untrammeled pro mot er of Right"'Wing Reac tion in the old U.S., had become even more blatant and in essence honest about what they were really about.

And so, in addition to their themes of the 90s, they organized vari ous ly around such additional ones as: increasingly unvarnished racism and xenophobia expressed in such slogans as "you know who is stealing your jobs, sucking up your taxes, and attacking you in the streets--and we do too, trust us--we'll take care of them," "the U.S. is a Christian nation," "the Bible is our fount of natural law," "taxes are inherently un"'American and un"'Godly," "the free market way is the only moral way," and "pover ty is the fault of the poor, and no one else."

This last position was utterly central to Right"'Wing Reactionary think ing. Its adoption was essential if the "poor" were to be character ized and main tained as the "enemy" of "hard"'working" Americans. (Of course, by constant Right"'Wing Reactionary propaganda contrary to the facts, in the minds of many the word "poor" was made synonymous with the word "black.")

But said straight out like that, it had a judgmental, some said "cru el," sound to it. A formulation designed to deal with that problem that became popular had first been uttered by one Michael Forbes, a Right"'Wing Reac tion ary member of the famous "Freshman Class" of the 104th Congress. Shortly after his first election to the House of Repre senta tives from the First District of Long Island, NY he said (Henneberger): "We don't have actual poverty. We have behavioral pov erty. Very few people out there go to bed hungry [empha sis add ed]."

This original thought, and others like it, comprised an internally con sistent ideology. Never mind that in some cases this ideology, as reflected in the Right"'wing campaign themes of 1992, 1996, and the Year 2000 seemed to many outside observers to be in conflict with the facts and an understanding of reality that had been built up over de cades.

Even more importantly for the future of the country, this ideology was in conflict with the basic, fundamentally American precepts of the Declara tion of Independence, and the Constitution from the Preamble through the Bill of Rights (see Appendices I and VII). But no oppo nents of the Right"'Wing Reac tion in general or the Republican Party in particular ever made anything out of that finding or even seemed to recognize it.

The centrists, liberals, and progressives had been split, between the Demo cratic Party and a variety of "third parties of the left." They agreed on little except that Right"'Wing Reaction was a bad idea. Nei ther the Democrats nor the third parties presented any coherent pro gram for rescu ing the continuously declining economy. And no major politi cal organiza tion, Democratic Party or otherwise, at the time rec ognized, publicly at least, the danger that the growing power of Right"'Wing Re action in gener al and the Religious Right in particular presented to the maintenance of Constitutional democracy in the United States.

Thus, the opposition to Right"'Wing Reaction failed to organize around the obvious theme, one with which they might well have been able to mobilize large numbers of Americans, especially non"'voters, to turn back the Right"'Wing tide: "only the Declaration of Independence and the Con stitution represent true American values, and only adher ence to those val ues will pre serve Constitutional democracy and the United States as we know it." (This theme was the basis of Dino Louis' politi cal theory and program, "Progressive Patriotism." Gener ally ignored at the time, in this book excerpts of Louis' own writing on it are presented in Appendix VII.)

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Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at StonyBrookMedicine (NY) and author/co-author/editor/co-editor of over 35 books. In addition to his position on OpEdNews as a "Trusted Author," he is a Senior Editor, (more...)
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