Thanks for running Thomas Knapp’s Op-ed, “They Don’t Own Your Vote,” March 23. Mr. Knapp makes a good point.
As Richard Nixon’s (late) domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman told reporter Dan Baum for his cover story in the current issue of Harper’s, that gang re-launched the failed “Drug War” in the 1970s because “We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities… . We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
By now, surely a big plurality of us are fed up with a “Drug War” that’s locked up a million non-violent Americans in our jails and prisons; encouraged our police forces to look and act like some over-armed, Third World junta anxious to don combat garb and bust down our doors in the middle of the night; turned our inner cities into violent hellholes, and left under-medicated cancer patients writhing in pain – all without reducing by one iota the consumption of a bunch of medically useful plant extracts that were perfectly legal in a far more peaceful America 100 years ago.
If – instead of being conned into voting for one of two nearly identical lawyers-on-the-take who plan no change except to seize and spend even more of our wealth on this nonsense – all the Americans who are qualified to vote, voted for a candidate who vowed to repeal every one of our drug laws (and who vowed to jail cops when they lie on their search warrant affidavits and kill our innocent neighbors in their beds), could such a candidate win a three-way race with 34 percent of the vote? It’s certainly possible.
The income tax was supposed to “sock it to the millionaires.” But the rich guys’ lobbyists have spent a century ginning up an incomprehensible tax code that allows most millionaires to skate free; it’s the “working poor” who waste millions of person-hours every year baring our financial souls to Big Brother. And why? So Washington can seize any “excess” earnings that we might have used to invest in a small business, creating new jobs.
Yet the personal income tax generates only about 40 percent of federal revenues. Without it, Washington might – might — have to shrink to about the size it was 20 years ago. Did anyone think our federal government was “too small,” 20 years ago? Would we cry bitter tears if they had to lay off some narcotics agents, FBI snipers, and Desert Tortoise Inspectors? Or maybe withdraw our troops from a few dozen of the 100 foreign countries they now occupy, making people there hate us the way we used to hate the Redcoats?
If – instead of being conned into voting for one of two nearly identical lawyers-on-the-take who plan no change except to seize and spend even more of our wealth – all the Americans who are qualified to vote, voted for a candidate who vowed to repeal the income tax (not “reform” it again, but get rid of it), could such a candidate win a three-way race with 34 percent of the vote? Mind you, all this is providing one of our esteemed “Intelligence” agencies wouldn’t immediately get busy, trying to eliminate such a candidate. But it still seems worth a try.
The reason we veer ever closer to regulatory tyranny and an oppressive police state is that the shrinking number of Americans who still vote, keep voting for “the lesser of two tyrants,” based on a bunch of scary TV coverage funded by the big corporate outfits who know they’ll do fine, no matter which tyrant we choose.
And we do that because we don’t want to “throw away our vote” on an “underfunded” candidate who promises us nothing but less government and more liberty?