My friend Desert Cat points me to Vox Day (the love child of William F. Buckley and Ayn Rand), who is also an ardent foe of the drug war. He is also not hesitant to tell conservatives that support the war why they’re wrong, as he does here and here.
The upshot is that the Drug War is yet another example of short-sighted conservatives being snookered by statists. The centralizers burn to increase central power by any means necessary, and this has been one of their most successful tactics. Remember, back when the country actually was conservative, opium, cocaine and marijuana were all legal. There’s nothing inherently conservative about the Drug War, and there’s nothing inherently libertine about opposing it. I don’t want drugs to be legal so that I can use them, I want them to be legal so government agents don’t have an excuse to trample on the Constitution, steal private property and shoot people in the head. …
Let me grant the most paranoid conservative fear and state that even if I knew that every school child in America would immediately begin smoking pot every single day that I would still support ending the drug war. Even if I knew that every single adult in America would be riding the electric high wire on cocaine every night, I would still support ending the drug war. Because neither of those things will kill America dead beyond any hope of recovery the way that increasing the power of the central state always kills a society in the end. This has been clear since the days of Rome; it is true now.
Powerful words. And this brings up a point I’d like to make again about the political spectrum of the drug war. Opposing the drug war is not a left-wing or right-wing notion, but rather it’s a function of being smart.
Take a look at some of the opponents of the drug war. Both William F. Buckley, Jr. and Walter Cronkite have spoken out elequently against the war. Two of the most intelligent politicians against the excesses of the drug war are former Republican Governor Gary Johnson, and Democratic Senator Richard Durbin. And in the House, you actually have, as co-sponsors of anti-drug war bills, radical conservative Dana Rohrabacher and radical liberal Barney Frank.
My own politics draw inspiration from left libertarian, classic liberal, and progressive liberal approaches (among others). In this blog, I stick strictly to the drug war and leave other issues alone (except related issues like the Patriot Act). And I love the fact that the other bloggers I interact with favorably on drug policy reform wander far across the political spectrum.
With advance apologies (because I’m going to be oversimplifying and probably getting these wrong) and the caveat that these descriptions are just to make a point, here’s a few examples of the range of bloggers who are smart about the drug war. Last One Speaks is probably liberal, and it’s no secret that Talk Left: The Politics of Crime leans to the left. And BigLeftOutside is very liberal. Desert Cat would probably be considered an anti-statist conservative Christian and it’s possible that Vox Day is as well. I’d classify Walter in Denver as a practical libertarian and RandomActOfKindness as a Libertarian. Conservative blogs Balloon Juice and Ipse Dixit both have been extremely supportive of Drug WarRant and the principles of drug policy reform, and I consider Eugene at The Volokh Conspiracy as a practical conservative who is open-minded about drug war issues.
Whether you are conservative, liberal, or libertarian, there are plenty of reasons to oppose the drug war. Here’s a few.