The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Alec Carmichael
I Digress 

State's Rights Hypocrisy


January 10, 2018

I can comically recall the issues Republicans rail on and on about every day. The deficit is a national security issue, lower taxes, less regulations, more local input in government, less environmental conservation, no federal land grabs or federal lands period. This local control is a conservative hallmark of less government, or at least more self-government, and in most cases Republicans support it as the backbone of the federalist system we constitutionalized in America. Why then, do Republicans insist on federal criminal enforcement of marijuana laws or drug laws in general? Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo, and placed marijuana back on the table for federal prosecution cases. This not only increases potential federal spending, but it runs contrary to “local control of government.” This puts into question laws in Washington, Colorado, California and other liberal strongholds that allow for recreational marijuana, and puts a damper on those states control and taxation of that industry. No analysis was provided as to the reasoning behind this announcement, but one must ask why? Why would states’ rights “champions” be opposed to states self-governing and regulating their own industries? Why would they support a system that funnels what has become legitimate business income to Latin American drug cartels? Why would they be opposed to honoring the ideals they support in their campaign speeches and rallies? Why does this matter to Republicans so much? In 2016, then candidate Donald Trump said this is a local and state issue that he wouldn’t interfere with. Directly he was quoted telling CBS Boston, “I wouldn’t interfere because I think that really is a local issue. When you look at what’s happened in Colorado as an example, it’s a local thing. I wouldn’t interfere with it. I think that’s something that really is very much up to the local area.” I would argue that the flip flop is not Trump’s fault directly, although incompetence may not be a defense to voters in 2020, it is clear his Cabinet operates with little guidance, support or policy from the White House, but I digress. What I would argue is that this is just another case where Republicans don’t support a clear issue, but rather support bolstering or hindering demographics of voters. Like in the case of deficit reduction (when they decreased corporate taxes at the expense of the deficit), or state’s rights (except when they affect states that don’t vote for them), or people's individual liberties (except when they support, and allow for the liberty or productivity of people who don’t vote for them). It is just another case of cronyism, and likely voter suppression. The more felons locked up for drug related charges the fewer liberal voters in the world, and that is ultimately the key here control of power through law enforcement. The key is that Republicans support issues based on donors and voters, and not on principle. The tax bill was proof, Session’s announcement is proof, healthcare is proof, a lack of promised infrastructure spending is proof, policies that hurt rural America is proof, and yet they get the votes, because they can cling to key wedge issues like guns and insure the “conservative” masses vote in droves for policies that run contrary to their “principles”, but that support their worldview.


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