Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Salute the Red, White, and Green

Bill "never-inhaled" Clinton came clean with the American people about his drug use. Well, sort of. And George "nose candy" Bush’s history of drug use received some scrutiny, though I don’t think he ever released a statement. In any event, it seems that disclosures of drug "experimentation" are becoming a right of passage for White House hopefuls. Sign of the times I guess. I can see it now: The year is 2008. Hilary is at the podium. Yes, she "tried" acid as a young co-ed, but she didn’t trip very hard.

Anyway, over at Andrew Sullivan’s page, guest-blogger Walter has a modest proposal.

The next time a presidential candidate makes his ritual drug confession, I think they should be given a choice: serve out the prison term or pay the fine that applied when they offended or recuse themselves and their administration from enforcing the same laws. Better yet, let them commit to changing the laws that they were fortunate enough not to have been caught breaking. Fair? I think so.
It’s an interesting, albeit implausible, idea. His point about the hypocrisy of harsh drug laws is well taken though.

While we’re strolling through the realm of fantasy, I’ll let you in on one of my own. I long for the day when a presidential candidate addresses the nation and says, "Sure, I smoked pot when I was younger. I drank until I threw up at least a couple of times. I even took some ecstasy. But I graduated at the top of my class and built an impressive résumé. I was never an addict and I haven’t touched the stuff for thirty years."

I’m not talking about striking a blow for drug culture. I’d be perfectly happy to elect a candidate who had never touched a drug, provided he or she had the right credentials for the job. I’m talking about looking at what matters when we decide who should lead the country. As far as I’m concerned, a few joints in a dorm room shouldn’t be at the top of the list.

I hope more people come around to my way of thinking. But like Bill Clinton, I’m not holding my breath.

--Matthew McCoy