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At least one nice thing about Democrats

(My oft-repeated disclaimer for newbies about my political-polemical posts: People can be fine people in their non-political lives while being complete nitwits in politics.  Or vice versa.)

Unlike leftist nitwits like AOC who seems to know only about what was bad and nothing about what went right during the Reagan years - i.e., knowing only one side of a case, like she apparently does in regard to the workings of capitalism among other things - I make an effort to know both sides of a case before issuing a verdict (and short of having done that homework I refrain from issuing a verdict and admit to lack of relevant expertise).  By doing so, I open myself up to acknowledging where an opponent gets it right even if they get it wrong about (most) other things.

I am a staunch libertarian, which (probably for reasons largely shared by Rand) puts me more in alignment with Republican ideas/policies on the whole than Democrat ones, especially the Democrats after about 2010 when they made a marked shift to the left.  (See the "swing left" graph by Prof. Adam Bonica here.)  My basic view about government is that it's there to be a protector of liberty-rights and not to contravene that role by (e.g.) assuming the role of provider of goods funded by compulsory taxation.  This leads me to oppose the big-government fiscal agenda typically favored by Democrats.  I also tend to share an affinity for culturally "bourgeois" values espoused by conservatives.

These are only general tendencies.  But, as noted, given the shift of the Dems toward the far left, along with an intellectually infantile Dem/left shrillness about the Trump presidency, capitalism, and other topics, along with a hubris that leads them ever more to eschew dialogue with opponents, it makes it a lot easier for me to tend toward the GOP these days.  I'd much rather have a Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, John Kasich or (even) Chris Christie (or even a Donald Trump!) in elected office than a Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, or Kirsten Gillibrand.  (See here for one reason why I gladly refer to this crop of Democrats as Demon Rats.)

As a consequence of my libertarian principles, I advocate for the legalization of cannabis.

On this issue, I side with the Democrats over the Republicans.  It's an issue on which I think the Republicans in particular have gotten it dreadfully wrong for far too long now.  Recreational drug prohibition means a big-government program aimed at social improvement that has been a monumental (dare I say catastrophic?) failure, just as any so-described big government program could be predicted to be.  What's more, prohibition violates the basic "your life is own and not the state's to dispose of" libertarian political norm, and is immoral on that basis alone.  Even when it comes to the more addictive and harmful drugs (including even fentanyl, ffs), placing trust in the state to prevent these harmful and addictive substances from reaching the citizenry has proven a failure; there are almost surely any number of better ways to combat the problem here than supply-focused enforcement.

But with cannabis, it's really a no-brainer.  (I say "even" Chris Christie above, because on this issue he's been a complete dickhead.)

Democrat-majority states have been on the side of progress on this issue.  The Red States, or at least a good number of them, might never get around to legalizing it, much like a good number of them might never have gotten around to doing the right thing in legally recognizing same-sex unions.  Republicans seem to be trapped in an ideological rut on this issue (the ever-venerated Reagan being such a staunch drug warrior and whatnot).  Exacerbating this problem is a cognitive bias that assigns credence to almost invariably shoddy use of statistics to "establish" that cannabis leads to this or that social problem.  (See the commentary on the latest prominent example of anti-pot scaremongering.)  Perhaps the most idiotic rationale for prohibition commonly peddled by the prohibitionists is "drugs are bad for kids, mmkay" . . . and therefore adults shouldn't be allowed to consume them, either.  (The state thereby assumes the role of parent for all adults.  Great.)

This is not to say that Democrats have carried out legalization the way libertarians would.  In the People's Republic of California, the Dems seem to have decided to tax and regulate the shit out of the cannabis industry so much that black markets are still flourishing there.

And besides, libertarians have been in favor of cannabis legalization for as long as libertarians have been around (and the big-L Libertarian Party has been around nearly half a century now).  Why are Democrat presidential candidates only now getting around to doing the same?  What changed between then and now, exactly?  Why weren't they promoting doing the right thing, when it was unpopular?  Why did only their well-connected Hollywood-elite allies/supporters and the like get access to weed with impunity while poor minorities get victimized by drug-war policies?

Nonetheless, enough common sense has gotten through to Dems and Blue States, and not enough of it has gotten through to the GOP and Red States, on this particular issue.  And so, for simply exercising some common sense, the Dems deserve some credit, while the GOP deserves ridicule (both for selective lack of common sense and for being so two-faced about their views on failed big-government policies).

Now, how long does it have to take for both parties to come around to the superior libertarian option on all political issues?

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