The True Nature of Politics

Hypocrisy in political life is not uncommon. In fact, most people pander to it in one form or another. Both Republican conservatives and Democrat liberals are united in one thing—their shameless inconsistency whenever pet issues are brought up and their support for “righteous” or “virtuous” government whenever it is convenient. See Jacob Hornberger or Laurence Vance for examples of this. See my own articles here and here.

Let’s look at a few issues hotly debated today—abortion, drugs, immigration, and guns. Should these be controlled and regulated by the Feds or by the various states? Sadly, both factions believe that one or the other should hold the controlling reins, depending on what is at stake and the popular political opinion on that specific issue.

For the purposes of this article, Democrats will include anyone who is generally left of center, liberal, and/or progressive. Republicans will include anyone who is generally right of center and conservative. Keep in mind that these are only generalizations on a large scale and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint(s) of any single individual.

Democrats are in favor of the federal government controlling the abortion issue. Roe v. Wade cannot be tampered with or weakened in any way. Any state law which attempts to circumvent it must immediately be stopped. The federal blessing of abortion on demand must be maintained at all costs, no matter what.

Democrats are also in favor of the federal government controlling, regulating, restricting, and/or outlawing and prohibiting guns. In fact, as time brings more mass shootings, the calls for the Feds to “do something” only grow louder. For them, this issue, like abortion, is much too important to be left to the states.

However, when it comes to drugs and immigration, Democrats are usually quite vocal about wresting these issues away from the Feds and allowing the states full control over them. Quite often, liberal-leaning states find themselves at odds with Fed policy on these.

Republicans, on the other hand, tend to favor smaller, more local government when the issue is abortion (Roe v. Wade must be overturned) or guns (the ultimate state’s rights issue), but are in a hurry to grant the Feds a huge amount of power when the conversation turns to drugs (outlaw them all, especially the harder ones like heroin, cocaine, and meth).

For Republicans, immigration also comes under the purview of Federal control, not so much because it is Constitutionally mandated to the Feds, but because the states, especially the liberal ones, simply can’t be trusted to do what is “right” about the limitless hordes pouring across “our” borders.

There are countless others which could be compared in the same way, but I think I have made my point. Both factions adamantly favor federal control over some issues, while vigorously supporting state control over others. The only difference is which side of the political divide one stands on.

Failure of Prohibition: A History and a Prediction

There have been times when government tried, but failed, to remove from society certain consumer products.

The Prohibition era began with the passage of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution in 1919, outlawing all manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic products. Prohibition of such “crimes” began on January 17, 1920 and lasted until December 5th, 1933 when the 21st Amendment repealed the practice. It did not eliminate the consumption or demand for alcohol, however, but only drove the supply out of public sight. Numerous people, otherwise innocent, were prosecuted, fined, jailed, or simply killed outright as a consequence of this policy.

In April, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order outlawing private ownership of gold coins, bullion, and certificates. He prosecuted and punished a few people, using well-publicized methods, to ensure that everyone else got the message and relinquished their holdings. Ultimately, however, all that was accomplished was that privately held gold went underground. Eventually, in 1974, President Gerald R. Ford lifted the ban and allowed gold to circulate freely, as it has done since.

In the 1970’s, President Richard M. Nixon’s administration declared the ‘War on Drugs’ to eliminate all illicit drugs from private ownership and usage. Today, millions of people are in prisons and jails, not because they are criminals, but because they possessed and/or used certain items which the government had disallowed. Like alcohol and gold in the early part of the century, however, illegal drugs did not go out of existence. They simply went underground and disappeared from public view. Currently, marijuana is legal in some form or another in a majority of states throughout the country and will eventually be legal everywhere, probably regulated like alcohol is.

So it will be for guns if private ownership is outlawed, prohibited, or regulated in an extreme manner. Guns, like alcohol, gold and drugs, will not simply disappear from society, instead, they will be driven out of sight. People who own them will be vilified, prosecuted, jailed, and fined, perhaps even killed, not because they used those guns against others violently, but because they possessed an item the government decided they shouldn’t have. If gun control is ever seriously legislated, scores of millions of Americans will be forced to choose between giving up what they consider to be their rightfully owned property or run the risk of heavy-handed punishment, up to and including the loss of their lives and freedom.

Government can regulate any consumer item out of the visible, public market, but it cannot destroy the demand for it. There always will be a market for alcohol, gold, drugs, guns, and many other items, which people consider valuable. The demand for such items is private and individual and can only be eliminated by private, individual choice. It cannot be extirpated from society by collective will or force, but may only be suppressed for an indefinite period of time, during which the relevant demand will be met–illegally, undercover, and quite often, violently.