Sunday, June 06, 2004


Peggy Noonan makes an interesting point: Why are the Left in favour of some addictive and harmful drugs such as cannabis and cocaine and against another addictive and harmful drug -- tobacco? They seem to want to ban one and un-ban the others. As a libertarian, I myself think that cocaine, heroin, cannabis and tobacco should all be legal -- for use among consenting adults only. An excerpt from Peggy's article:

"I have come to hate the banners. No, I don't smoke. I just believe in the right of people to be human, to be imperfect and messy and flawed. I don't dislike the banners because they're prissy bullies, though that is reason enough. I dislike them because their work forces us to look at the shift in values in our country in our time. As I watched the NBC report, I actually thought to myself: I want to make sure I understand. If you smoke a cigarette on a beach in modern America you are harming the innocent. If you have a baby scraped from your womb, you are protecting your freedom. If you sell a pack of cigarettes to a 12-year-old boy you can be jailed, fined and sent to Guantanamo Bay with the other killers. If you sell a pack of contraceptives to a 12 year old boy in modern America you are socially responsible citizen.

For reasons that call for an essay of their own, and as we all know, the banners of cigarettes are on and of the left, and the resisters of the banners are on the right. Once the banners of liquor were of the right and its legalizers of the left. The banners of drugs were on the right and the legalizers on the left.

Why did the left change its stance on what it calls personal freedom regarding cigarettes and cigars? What was the logic? And please, if you are on the left, would you answer this question for me? How come the only organ the left insists be chaste is the lung? What is this pulmocentrism? Why are lungs so special? Why can't you endanger your own lungs? Why don't you care as much about livers? Don't the Democrats have a liver lobby?

I think that it is true that there is no individual human on earth that I hate. But when I think of the banners I think of what the old news producer told the bureaucrat who fired him in a cost-cutting campaign in "Broadcast News." At the end of their meeting the bureaucrat asked in unctuous tones if there was anything he could do to help. The producer thought. "Well, I certainly hope you die soon," he said. A great cinematic moment. I wish the banners would go away and stop bothering our country."

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