“The 15% Solution,” Serialization, 4th Installment: Chapter Three: 2001: The Real Drug War

by Jonathan Westminster, Ph.D. aka Steven Jonas, MD, MPH
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
crossposted on TPJmagazine
May 2, 2010

2001: The Real Drug War

Author’s Commentary

The year 2000 marked the election of President Carnathon Pine, who came to be known as the Last Republican.  A former Republican Senate majority leader, he was known for his sharp tongue, his war‑damaged leg, and over the course of a long and not otherwise dis­tinguished career, his exquisite at­tention to politics rather than policy and governance.  At age 74, he was the oldest man ever to be elected President.

He had run on a platform of “if not her, then me,” “everything they do is wrong,” and, referring to the series of natural disasters which had befall­en America annually since Hurricane An­drew of 1992 and the Great Floods of 1993, “God is pun­ishing America for its sinful ways.”  This theme had be­come increasingly popular for Right‑Wing Reaction­aries since the mid‑90s.  For example, in 1993 Christian Coali­tion lead­er Pat Robert­son said this about the flooding in the mid‑west of the old U.S. (Right‑Wing Watch):

“I just grieve to see this happening and we have to pray for them [the victims].  But . . . the Bible makes it very clear.  When you take God out of your life, and the Supreme Court clearly mandat­ed God out, . . . and [when you] have a Presi­dent . . . who is opening the flood­gates of homo­sexuality and opening as best he is able the floodgates of this horror of abor­tion, . . . [then] the Bi­ble says that the blood of the innocents will cry out against us and the land will be cleansed and the only way it will be cleansed is through the blood of others . . . So don’t be surprised if you see natural disas­ters (700 Club, July 2, 1993).”

For the focus of their Year 2000 campaign, the Right‑Wing Reac­tion­aries took off from the Republican 1996 Presidential election plat­form.  That plat­form itself was much like the 1992 Platform (Bond), which had essential­ly been written by the Christian Coalition.  Howev­er, by the Year 2000, the Re­publi­can Party, now the untrammeled pro­mot­er of Right‑Wing Reac­tion in the old U.S., had become even more blatant and in essence honest about what they were really about.

And so, in addition to their themes of the 90s, they organized vari­ous­ly around such additional ones as: increasingly unvarnished racism and xenophobia expressed in such slogans as “you know who is stealing your jobs, sucking up your taxes, and attacking you in the streets—and we do too, trust us—we’ll take care of them,” “the U.S. is a Christian nation,” “the Bible is our fount of natural law,” “taxes are inherently un‑American and un‑Godly,” “the free market way is the only moral way,” and “pover­ty is the fault of the poor, and no one else.”

This last position was utterly central to Right‑Wing Reactionary think­ing.  Its adoption was essential if the “poor” were to be character­ized and main­tained as the “enemy” of “hard‑working” Americans.  (Of course, by constant Right‑Wing Reactionary propaganda contrary to the facts, in the minds of many the word “poor” was made synonymous  with the word “black.”)

But said straight out like that, it had a judgemental, some said “cru­el,” sound to it.  A formulation designed to deal with that problem that became popular had first been uttered by one Michael Forbes, a Right‑Wing Reac­tion­ary member of the famous “Freshman Class” of the 104th Congress.  Shortly after his first election to the House of Repre­senta­tives from the First District of Long Island, NY he said (Henneberger):  “We don’t have actual poverty.  We have behavioral pov­erty. Very few people out there go to bed hungry [empha­sis add­ed].”

This original thought, and others like it, comprised an internally con­sistent ideology.  Never mind that in some cases this ideology, as reflected in the Right‑wing campaign themes of 1992, 1996, and the Year 2000 seemed to many outside observers to be in conflict with the facts and an understanding of reality that had been built up over de­cades.

Even more importantly for the future of the country, this ideology was in conflict with the basic, fundamentally American precepts of the Declara­tion of Independence, and the Constitution from the Preamble through the Bill of Rights (see Appendices I and VII).  But no oppo­nents of the Right‑Wing Reac­tion in general or the Republican Party in particular ever made anything out of that finding or even seemed to recognize it.

The centrists, liberals, and progressives had been split, between the Demo­cratic Party and a variety of “third parties of the left.”  They agreed on little except that Right‑Wing Reaction was a bad idea.  Nei­ther the Democrats nor the third parties presented any coherent pro­gram for rescu­ing the continuously declining economy.  And no major politi­cal organiza­tion, Democratic Party or otherwise, at the time rec­ognized, publicly at least, the danger that the growing power of Right‑Wing Re­action in gener­al and the Religious Right in particular presented to the maintenance of Constitutional democracy in the United States.

Thus the opposition to Right‑Wing Reaction failed to organize around the obvious theme, one with which they might well have been able to mobilize large numbers of Americans, especially non‑voters, to turn back the Right‑Wing tide: “only the Declaration of Independence and the Con­stitution represent true American values, and only adher­ence to those val­ues will pre­serve Constitutional democracy and the United States as we know it.”  (This theme was the basis of Dino Louis’ politi­cal theory and program, “Progressive Patriotism.”  Gener­ally ignored at the time, in this book excerpts of Louis’ own writing on it are presented in Appendix VII.)

For the Democrats, not only was there was no comprehensive na­tional strategy.  Instead, as the Bush Republicans had done in the elec­tion of 1992, for example, all the Democrats offered was “we can do better than we have done—we deserve one more chance.”

And the so‑called “left” was not much of an improvement.  They offered neither a comprehensive national strategy nor a specific pro­gram for the defense of Constitutional democracy.  Rather, they pre­sented a laundry‑list of complaints about both major parties; vague, worn‑out slo­gans like “no justice, no peace,” and “the people, united, shall never be defeated”; and, in no partic­ular order, a laundry‑list of specific “fix‑it” programs from “jobs for all” to “affordable housing for all,” all of which would cost much money.  But they offered no politi­cally via­ble program for raising it, saying only “tax the rich and cut military and prison spend­ing.”

In this environment, “The 15% Solution” worked to perfection. With nei­ther the Democratic Party or the left‑wing third parties offering via­ble, politi­cally attractive and salable alternatives to either then-pres­ent policy or the longer-term Right‑Wing Reactionary threat, voter turn‑out for a Presi­dential election fell to an all‑time low in the year 2000: 39% of regis­tered vot­ers, repre­senting 28% of the eligible vot­ers.  Former Sen­ator Pine won the Presi­dency with 53% of that vote, amounting to pre­cisely 15% of those eligi­ble, just as the original “Solu­tion” had called for.  With simi­lar voting outcomes, the 15% Solution also lead to the election of in­creased Republi­can majorities in both Houses  of  Con­gress.

Further, by this time almost all of the sitting Republicans had the endorse­ment of the Christian Coalition and openly espoused its political agenda.  That agenda, first presented in summary form in 1995 in a docu­ment called the “Contract on the American Family” (PFAW; Porteous) featured the so‑called “morality” issues, for example: termi­nat­ing freedom of choice in the outcome of pregnancy, mandating prayer in the schools, government support of reli­gious schools, banning sex education, denying the civil rights of homosexuals, and so forth.  At the same time, its writers were giving almost equal billing to the prima­ry interests of their major backers: further tax cuts, evermore deregu­lation of private economic activ­ity, ever‑freer rein to the reign of the profit‑driven “free market.”

In late 1994, with the prospect at that time of a Republican take­over of the Congress, the Coalition had briefly abandoned its primary focus on the “morality” agenda to concentrate on Right‑Wing economic is­sues, such as tax cuts for the wealthy (DNC, 2/13/95). (It is fascinat­ing that in his speech to the Republican National Convention in 1992, Pat Robertson had actually used the word “taxes” more than he had used the word “God.”)

But after the election of the Republican Congress in 1994, in the run‑up to the 1996 Presidential elections that began in early 1995, the Coalition made it clear that “morality” (in its sense of the term) would always come before economics (Edsall).  Since the Coalition controlled the core vote for the Republican Party, and showed that it could wield that control very effectively, every serious Republican Presidential can­didate from 1995 onwards put Christian Coalition‑type “morality” first, even if he or she didn’t really believe it.  Thus Pine’s heavy emphasis on the matter in the year 2000.  (Knowing that Pine wasn’t really one of theirs, his Chris­tian Co­alition supporters often referred to him in a term they had also used for  Bob Dole: “transitional President” [Judis].)

Actually, that sort of maneuvering for Right-Wing favor was noth­ing new for Re­pub­li­cans.  In 1980, George Bush was offered the Vice‑Presidential nomi­na­tion with the former Governor of California, Ronald Reagan, a deter­mined opponent of freedom of choice in the outcome of pregnan­cy. Bush and his wife had been life‑long supporters of an organization called Planned Parent­hood.  It provided sex educa­tion and elective pregnancy‑termination ser­vices across the country.  But Bush overnight switched to being an out‑spoken opponent of free­dom of choice.  And during his term as Presi­dent the majority of his vetoes, the high­est num­ber ever recorded by a one‑term President, were related to that issue.

Just like President George Bush, his Republican contemporary by age, Carnathon Pine had no real policy alternatives for governing the country and no concerted plan to turn the economy around other than “cut taxes and end government regulation, interference, and red tape.”  This ap­proach had already been tried under both Bush’s predecessor, Reagan, and his successor, the Bill Clinton/Newton Gingrich tandem.  (Newton Gingrich was the first Republican Speaker of the House of Representa­tives in the ’90s.)  It was, however, not a solution to, but a major cause of, problems.  But no one seemed to recognize that fact, or if they did, make much of it.

Although not a true believer himself, Pine had leaned heavily on the Religious Right for support.  Thus in his speeches he spent much time talking about “moral decay,” “turning away from God,” the “fail­ure of the family,” and (referring to the then still‑legal medical proce­dure elective termination of pregnancy before the time of fetal viability) the “slaughter of innocent children in the womb,” as the primary causes of the problems the country faced.  As has been pointed out previously, they were, of course, nothing of the kind.  But given the weak opposi­tion he faced, Pine was able to use the “moral decline” theme with great effectiveness.

The solution to the national problems that he proposed was “moral restoration as the savior of the nation.”  Although the slogan had a nice rhyming ring to it, it unfortunately had nothing real to offer in the way of problem‑solving.  Pine sought to get around that problem by focus­ing the “strategy” on one or two well‑defined areas of human behavior.  A promi­nent one for him was the use of the so‑called “illegal drugs,” primarily marijuana, heroin, and cocaine.

All of the “recreational drugs,” whether “legal” or “illegal,” were non‑medicinal chemical substances used to achieve various desired alter­ations of the conscious state.  (Such drugs often caused undesirable short‑ and long‑term outcomes as well.)  They ranged from from alco­hol through tobacco to cocaine.  (As is well‑known, today only those few of such substances that are relatively safe, unlike tobacco and alco­hol, are widely used.  The use of no psychoactive recreational drugs is promoted or adver­tised, of course, and all are sold only on a non‑profit basis.)

Some saw the issue of the use of the “illegal” drugs as a moral one, while others viewed it as one of the public’s health (alcohol and tobac­co use being responsible for over 25% of all deaths at the time).  But mor­al or health issue, following a traditional old politically‑based American prac­tice, government attempted to deal with the problem through the use of the criminal law.  (Today, of course, this approach just makes no sense.)  Thus, in the old United States all drug use was illegal, at least for some per­sons.  However, the laws were enforced differently for different drugs and different types of person (Jonas).  That reality creat­ed serious prob­lems of its own, beyond those created by the action of the recreational drugs on those individuals using them.

For example, the sale of tobacco and alcohol to underage persons was seldom the focus of criminal prosecution, the non‑prescription sale and use of prescription psychoactive drugs, also “illegal,” almost never.  However, in that national program called the “Drug War,” violations of the laws concerning the possession, distribution, sale, and use of the “illegals” were heavily en­forced—for certain persons.  Blacks and His­panics were much more likely than whites to be punished for violating such laws.

Although the “War on Drugs” had little effect on drug use, it did wreak havoc on the minority communities in which it was waged, and filled the pris­ons with (mainly minority) non‑violent drug offenders (Mauer and Huling).  And it was very useful politically.  Like Presi­dent Bush, President Pine knew that.  And so he set out to resurrect a strate­gy that had lain virtually dormant for the decade of the 90s.  Mo­bilizing the “mor­al imperatives,” Pine resolved to revitalize the “Drug War” by de­claring “The Real Drug War.”

“The Real Drug War” no more solved the problem of drug use/abuse as it was defined by Right‑Wing Reaction than did the origi­nal “Drug War,” prose­cuted with varying degrees of vigor by Republi­can Presidents from Nixon through Bush (Jonas).  But the idea was very effective politi­cally, just as its predecessor had been.  It created an ene­my, and that ene­my could conveniently be defined as black (even though the overwhelming majority  of  the users of illegal drugs were white).

More importantly, as we shall see, the “Real Drug War” was very signifi­cant in laying down the physical and psychological foundation for the coming Fascist Period.  Pine felt that the drug issue would be so useful to him politi­cally and institutionally that he devoted virtually his whole Inaugural Address to it.  We present the complete text of that address (one of the briefest in Pres­idential history) here.

The Inaugural Address of President Carnathon Pine, Jan. 20, 2001

Mr. Chief Justice, Madam Speaker, friends, my fellow Ameri­cans.  It is both a privilege and a burden for me to ap­pear before you in my new role today.  A privilege because no one can aspire to a higher office than the Presidency of our great, God‑blessed, land.  A burden, because after all of my years in the Senate, many of them spent criti­cizing Presidents for do­ing this and not doing that, I now have to try to do what I said all along they ought to be doing but weren’t.

But in all seriousness, it is a burden because I take over this awe­some responsibility at a time when our moral stock as a na­tion has sunk so low that it is hard to imagine it sinking any low­er.  The prob­lems of the econo­my, over‑stated by some, are real.  The problems in health care, in educa­tion, in getting the poor to bear some responsibil­i­ty for their own situation, in deal­ing with our still‑ballooning Federal deficit are real too.  But under­lying all of these is the fact that as a nation we have turned away from God.  We have turned our back on Him.

Of course I subscribe to our Constitutionally mandated protections of reli­gious freedom.  All of our cherised freedoms are built on provi­sions of the Constitution such as those protections.  But does that mean that there is an impenetrable wall of separation between church and state?  Does that mean that we must shun God in any public place or ceremony?  Does that mean that we must exclude religion from the public square?  I don’t be­lieve for a moment that it does.  And I pledge that this Adminis­tration will do ev­ery­thing in its power to re­store God to His right­ful place in our pub­lic life, within Constitution­al limits, of course.

And as we restore God to His rightful place in our public life, we must restore Him to His rightful place in our private lives as well.  For only by doing so can we recover from the depths of moral degen­eracy into which we have plunged by turning our backs on Him.

Everywhere we turn we see evidence of this, from the glori­fi­ca­tion by our liberal‑dominated media of the sexual act to the pro­motion of homo­sexuali­ty as a preferred way of life.  Some say that the series of natural disasters that has plagued our great land since Hurricane An­drew of 1992 is God’s way of telling us that we must reform before it is too late.

But perhaps there is no symbol of our moral decay more prom­i­nent than the use of drugs.  So powerfully do I feel this to be true, that it is to the use of illegal drugs and what the Pine Ad­ministration will do about it to which I will devote the rest of my address to you today.

Although these poisonous drugs, chief among them marijua­na, hero­in, and cocaine, have been illegal for many years, some of our people persist in their use.  Thus these people fall into what some would call a double sin: the sin of use and the sin of violat­ing the law.  As our great and re­vered first Drug Czar, Dr. Wil­liam Bennett, said way back in 1989 (Weinraub): “We identify the chief and seminal wrong here as drug use.  Drug use, we say, is simply morally wrong.”

President George Bush saw the problem with simple clarity (Pear): “Peo­ple think the problem in our world is crack, or sui­cide, or babies having babies.  Those are symptoms.  The dis­ease is moral empti­ness.

But in this case the immoral act of taking is compounded by the fact that that taking is a crime.  And so the taking of illegal drugs, to say noth­ing of their importation, distribution, and sale, must all be treated as all crime should be.  As once again Dr. Bennett said, oh so long ago (Mass­ing): “Those who use, sell, and traffic in drugs must be confronted, and must suffer conse­quences. . . .  We must build more prisons.  There must be more jails.”

So, as our nation descends into the slime of moral turpitude, it be­comes apparent that symbolic of that descent is the double sin of drug‑taking.  To destroy the sin and redeem ourselves from it calls for nothing short of War.

Now we have had drug wars in the past.  In fact President Bush and the revered Dr. Bennett did their best to launch a tru­ly effec­tive one.  But as we have seen so many times, they were thwarted in their efforts by the liberal do‑gooders and do‑nothings.  Well, I am an­nouncing today, as the first priority of this Administra­tion, The Real War on Drugs.  We are go­ing to do it, and this time we are going to do it right.

During the election campaign we promised you a Federal bud­get, in bal­ance, now, that will also deliver an across‑ the‑board 10% tax cut.  That was our number one prom­ise.  But as our first or­der of business, even before we submit that budget, we are going to send to the Con­gress our program for The Real War on Drugs.  Once and for all, we are going to solve this problem.  We are going to win this war.  We are going to begin the long and ardu­ous process of rescuing our nation from sin, and we are going to begin it right now.

The Real War on Drugs has three distinct arms.

1. Interdiction.  The lily‑livered ones of the last eight years sus­pended this operation telling us that it could never be done right.  Well, it simply never was done right.  We are going to do what­ever it takes to stop the growing of drugs in whichever coun­tries persist in growing them to poison our young people.

First, if it proves necessary, we will not hesitate to use our own mili­tary forces to destroy those drugs at their source.  Sec­ond, as proposed not too long ago by the Great One, Newt Gingrich, we are going to enact the death penalty for drug smug­glers.  As Mr. Newt once said (NYT):  “The first time we exe­cute 27 or 30 or 35 people at one time, and they go around Co­lombia and France and Thailand and Mexico and they say, ‘Hi, would you like to carry some drugs into the U.S.?’ the price of carrying drugs will have gone up dramatically.”

Furthermore, as proposed by the same fount of wisdom, we are going to modify the provisions these vermin will find wait­ing for them when they enter our criminal justice system: “They’d have once chance to ap­peal.  They wouldn’t have 10 years of playing games with the system.”

2. Street‑supply reduction.  The lily‑livered ones of the last eight years de‑emphasized the arrest and incarceration of the snakes and gutter‑rats who sell and use drugs on the street.  They told us that the effort was futile, that when one was sent to jail, another would always appear.  They told us too that the filling of our jails and prisons with non‑violent drug‑offenders just didn’t make sense, especially since it cost so much to build the prison beds we needed, and overcrowding kept vio­lent, non‑drug, crimi­nals on the street.

Well the other side was right—and it was wrong, unfortu­nate­ly dead wrong.  Mandatory sentencing for even non‑violent drug offenders is nec­essary if the message on drug use is to be clear.  At the same time, that practice does take up space in prisons which should be reserved for those violent wretches who prey so mercilessly upon on our citizenry.

And so, on abandoned military bases which are crying out for use, we are finally going to establish the chain of drug of­fender camps that Dr. Bennett and many other right‑thinking people have been calling for for so long. These camps are for punish­ment, yes, and well‑deserved punishment for the crime of drugs too.  But in the new spirit of redemption which is sweeping across our land, moral rehabilitation of these lost souls will be high on the agenda of the camps’ educational pro­gram.  In fact, the camps will be called “Moral Rehabilitation Centers.”

3. Finally, we are going to formalize in legislation the “drug ex­cep­tion” to our valued and traditional American protection of civil liberties, that “drug exception” which the Supreme Court, even when it was of that now‑discredited liberal persuasion, has been developing so assiduously in case law over so many years.

I should note that, determined to make our great country once again safe for right‑thinking Americans, our predecessors in the 104th Congress attempted to significantly weaken the so‑called “exclusionary rule” that had let so many criminals go scot‑free.[1] Like them, we cannot and will not allow slavish devotion to the discredited liberal interpretation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution to interfere with our efforts to once again make our streets safe for the true Americans among us.

Thus, once and for all we are going to put the “drug excep­tion” to the Fourth Amendment into the law.  And if those lib­eral op­ponents of every­thing that is right and good about God’s Amer­ica somehow succeed in getting that just law overturned in the courts, we will amend the Constitu­tion as necessary.[2]

4. Now, we have every confidence that these measures, none of them extreme, all of them measured to the need, will work.  But if by some chance they do not,  we will go further.  I want ev­eryone within the bor­ders of our great country and beyond who is any way connected with trafficking in or using the poi­sonous drugs of which we speak to be very clear about what I am about to say.

If the need arises, we will give very serious consideration to im­ple­menting a proposal that our esteemed colleague, Paul Weyrich, made back in 1990 when he spoke to Washington’s University Club on this subject (Stan).  At that time he “ad­vised Congress to declare an official war on drugs, so that drug users and dealers, once apprehended, could be denied their right of habeas corpus and held as prisoners of war, allowing for their inde­ter­mi­nate incarceration under the provisions of the Geneva Con­ven­tion.”

My friends, I am making The Real Drug War my first order of busi­ness, even as we begin the mammoth job of reordering the disor­der that has been dumped on our country during the last eight years.  I will be making the Real Drug War my first order of business with the Congress because this drug problem is indeed the most serious one our country faces today.

We can solve it, we must solve it, and we will solve it, with God’s help and with His blessing.  And God’s blessing we shall receive be­cause He will know that in fighting the mortal sin of drug use we are doing the Lord’s work.  We can only hope that the Lord will see this effort as the first step we are taking on the long road to national re­demption.

Good night, and may the God of Christ Bless you.

Author’s Note

It may interest the reader to know that as far as “Drug War” strate­gy was concerned, there was not a single original thought in the Pine speech.  (As we will see, this was a phenomenon that char­acterized both the think­ing and the speeches of most of the the fascist leadership throughout the Period.)  All of his program components could be found in all or in part in the work of such leading Right‑Wing Reactionaries and “Drug Warriors” as the ones to which he referred, Newton Gingrich and William Bennett, and less well‑known ones such as Peter Bensinger, Robert Bonner, Herbert Kleber, David Musto, Wil­liam Olson, and John Walters (Schumer).

The Supreme Court’s “drug exception” men­tioned by Pine is dis­cussed by Alex Poughton in his letter reproduced below.  Also as men­tioned by Pine, in 1995 the House of Representatives had passed a bill which would have signifi­cantly under­cut the provisions of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution by allowing warrantless searches in certain circumstances (Seelye).  Due to vari­ous legislative and judicial developments over the years, the measure had never been fully imple­mented.  Of course, as noted the controversy was ultimately brought to closure by repeal of the Fourth Amendment in its entirety in 2006.

Following is the first of the series of letters by the English journal­ist Alex Poughton that appear throughout this book.  You may recall from the Preface that for the London Sunday Times, throughout the Fascist Period Poughton reported on it under the heading “American Democra­cy.”  Con­sistent with the politics of the paper’s owner, Poughton’s pub­lished pieces tended to be more puffy than penetrating presentation and analysis.  His private views however, contained in letters to a mysteri­ous “Karl” and preserved in his li­brary, were some­thing else again.  And so we turn to the first of those re‑produced in this book, written shortly after the Pine Inau­gural.  For a jour­nalist, Poughton reveals a fairly sophisticated under­standing of the drug issue, among others.

An Alex Poughton letter

February 13, 2001

Dear Karl,

First let me note the quite remarkable fact that in his In­augu­ral Pine ad­dressed in no way, even from the Right‑Wing Reac­tionary perspec­tive he personifies, the real problems facing the country: the declining standard of living for most Americans; the increas­ing economic and personal insecuri­ty, both present and future, and the declining stan­dard of health care and educa­tion for most Americans; deindustrialization and the gradual crum­bling of the public infrastruc­ture; the ever‑growing cancer of racism; the ever‑growing intolerance for “difference.”  But then again, how could he, really?  It is the poli­cies of his party that ei­ther cause, abet, or exploit to the full for its own political purposes, all of them.

Turning to the side, thoroughly distractive, subject Pine did ad­dress, I know that you know my private fears about Pine’s “Real War on Drugs,” and I think, I hope, that you share many, if not most of them.  I also know that you know that given complete Republican control of the three branch­es of the American Federal government (capped off by a “fili-buster‑proof” majority in the US Senate) there is little hope of stopping the Right‑Wing onslaught, on drugs and every­thing else.

As you know only too well, I cannot write about any of my true views and feelings on these matters in my column and hope to keep my job.  Thus, as we have discussed, I have de­cided to commit some of my true thoughts to paper from time to time, in private to you, to have them on the written, if un­published, re­cord, at least.

It is strange but I suppose highly appropriate that Pine should choose to start off what is bound to be the most Right‑Wing Pres­iden­cy ever in the US with a renewed “War on Drugs.”  Of course, his “War” will be no more successful in reducing the use of those drugs against which it is aimed, marijuana, her­o­in, and cocaine, than the Bush‑Bennett, Reagan, Rockefeller, or Nixon versions were over the previous 30 years.  And of course like its predecessors, it fails to address those two “legal” drugs, tobacco and alcohol, which not only cause the vast ma­jority of drug‑use‑related illness and death in the U.S., but al­so, through their use by kids, lead to almost all use of the “illegals” in the first place.

(But heaven help the Right‑Wing Reactionaries if they were ever to go after the real drug demons in the United States, the tobacco and alcohol industries.  The Republicans actually go out of their way to protect those devils incarnate.  They have to.  They get too much in the way of cam­paign contributions and oth­er goodies not to.)

But, again like its predecessors, the “Real Drug War” is in any case not designed to deal with the real drug problem.  Like that of its pre­deces­sors, its primary purpose will be to reinforce politi­cal racism by framing the “drug problem” as a black one, when in reality 75% of illegal drug use is among non‑blacks.  And it will be useful for contin­uing to maintain a high level of drug‑trade, not drug‑use‑related, vio­lence in the black com­mu­ni­ties.  Among other things at this time, this violence will sap the strength from a black community which might otherwise be pre­pared to offer real resistance to the on‑coming fascist regime which as you know I see getting ever‑closer.

It amazes me, although I suppose it shouldn’t, that Pine is turn­ing back to programs that failed and failed badly the last time around: “mas­sive inter­diction” and “supply‑side strate­gies.”  Of course, it is the new ones he has added that have me the most worried.  First, the wild Gingrichian proposal for deal­ing “drug smug­glers.”  Then, the open sus­pension of civil liber­ties for drug deal­ers/users on the “drug exception” devel­oped over the years by the Supreme Court.  Remem­ber that fine pa­per by our mutual friend Steve Wisotsky (1992)?  Steve pointed out that over the years Supreme Court justices from left (Wil­liam O. Douglas) to right (Antonin Scalia) have been pre­pared to abrogate the Fourth Amend­ment when it came to drugs. Well, this now has become national policy.  Mark my word, as they say, it ain’t going to end here.

Then, the building of that string of camps advocated so many times over the years by so many “Drug Warriors.”  Now, add­ed to all of this is the new emphasis on (forced) “moral rehabil­i­ta­tion” under which the Right will finally get its chain of camps, on those aban­doned Army bases, just like Phil Gramm proposed back in the ’96 campaign (Berke).

Among other things this program will revive local employ­ment which had been eliminated by the “liberal campaign against the military,” and further build support for the “Real War on Drugs.”  In this way it will be very similar to the role played by prison construction in rural and semi‑rural areas in the 1980s and 1990s, creating that which what is left of the oppo­sition now calls the “prison‑industrial complex” (Davis).  Of course, you know what I think those camps (and all that wonderful local employment) are really going to be ultimately used for.[3]

I know, I know, I’m nothing but an alarmist.  As so many say, “the ge­nius of America is that somehow it always rights itself at the last mo­ment.”  Well, my friend, not this time, I’m afraid.

By the way, where are those so‑called “libertarians” of the Cato Insti­tute now that we need them?  I’ll tell you where.  As in 1995, after the Repub­licans first took control of Congress, so caught up are they in the “free‑market capital­ism/antigovern-ment/anti‑government regulation (of business)” act that Pine is going through, that just as the Milton Friedmans have always done, they are willing to overlook “a few limitations on civil lib­erties” in exchange for the enshrinement of the myth of the “free mar­ket.”

“Few limitations,” my foot.  Civil liberties in the US are go­ing, go­ing, soon‑to‑be‑gone, my friend, the soon‑to‑be‑gone American Civil Lib­erties Union to the contrary not withstand­ing.  But the “libertarians” will have their “free market,” which failed to work when Reagan gave it to them, and their “free­dom from govern­ment red‑tape,” which will just lead to ever­more degrada­tion of the environment, more white collar crime, more bankrupt­cy, and so on and so forth.  But once again, as is my wont as you know, I digress.

Thanks for bearing with me.  I hope, hope, hope, that I’m wrong about where this country is headed, but sadly I don’t think I am.

All the best, Sincerely, Alex.


Berke, R.L., “Amid Placards and Texas Pomp, Gramm Makes it Offi­cial,” New

York Times, Feb. 25, 1995.

Bond, R.N., The Republican Platform, 1992, Washington, DC: Republi­can

National Committee, 1992.

Davis, M., “Hell Factories In the Field,” The Nation, February 20, 1995, p. 229.

DNC: Democratic National Committee, The DNC Briefing, “Republican Agen­da,”

Feb. 13, 1995, p. 1.

Edsall, T.B., “Christian Coalition Threatens GOP,” Washington Post, Feb.1, 1995.

Hamill, P., “Send Them to Camp,” New York Magazine, Sept. 15, 1993.

Henneberger, M., “You Must Go Home Again,” New York Times, Feb­ruary 8, 1995, p. B1.

Jonas, S., “The Drug War: Myth, Reality, and Politics,” Connecticut Law Review,

27, No. 2, 1995, pp. 623 ‑ 637.

Judis, J.B., “Camp Bob,” The New Republic, December 11, 1995, p. 15.

Massing, M., “The Two William Bennetts,” The New York Review of Books, March 1, 1990, p. 29.

Mauer, M. and Huling, T., Young Black Americans and the Criminal Justice System, Washington, DC: The Sentencing Project, 1995.

NYT: New York Times, “Gingrich Suggests Tough Drug Measure,” Au­gust 27, 1995.

Pear, R., “Bush Pushes for Senator and Against Congress,” The New York Times,

Sept. 13, 1991.

PFAW: People for the American Way, Analysis of Christian Coalition Contract,

Washington, DC: June, 1995.

Porteus, S., “Contract on the American Family,” The Freedom Writer, June, 1995,

p. 3.

Schumer, C., “The 1993 National Summit on U.S. Drug Policy,” Thurgood

Marshall Federal Judiciary Building, Washington, DC, May 7, 1993.

Seelye, K.Q., “House Approves Easing of Rules on U.S. Searches,” New York Times, February 9, 1995, p. A1.

Stan, A.M., “Power Preying,” Mother Jones, Nov./Dec., 1995, p. 34.

Weinraub, B., “President Offers Strategy,” The New York Times, Sept. 6, 1989, pp. 1, B7.

Wisotsky, S., “A Society of Suspects: The War on Drugs and Civil Liber­ties,” Policy Analysis (Cato Institute, Washington, DC), No. 180,  Octo­ber 2, 1992.

Right‑Wing Watch, “Quotables,” Vol. 3, No. 12, Sept., 1993, p. 2.

[1] Author’s Note: Actually, in the mid‑90s a defendant’s claim of violation of the “exclusionary rule” by police lead to the failure of the prosecution’s case in only from 0.6% to 5% of the criminal cases of the time (Seelye).

[2] Author’s Note: The whole of the Fourth Amendment protecting all persons in the United States from unwarranted search and seizure was eventually re­pealed, by a provi­sion of the “Balancing Amendment” to the Constitution ratified in 2006 (see Chapter eight).

[3] Author’s Note: In the Transition Era, the “camps solution” was proposed by many observers for many problems.  And it was not the Right‑Wing reaction­aries alone who climbed on this bandwag­on.  President Bill Clinton endorsed the idea of “boot camps” for dealing with youthful offenders of all types.  A centrist colum­nist of the time, one Pete Hamill, proposed that to solve the problem of homelessness then plagu­ing the big cities, camps should be set for them in which both conven­tional education and “moral instruction” would be provided (Hamill).


The original edition of “The 15% Solution” is available on Amazon.com and on BarnesandNoble.com. The 2004 print-on-demand re-issue from Xlibris is also available on Amazon.com and on BarnesandNoble.com.  You will find a “Sub-Home Page” for the serialization at the lower right-hand corner of the Home Page for www.TPJmagazine.us.  It contains such items as the Disclaimer, cast of characters, author’s bio., cover copy, and several (favorable) reviews, and will have a full archive of all the chapters as they are published over time.  The serialization is also appearing on www.BuzzFlash.com, Dandelion Salad; The Greanville POST; and TheHarderStuff newsletter.

Jonathan Westminster and biography are based on a pseudonym.

Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) and author/co-author/editor of 30 books. In addition to being a Columnist for BuzzFlash, Dr. Jonas is also a Contributing Author for TPJmagazine; a Featured Writer for Dandelion Salad; a Senior Columnist for The Greanville POST; a Contributor to TheHarderStuff newsletter; a Contributor to The Planetary Movement; and a Contributing Columnist for the Project for the Old American Century, POAC.


The 15% Solution: A Political History of American Fascism, 2001-2022

“The 15% Solution,” Serialization, 2nd Installment: Chapter One

“The 15% Solution,” Serialization, 3rd Installment: Chapter Two

The 15% Solution