Friday, July 29, 2011

What He's Not

I was listening to C-SPAN a few weeks back and couldn't quite believe my ears. It was some sort of meeting or conference in which black leaders were pushing for the repeal of drug laws. (all drug laws, some drug laws? I'm not sure)

Anyway, it was hard to follow their reasoning because I was so taken aback by their attitude. Paraphrasing, the message was: "We need to repeal these racist drug laws because they only exist in order to send black men to prison."

Who is going to be swayed by that argument? This was on the radio but the angry faces were easy to imagine. Half of it was "damn you racist lawmakers." One speaker actually got into statistics on what decriminalization has accomplished in other parts of the world but she was clearly in the minority. The message was that Jim Crow is back.

So what did they expect? I can see picking up some support from some blacks who are eager play the aggrieved card. There are plenty of white people who gravitate towards feeling put-upon as well; it's not a black thing. But what about the majority of the country? Did they expect to convince white people that they had only supported drug laws because they secretly enjoyed putting black men in jail? People know their hearts.

There may be good arguments in favor of decriminalizing some things. The question is whether the laws are a net good -- by discouraging drug use and preventing wasted lives; or a net burden -- by ruining more lives than they save. I don't know the answer. But I know my motivation, and it's not because I want to keep down the black man.

Anyway, I wrote off the whole silly segment. It was just a bunch of people wasting their energies on foolishness. But I couldn't help noticing parallels with something being done on the right.

And here I'm talking about Rush Limbaugh. I know, blasphemy. It's a shame because Limbaugh gets so many things right. But it irks me when he assigns malice to the things Obama, and other liberals do.

Raising taxes at this time is a bad idea. This is a recession, and we'll benefit more from "rich" people keeping and spending their money than we will from the government taking it and spending it for them. It's bad for the country right now. Period. And if you agree, you can make the argument just as forcefully without assigning motives to the president. Rush says that Obama's intent is to break the system, to bring down capitalism and rebuild as a socialist state.

And I just don't think it's so. I think Obama is as wrong as he can be; as wrong as possible without actually being Portuguese.* I think he's fixated on a utopia that can't exist in this world, and I think his efforts to bring it about could bring down much of what we hold dear. Yes, he might break the country that elected him President, but that doesn't mean he realizes that's what he's doing. Hate what he's doing; forget about his motivations.

So I agree with Rush that Obama must be stopped, but I don't think we need to stop him because he's evil; we need to stop him because he's wrong.

*apologies to my one Portuguese reader, I meant to say "French"

photo via Daylife