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Marijuana (a surefire way to avoid controversy)

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Marijuana a surefire way to avoid controversy

If libertarians and conservatives are butting heads, there’s a 90% chance it’s about marijuana.

The typical perception of the divide looks something like this: libertarians want marijuana totally legalized, as the federal government has no constitutional authority over drug regulation, while conservatives dislike marijuana use personally, so they would vote to prohibit its use entirely.

This caricature doesn’t fully encapsulate either side, but it is so pervasive that conservatives who advocate for anything less than the total federal crackdown of marijuana call themselves “libertarian on this issue.”

Know from the outset that I am a conservative on this, but I’ll explain what that means in a moment, just as I will unpack the common tropes of the debate. Just know that if you’re a libertarian or “libertarian on this issue,” you and I likely have more in common than you think.

On Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era federal policy which barred federal officials from intervening in weed-related matters in states that had legalized the drug. Instead, Sessions is now instructing his squad to “let federal prosecutors where marijuana is legal decide how aggressively to enforce longstanding federal law prohibiting it.”

I, a conservative, agree that this is an awful move by Sessions. He has no authority to enforce unconstitutional drug law where states have already spoken.

His actions spurred immediate backlash on Twitter, most notably (in my feed) from Missouri Senate-hopeful and defender of liberty Austin Petersen, who unleashed a series of tweets, rightly emphasizing the true meaning of the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, citing a few of the Federalist Papers and other Founders.

In short, the federal government is only supreme to the states in matters granted to it by the Constitution. In states’ matters, states are sovereign, barring the violation of natural rights.

Petersen and I are in total agreement. The legalization of marijuana is undoubtedly a states’ issue.

Of course, that’s not to say that the federal government has no authority in ANY drug matter. Petersen and I agree here too; he was famously booed during a Libertarian debate in 2016 over his comments that the federal government should prevent the sale of heroin to five-year-olds.

Again, where natural rights are infringed, the federal government should step in.

But in general, the legalization of marijuana is outside the purview of the federal government and thus ought to be decided by the states. This is something that conservatives and libertarians largely agree on — however you would vote on that ballot is secondary to the importance of upholding the Constitution.

The first of our three goals (1. Critique Sessions’s decision, 2. Debunk the caricatures, and 3. Present the conservative stance on marijuana) is complete, and the second shouldn’t require much more dissection.

We’ve established that not all libertarians demand the total legalization of all drugs in all circumstances whatever — many believe in allowing states to decide and in protecting the rights of children.

We’ve also noted how conservatives don’t favor federal intervention based on personal disgust for pot. Any conservative who argues for such, like Sessions, is not a conservative on this issue. We likewise believe that it should be left to the states.

Where I think most philosophically consistent libertarians and conservatives differ is how to vote once the referendum appears on the ballot.

Predictably, libertarians (and some conservatives like Ben Shapiro who are “libertarian on this issue”) would opt for legalization, not necessarily because of personal approval but general recognition of individual rights.

Conservatives, on the other hand, would vote against legalization, but not because of personal distaste but rather based on externalities. The same principle applies to state initiatives on alcohol, for instance.

This standard argues that, due to the severe uptick in fatal car accidents involving marijuana use, the ease of access for minors, and the increase in marijuana-related crime generally, this issue no longer affects just the individual. Once your behavior starts to harm others, your neighbors and colleagues can intervene by ballot.

Personally, I would vote against marijuana legalization, for the reasons listed above. That said, I can understand why others would vote in favor. Either way, I hope we can at least recognize our agreement on the constitutional argument for states’ rights.

If you want to harm your own body, be my guest. If you hurt someone else, that’s where I draw the line.

And if you see it differently, that’s fine. Just let me offer a word of advice: we are in difficult times where our freedoms are being wiped away from before our eyes, whether by presidential fiat, judicial tyranny, or otherwise. Maybe if libertarians hadn’t been so singularly obsessive about pot for the last few decades, they wouldn’t have been too high to notice that actually vital constitutional liberties are being trounced and shredded while stoners stick to the wrong guns.

Conservatives and libertarians have the potential to form the greatest political alliance in American history, but conservatives can’t do it alone and too many libertarians are making a mockery of the whole group with their one-track pot campaign. Maybe prioritize a little and we can restore our constitutional freedom.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

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Immigration

As predicted, Trump offers DACA amnesty in exchange for border wall

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As predicted Trump offers DACA amnesty in exchange for border wall

Throughout Trump’s first two years in office, I’ve been one of only a handful of conservative voices shouting from the rooftops that the New York liberal’s promise to fix America’s out-of-control illegal immigration problem was nothing but a lie.

As a candidate, Trump promised to build a “big beautiful powerful wall” on our southern border at Mexico’s expense, and he promised to overturn Obama’s unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order that allowed illegals to stay in America indefinitely. Unfortunately, the “wall” has become an “artistically designed” barrier of some sort funded by the U.S. taxpayer, and DACA is not only still in effect, it’s on its way to becoming permanent.

While the reality of Trump’s broken promises dealing with illegal immigration have been crystal clear to those not drinking the orange Kool-Aid, his inevitable betrayal on the issue has been brought sharply into focus since last summer.

In May 2018, as Trump and the GOP were looking for ways to save their jobs ahead of the midterms, the House Freedom Caucus joined hands with Democrats to push for a “fix” to DACA.

In June 2018, Paul Ryan proposed a plan that would allow DREAMers to legally stay in the country and be put on the pathway to citizenship in exchange for $23 billion for building a border wall.

Following their September 2018 budget betraying funding everything from Planned Parenthood to DACA and sanctuary cities, rumors began spreading around Washington that Trump was ready to cut an immigration deal with Democrats in light of the reality that the Democrats were about to retake the House in the midterms.

The Democrats did retake the House, and in the days since their victory, Trump and the GOP have been laying the foundation for their inevitable immigration betrayal. With the help of Trump’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner, trading DACA amnesty for a border wall is now the official position of the Trump administration and the GOP-controlled Senate.

So, it came as no surprise when Trump proposed a deal over the weekend to end to his manufactured government shutdown by offering Democrats a three-year extension of DACA in exchange for $5 billion for border security funding — an idea originally conceived by Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Three years? I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, but that’s just enough time to kick the can down the road until after his 2020 election … assuming there is one. And just in case there are any doubts about the motivation behind this three-year timeframe, consider this: Mitch McConnell, who has refused to let the Senate vote on the shutdown, has endorsed Trump’s offer and will hold vote on it this week.

Mickey is also up for re-election in 2020.

For now, Democrats are rejecting Trump’s offer, but it’s only a matter of time before they get what they want. After all, Trump and the GOP want the same thing.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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Culture and Religion

Daniel Greenfield discusses Jamie Glazov’s book “Jihadist Psychopath”

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Daniel Greenfield discusses Jamie Glazovs book Jihadist Psychopath

Jamie Glazov, managing editor of FrontPage Magazine and host of The Glazov Gang, has written a book that political commentator Dennis Prager says is “one of the most important books of the present time.” That book is “Jihadist Psychopath” and I just ordered a copy for myself.

Daniel Greenfield, Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, made a video about the book that prompted me to order it. Both men are respected defenders of freedom and watchmen over the threat of jihad in America, Israel, and around the world.

As he is wont to do, Greenfield points to leftist politicians as enablers of the jihadists by turning a blind eye to the rise of sharia law across America.

“These servants of the people, public servants, they’re actually masters of the people. They prefer to dictate than to be dictated to. Now, of course, Islamic terrorists will, in their own time, dictate to them. They will dictate to them using Islamic sharia law, but as far as the left is concerned for the moment, these are the people who need them, who are badly, desperately in need of being defended and protected and of course will happily trade their votes in exchange for getting a few benefits on the side.”

He continues on, examining the book’s sober pronouncements of intolerance of anything and anyone who does not bow to sharia law. To jihadists, there is only one acceptable way to live and all other perspectives must be subjugated or eliminated.

“Islamic terrorists have no attraction for anything really positive in life,” Greenfield continues. “They’re drawn to destruction. They’re drawn to emptiness because they themselves are empty. They’re hollow, and that is a central principle of Jamie Glazov’s excellent book.”

Patriots ranging from Steven Emerson to John Bolton are publicly recommending this book. I ordered my copy after watching Greenfield’s video. Freedom-loving Americans should watch it and consider reading “Jihadist Psychopath” by Jamie Glazov.


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Culture and Religion

Matt Walsh speaks out on #CovingtonCatholic students and the fake controversy surrounding them

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Matt Walsh speaks out on CovingtonCatholic students and the fake controversy surrounding them

When white Catholic students wearing MAGA hats are caught on video face-to-face with Native Americans on one side and Black Hebrew Israelites on the other, they’re definitely bigoted white supremacist hatemongers who went out looking for minorities to persecute. At least that’s how mainstream media and a good chunk of social media reacted when they saw the initial videos and images of smirking MAGA children.

But that’s not how it went down. It was the exact opposite of how it went down.

When the story first broke, I saw many of my fellow conservatives on Twitter scolding the kids while the progressive gangs attacked them. I held my tongue. It’s not because I don’t speak out against bigotry regardless of which side of the political, religious, or cultural aisle it comes from, but something seemed fishy. Other than having a disconcerting smirk, I didn’t see anything in the kids that resembled the type of bigoted outbursts we’ve seen in the past from actual white supremacists, Antifa, or other hate groups.

It seemed staged. As it turned out, it wasn’t quite staged, per se, but it was manufactured by the two “victim” groups who went after the MAGA kids, not the other way around. As political and religious commentator Matt Walsh asked, were they supposed to drop down to the fetal position when approached by the two groups?

Hot takes on social and legacy media are often based on incomplete pictures. Before people get outraged and attack others over perceptions based on partial evidence, perhaps we should wait until the whole story comes to light. Just a thought.


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