In the past, I have disagreed with some of Chris Christie’s positions, but today, this talk puts him at the top of my list of candidates.
On Oct. 30, while campaigning during happy hour at Shooter’s Tavern in Belmont, New Hampshire, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie related a pair of personal anecdotes to elucidate why he thinks the United States should change the way it handles drug addicts.
I have been against the War of Drugs since the beginning. It is a simplistic, political tool that makes people think the government is doing something, while everyone ignores the real problem with drugs. The problem is not the availability of drugs, anymore than it is the availability of alcohol, cigarettes and food.
The problem is addiction.
Addictions to cigarettes, food, alcohol and drugs. That is where we should be focusing our efforts. If no one wanted drugs, there would be no drug dealers. Unfortunately, that is too simple of a concept for politicians and bureaucrats. For politicians, yelling about the War on Drugs is great way to gain votes, by playing on the voter’s fears. Saying you will help people with addictions won’t help you get elected. For bureaucrats, nothing grows your organization and puffs up its importance better than a good war. Fighting a war is good for your budget. Fighting addictions won’t get you a promotion.
Do I sound cynical? Well, that is simply because I am. All the War on Drugs does is fill our prisons with people, who in many cases, were only hurting themselves. We have a nation that is addicted to WAR! We talk about the War on Poverty, the War on Cancer, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, and many many other things. I have a question for you. Can you name a single instance where government and the media used this “War” metaphor on something and we as a nation and a people actually achieved victory? Without victory, the metaphor falls flat.
- 1964 – President L.B. Johnson – War on Poverty
- 1971 – President R.M. Nixon – War on Cancer
- 1971 – President R.M. Nixon – War on Drugs
- 2001 – President G.W. Bush – War on Terror
No victories that I can see. Maybe what we really should do is declare war on the fundamental causes of these problems, instead of the symptoms. You cure a disease by focusing on the causes and precursors of the disease. So, lets take a humane, Christian approach and begin to focus on curing the causes behind poverty, terrorism and drug use.
If we could find a way to treat addictions, eliminating the need and desire to use drugs, we would honestly be able to say that we won the War on Drugs.
While we are at it, let’s put our money and efforts into identifying and eliminating the root causes behind poverty, terrorism and drug addiction. Let’s care for the people who are impacted by those root causes, instead of arresting or killing massive numbers of people who are caught in the middle of all these so called Wars.