A discussion on another blog got me to thinking down a track a bit off the mainstream. Far enough askew that I decided there was no point in gettin' in an argument with a fellow (and his spouse!) on his own blog when there was no chance of persuading them.
Hey, la, I've my very own soapbox and a window to throw it out of, so lets.
The anarchist-leaning libbytarian is oft' accused of bein' a "dope-legalizing hippie" who would selfishly interfere with the supposed "right" of a majority of her friends and neighbors to govern the whole of the people to a faretheewell. This is argument by scare quotes ("It'll sour the milk!") and it makes me itch right between the ears where it's difficult to scratch.
One point put forth as decisive was, in re illegal drugs, "What about my children? You're not gonna stop me from protecting them!"
Aw, gee, lady, I wouldn't. Not ever. --Now tell me how some darned law and a bunch of door-kickin' DEA agents does a better job of protection than the moral and philosophical instruction you (supposedly) provide your own offspring? If they've got that inner compass, they've no need for the law -- and if they haven't, no mere law or lawman will stop them. Hinder, sure, lock 'em away, sure, but if they're scum, they will in all likelihood continue their scummy ways after time-out.
Here's the deal -- if your kids are dope-swillin' scum, I want them to be able to get plenty of it, in good quality. If they're gonna do themselves in with it, it's best for all of us, even you, if they get it over with quickly, serve as a horrible example to others, you can grieve and go on, and I can avoid having them stick a gun in my face and request financing some dark night. Everybody wins! Well, except the doper. Oopsie.
...And if it's not illegal, little Sue or Johnny stoner can, if he or she decides to seek it out, go get help to kick the habit without havin' to admit to felonious behavior.
In my extended family, there were alcoholics. One drank himself to death. Slowly. Painfully. Heart-rendingly. Another buckled down, cleaned up his act and turned his life around; a gifted musician, he's the man who introduced me to Fibonacci, opening a world of wonder to skinny lass with a rabbit-hop mind. Tell me what good Prohibition would have done either man, especially considering the latter example began his drinking when the gin was bathtub and the jazz was hot. (As for me, I don't and won't, other than the occasional hard cider or small beer with a meal. Dope is Right Out. Ew).
Your offspring's need to be handled with kid gloves is your problem, not Society's or The Gummit. The "Greater Good" does not consist of wrapping up widdle Bambi in cotton batting every night with a gentle smoochie on the forehead, it consists of making the crooks run away on time, preferably into the hoosegow or an early grave.
This leads us, somehow, to the fool idea that a majority of neighbors can tell you how much starch to use on your bra, not to mention the damfool idea that this is, somehow, Good.
The Bill of Rights was a sincere, if limited, attempt to restrain democracy; most State constitutions go even farther that way, though still, thanks to the clever, inventive, tool-user get-around-it minds of Our Duly Elected Representatives, not nearly far enough.
Y'know why governments are instituted among men? It's sure as shootin' not to protect the rights of the majority. They've already got the edge! Nope, it's to keep the majority from whompin' on the Quakers, hippies, militia members, Jews and skateboarders. It's to ensure little Johnny can read Sleazyriders (only for the articles) and it keeps the Gladys Kravitzes and Mrs. Grundys among us from ruining everyone else's peaceable work and fun. Period. If you've got a government doesn't do that, it needs fixing. If it allies itself with the WCTU-thinkers of this world, you've got a problem and had better dredge out the big ballot box, and fast.
Many folks think it's too late -- like Uncle, here. Others point out that a determined minority can make a difference. Me, I don't know. You cannot impose freedom and Mothers everywhere, racked with anguish, will always cry "But what about my babies?" (I dunno, lady, I'll change 'em for you this time but I doubt any bureaucrat will consider so doing to be within his purview). Maybe only a cold and ruthless beast can ignore that. Maybe my stunning lack of compassion and humanity is actin' up again.
Freedom dies one worried Mother at a time, for the most high-sounding of ideals.
Raise your own kids. Shoot your own dog. Vote out your own loser Congressthings. Let your neighbors tend to their own knitting. It's time to grow up.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
7 months ago