Several of my fellow conservatives have pointed out to me that I’m being inconsistent by espousing libertarian values while also saying I tentatively am fine with keeping in place the idea of controlled substances in place, especially so with a relatively harmless one such as marijuana. I realize that I did not fully flesh out my explanation as to why I think that way, and figured that said explanation could make a good followup post, so here we are.
First let me say that while I do hold to libertarian political values and ideals, I would consider myself to be realistic and responsible as a higher priority than those ideals – which means that sometimes a (hopefully temporary) compromise must be made between my ideals and my principles. While this may sound haughty or offensive to other libertarian thinkers, I don’t mean it to be – my point is simply that I don’t think we’re at a place where a full on overnight libertarian revolution would be a good thing – rather, it would be best to gradually move culture back to a place of responsibility and morality, and transition the political situation back to where it should be in the process. Let me explain why.
John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” He was right. In order to live in a society where personal freedom is left mostly unimpeded, that society must be responsible and moral, with a firm foundation. Unfortunately, our society today is neither responsible nor moral. A century of living with a government trending toward socialism and a dominant public education system created by Marxists and used to turn its students into drones has shredded the fabric of our society, and left us with a situation in which your average person thinks the government is a mother to protect and provide for them, and shuns the very idea of a disciplining father.
In order to be consistent with libertarian ideals, not only would marijuana be legalized, but the whole idea of controlled substances would go out the window. The DEA and FDA would cease to exist. All prescription drugs would be available over the counter at any drug store, and you could buy opiates at the Circle K on the corner along with your milk and bread. Can you imagine this being the case right now, in our current society? It would be suicidal to push for that kind of change without also pushing for a society where responsibility is a basic, essential value for every person. And I am not saying this society would be perfect; there will always be abusers and thieves and those who would exploit any system. Such is the nature of man. But I would submit that in a society where personal accountability was highly valued and the government was not looked to for any need but those few listed in out Constitution, such as that this country enjoyed when it was written, we would find that such ideals could play out with far less ill effect than if we were to find ourselves in that ideal today.
We cannot sit here and pretend that we have not failed our country miserably for the last century by allowing it to go this far. We cannot ignore the situation we live in and think everything will somehow work out for the best on its own. We need to undo all the evils that have been done in the last hundred years, for with that will come a natural shift toward personal responsibility, accountability, morality, and ultimately, liberty. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.