How the Drug War gave the 2016 election to Donald Trump
n 2016, more than six million Americans were disenfranchised according to the Sentencing Project, most of them minorities and most of them for "drug offenses." That's six million Americans who were purged from the voting rolls. Six million. That's why Donald Trump won the presidency, not because of Russian interference, gerrymandering or vote buying, but because of a Drug War that was instituted for the very purpose of disenfranchising minorities. And yet our best and brightest minds don't get it.
Take George R. Tyler, author of "Billionaire Democracy." Tyler's 2018 book is all about the marginalizing of minority voting power in the age of the Roberts court, and yet he says not one single word about the Drug War! Not one! What could be more pertinent to his topic than the fact that six million Americans were removed from the voting rolls?
This is why the Drug War lingers, because authors like Tyler completely ignore its long list of negative effects on the body politic and on the world at large.
What negative effects?
The Drug War ideology of substance demonization has:
1) caused a civil war in Mexico
2) empowered a self-styled "Drug War Hitler" in the Philippines
3) created armed cartels overseas
4) created armed gangs in American ghettos
5) militarized police forces
6) popularized movies in which the good guys are DEA agents who torture and murder at will
7) stopped scientists from pursuing legitimate research that could treat or even cure Alzheimer's, Autism and cancer
and 8) led to the election of a racist populist as President of the United States.
Yes, Tyler is right: pay-to-play politics is a problem and so is outrageous republican gerrymandering and Russian interference in American elections. But it is the Drug War that has turned America into a prison camp for minorities and a breeding ground for racist populists.
And now Trump wants to leverage the Drug War to do even more damage to American democracy: he is proposing a "final solution" to the politician-created drug problem, namely executing those minorities whom the Drug Warrior used to be satisfied with merely locking up.
AFTERTHOUGHT (February 22, 22):
For more on this and related topics, please visit me on Deviant Art.
5% of proceeds from the sale of the above product will go toward getting Brian a decent haircut for once. Honestly. 9% will go toward shoes. 50% will go toward miscellaneous. 9% of the remainder will go toward relaxation, which could encompass anything from a spin around town to an outdoor barbecue at Brian's brother's house in Stanardsville (both gas and the ice-cream cake that Brian usually supplies).
You have been reading essays by the Drug War Philosopher, Brian Quass, at abolishthedea.com. Brian is the founder of The Drug War Gift Shop, where artists can feature and sell their protest artwork online. He has also written for Sociodelic and is the author of The Drug War Comic Book, which contains 150 political cartoons illustrating some of the seemingly endless problems with the war on drugs -- many of which only Brian seems to have noticed, by the way, judging by the recycled pieties that pass for analysis these days when it comes to "drugs." That's not surprising, considering the fact that the category of "drugs" is a political category, not a medical or scientific one.
A "drug," as the world defines the term today, is "a substance that has no good uses for anyone, ever, at any time, under any circumstances" -- and, of course, there are no substances of that kind: even cyanide and the deadly botox toxin have positive uses: a war on drugs is therefore unscientific at heart, to the point that it truly qualifies as a superstition, one in which we turn inanimate substances into boogie-men and scapegoats for all our social problems.
The Drug War is, in fact, the philosophical problem par excellence of our time, premised as it is on a raft of faulty assumptions (notwithstanding the fact that most philosophers today pretend as if the drug war does not exist). It is a war against the poor, against minorities, against religion, against science, against the elderly, against the depressed, against those in pain, against children in hospice care, and against philosophy itself. It outlaws substances that have inspired entire religions, Nazifies the English language and militarizes police forces nationwide.
It bans the substances that inspired William James' ideas about human consciousness and the nature of ultimate reality. In short, it causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some, meanwhile violating the Natural Law upon which Thomas Jefferson founded America. (Surely, Jefferson was rolling over in his grave when Ronald Reagan's DEA stomped onto Monticello in 1987 and confiscated the founding father's poppy plants.)
If you believe in freedom and democracy, in America and around the world, please stay tuned for more philosophically oriented broadsides against the outrageous war on godsend medicines, AKA the war on drugs.
PS The drug war has not failed: to the contrary, it has succeeded, insofar as its ultimate goal was to militarize police forces around the world and help authorities to ruthlessly eliminate those who stand in the way of global capitalism. For more, see Drug War Capitalism by Dawn Paley. Oh, and did I mention that most Drug Warriors these days would never get elected were it not for the Drug War itself, which threw hundreds of thousands of their political opposition in jail? Trump was right for the wrong reasons: elections are being stolen in America, but the number-one example of that fact is his own narrow victory in 2016, which could never have happened without the existence of laws that were specifically written to keep Blacks and minorities from voting. The Drug War, in short, is a cancer on the body politic.
Rather than apologetically decriminalizing selected plants, we should be demanding the immediate restoration of Natural Law, according to which "The earth, and all that is therein, is given to men for the support and comfort of their being." (John Locke)
Andrew, Christopher "The Secret World: A History of Intelligence" 2019 Yale University Press
Aurelius, Marcus "Meditations" 2021 East India Publishing Company