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December 01, 2007

Questions Never Asked (Political, Historical)

Earlier in the week the nation was treated to another chapter of the rapidly evolving and ever-expanding presidential campaign being conducted by, and for the profit of, our competing TV news networks. CNN’s latest shtick, another  YouTube presidential “debate,” had the remaining GOP hopefuls lined up in a neat row onstage while they responded to “questions” in the form of videos submitted by thousands of allegedly interested citizens and whittled down to a mere forty by allegedly impartial CNN staffers. The two front-runners of the moment, Romney and Giuliani, were next to each other in the middle.  The others were lined up on either side in diminishing order of their latest poll standings.

The hottest topic, according to the pundits interpreting the proceedings afterward, was a bit of a surprise: illegal immigration, a problem often characterized in simplistic terms by (CNN's own) Lou Dobbs: how do we secure our borders against the many “criminals” sneaking into the US to take our jobs and send their kids to our schools?

The major difference between Dobbs’ usual rhetoric and the  debate questions was that there was no mention of illegal drugs, a subject Dobbs inevitably includes when bashing the Bush Administration for our “Broken Government” and “Broken Borders.”  Nor was there any mention of the drug war itself, medical marijuana, or the recent steroid scandals roiling athletics. In fact, anything that might have cast the least bit of doubt on the legitimacy and success of American drug policy was conspicuously absent.

Also absent from either the You Tube diversion or the campaign itself, has been any mention of the amazing change in NYC pot arrest statistics while Giuliani was Mayor. Those statistics, gathered during the course of Jon Gettman’s landmark studies of national pot arrest patterns, eloquently confirm both the failure of our (unacknowledged) policy of drug prohibition and the racist enforcement patterns
it has produced over the past four decades.

The only remaining question is how much longer can we continue ignoring the enormous elephant in our national (and global) living room?

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at December 1, 2007 06:38 PM