We're watching The Wire these days. Episode we watched last night was about the political campaign of a guy running for mayor of Baltimore. Several characters involved in the campaign spend time watching political discussions on television. They do not seem to be particularly interested in what is being discussed, but rather they are concerned about how this discussion will be perceived by the "public". This is understandable, most Americans still watch the news on television.
Police Major Kolvin, under pressure to reduce crime in his district, marks out a "free zone" for drug dealers, and encourages them to take their business there. He achieves a dramatic drop in crime. When the press gets wind of it, the Drug Czar drives over from Washington D.C. to tell the mayor that half a billion dollars in Federal funding is in jeopardy if this policy continues. The mayor, naturally, tells him that it is NOT his policy, it is an aberration and will soon be put right.
I think our nation is suffering from a real bad case of group think regarding this War On Drugs. President Nixon stepped up and declared the war, the news media reported it, the people who watched the news heard this and believed, or at least didn't complain, and so the "will of the people" was given a new direction. It's kind of like the emperors new clothes. No one thinks this war is a good idea, but everyone is afraid of being called soft on crime, or a hippie, or a communist, if they utter even one word against it, so they keep quiet. Politicians run their polls and everyone seems to be in agreement, but no one actually believes.
I wouldn't be surprised is our War On Drugs wasn't causing more grief for more people than Al Qaeda.
6 months ago