Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Return to Federalism

As we make sense of this week’s sea change — of the Great Shellacking Democrats took on Tuesday — some caution is in order.

In 2006, voters did not choose the Democrats because of what they were or what they promised, but because of what they weren’t: corrupt, clueless Republicans. Now, Republicans should remember that they were mainly chosen because they aren’t Democrats: that is, hopelessly narrow-minded, self-righteous, and corrupt.

So, what should Republicans do?

Maybe it’s not to start out of the gate by repealing Obamacare, which its namesake would simply veto.

In Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, DC, voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana use. In California, with Proposition 47, Golden State voters ushered in a new regime, downgrading many, many drug violations and former felony crimes to misdemeanor status.

This is the people of the states leading.

They are rejecting the “get tough” approach both parties have supported for decades, an approach that has had the dubious result of being most popular with public prison workers’ unions and the private prison lobby

Opposing drug use may be socially “conservative.” Politically speaking, however, granting government nearly unlimited police powers, and without regard to objective results, is not.

If the Republicans want to lead in Washington, they should follow the people in these bellwether elections. Back them up. End the Drug War and, with it, the Prison-Industrial Complex. Return criminal justice back to the states, where the Constitution originally put it. And where modifications can be more easily made.

Return to federalism. Return to reason.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Not So Free says:

    I read recently that the reason “pot” was made illegal was because the timber interests in the 1930’s didn’t want the competition from hemp producers, and that they had the political clout to have their way.

  2. Donald Silberger says:

    Paul, your today’s essay on what the newly elected Republicans can do that is both reasonable and likely to consolidate their party’s position is marvelous. They can end the war on drugs completely! can truly reform the federal prison and “justice” system. They can take pot off the federal criminality list; most states would follow suit.

    A GOP Congress could wind down the militarization nationally of local police forces. That would be attacking the left from its left,
    leaving it without argument.

    Of course, personal freedom, which has been abused since 1914 by the very first drug law-prohibition law, presumably is a guarantee which you’d expect a constitutional conservative ought to support.

    These initial moves by the GOP — in lieu of an immediate assault on the “safety net”, would be with less question desirable and likely to increase GOP voter popularity.

  3. Pat says:

    Easier said than done. The GOP doesn’t want to give up power, either. Winding down the militarization of police forces means not spending money on weapons made by donors’ companies. The prison workers’ unions and the private prison lobby each have their own political sponsors, from both parties. Giving up power in any area will ultimately shrink the bureaucracy. Neither party will do anything that will reduce DC influence.
    I’ll believe it when I see it.

  4. Pint Size says:

    I’d love to see the Ex-Im bank, vis-a-vis the Marshall Plan, make an exit stage left

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