Monday, August 19, 2013

"The government always has"

Frequently we hear people say, “The government has always done it this way.” when we hear that we should stop and take pause. That statement alone exemplifies the problems in this country. We have reached a time when the Constitution no longer matters and government picks and chooses which laws to enforce.

I was recently told that we should support flawed Bills and that the Executive Branch has always picked and chosen which laws they enforced. The argument to the latter was there are only so many resources and they must be allocated according to need.

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If we have more laws than can be enforced, then that should tell us one thing—we need less laws or more enforcement. Enforcement is expensive, so that leaves only one thing, which is to have less laws to enforce. The chart shows we imprison more people than almost any country in the world. Many of these incarcerations are drug related. Too often violent criminals are freed through early parole in order to make room for drug offenders.

No matter whether you are for drug legalization or not, the country has reached a crisis point. Enforcement doesn't have the manpower to sometimes go after potential terrorists who entered the country illegally. We have Justice Department officials deciding which laws to enforce, and too often that decision is guided by political and ideological beliefs.

We cannot continue with business as usual. Every state in the country decides drug laws. We do not need this duplicated on the federal level except when the illegal activity crosses state lines. The federal agents should then only enforce the laws of the state in which the violation occurred.

Let’s look at how laws against marijuana first came about. Hemp at the time was the most popular source of marijuana. Hemp was used for making rope. In the 60’s a common term for smoking marijuana was “smoking rope.” For two years congress secretly deliberated until if finally passed the Marihuana Tax Stamp Act of 1937. The first serious regulation of marijuana was 1906 in Washington DC. By 1930, sixteen states had banned the use of marijuana except for medicinal purposes.

The push to ban cocaine and opium (and later marijuana) at the federal level ran into a serious obstacle, the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which said powers not delegated to the federal government through the Constitution were reserved for the states. The federal government would not be denied and used taxes and regulation to control the use of marijuana and other drugs. In 1969 the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act of 1937 was found to be unconstitutional. Once again the federal government refused to be denied power and the U.S. Congress responded by passing The Controlled Substances Act in 1970, citing “interstate commerce” as the basis for its authority. The U.S. Supreme Court recognized the so-called “commerce clause” to uphold a series of laws that effectively gutted the Tenth Amendment's reservation of rights to the states and to the people. The commerce clause has been used to literally gut the Constitution.

Look at what all these federal drug laws have given us. We have essentially created a police state. Combine the war on drugs with the war on terrorism the federal government has become far reaching. Today we face such laws as Stop and Frisk and NSA spying. I can assure you, those are not things the government has always done.”

Until Americans stop settling for politicians who lie, a government that constantly talks protectionism, and passing flawed laws, things will get only worse. The next time someone says, “the government always has,” ask them why and then remind them the government “hasn't always.” Edward Bernays taught government how to fool the public into accepting things they wouldn't want otherwise. Bernays is the father of propaganda and marketing.

Many Americans are so desperate for change they jump on the bandwagon of anyone promising change. Obama was elected twice on the promise of change. People are excited about Mark Levin and his convention of the states that seek to pass unexplained amendments.

Politicians want only power and money. Too many television and radio personalities seek only fame and money. There are political groups that seek only money. We must find people who truly care and are willing to listen to average America, who can push a real agenda of well thought out change. The government hasn't always.

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