Governor, Rick Perry shocked the conservative universe with his January 24th surprise support for decriminalization of Marijuana. As Breibart.com put it, "Republicans have gone wimpy."
"Wimpy?" Try practical!
Governor Perry is acknowledging that the 50-year war on drugs has been, at best marginally effective, at worst, a failure. In Texas alone there has been a record number of arrests for possession. This has translated to millions spent on law enforcement. And, as Perry concluded, the majority of Texas and the country favors decriminalization.
"Shocked," might be a better word for it! That was Ana Yanez-Correa's word for it! Yanez-Correa is the Director of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, a non-profit advocacy group that favors drug treatment over incarceration for Marijuana possession.
Yanez-Correa said that she was impressed with Perry's courage. "Perry has gone through a shift; he's evolved. He represents the transition the state has gone through from being really, really tough to being more sensible about it."
Perhaps Perry is positioning himself for a 2016 Presidential run. While he has always opposed outright legalization of Marijuana, he has made it clear that the final decision belonged to the individual state. This past Friday,Perry repeated his assertion.
In Perry's view, "Marijuana legalization, abortion and same sex marriage" should be decided by the individual state. States should set their own policies. "Then," as he surmised,"people will decide where they want to live."
"I am a staunch supporter of the 10th amendment." Perry explains. In effect, the federal government should not interfere with the laws of individual state.
Has Perry moved toward the proverbial center? Not really. In fact, he has done something that should have already been done: He has drawn a line in the sand, firing the first salvo in Republicans' quest to "define conservatism."
In a previous post, we referenced Kentucky Senator, Rand Paul's definition of "Constitutional Conservatism" and "New Conservatism." As Paul defined, "New Conservatists(Neo-Cons) support a large central government" with a purpose "to advance and facilitate conservative principles."
"Constitutional Conservatives," such as Rick Perry, support a "strict constructionist" interpretation of the Constitution. In other words, if the 10th amendment never referenced Marijuana, abortion or same sex marriage as the duty of the federal government, then it must be individual states' responsibility.
To many stalwart conservatives, Perry must, in actuality, be a liberal. Perhaps. But, it this is the conclusion, the same distinction should be applied to Thomas Jefferson.
Many conservatives have become so enmeshed in Neo-Con doctrine that they have turned their back on our original founders perception of America. What would Jefferson and James Madison have said about these questions?
Obviously, Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein and Charlie Schumer view the Constitution from the standpoint of "are you kidding!" But what about supposed conservatives? Do they really harbor a paradigm that is significantly different?
In a April 2013 post, we examined the century old Communist argument. There is mounting evidence that Neo-Cons are evolved Trotskyites. Thus, the perception that conservatism must originate from Washington D.C. is really a smoke screen for "big government is the best government."
In Texas, Perry took a long look at the result of the war on drugs, Marijuana specifically and concluded that arrests and convictions for possession wasn't the answer. Give him credit for admitting the inevitable! It comes from the wisdom that most true conservatives support his position.
This steadfast strength and courage is precisely why Rick Perry can be elected President in 2016. He realizes that most party Dogmatics have been unknowingly seduced by Neo-Con ideology. Yet the majority of Republicans, not to mention Americans are with him.
The standard Neo-Con position would suggest that Washington mandate, "Marijuana possession should be a crime from coast-to-coast. Period! Never mind what residents in that state might decide!"
Rick Perry is not a child of privilege. He grew up on a farm in a tiny West Texas town, in a family of limited means. He has always been a man of the people. In his travels throughout the state, he quietly took their pulse. A desire for more practical marijuana laws surfaced.
The Texas preference may be different from that in Colorado, Alabama or New York. But in Perry's(and almost certainly Jefferson's) opinion, the decision should be made in Denver, Mountgomery or Albany.
Not in Washington, D.C.!