That statement is from a letter in today's Laconia Daily Sun by Don Ewing, a frequent letter writer in support of the Tea Party. The context of the letter was about our ongoing drug addiction problems and his vision of how to solve it. He was writing in response to another letter writer.
Ewing's answers to drug addiction are not only bizarre , but frightening. "drug use and addiction (with some exceptions) are self-induced problems deserving of the same sympathy that an orphan, who killed his parents, deserves." Is that the official Tea Party position?
His answer was simply to reduce demand along the lines of the anti cigarette smoking efforts.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the cost of tobacco and alcohol abuse is over a half trillion dollars, nearly three times that of illicit drug use. Fixing the tobacco " demand" problem has not really worked out so well. Of course the data comes from a ".Gov " source not a trusted Tea Party site, so it can't be taken seriously, right?
In his mind, the reason the problem has not been solved is "Because politicians and special interests are okay with people dying as long as they keep their power." No Don, they are not. I don't believe for a second that politicians, even those I vehemently disagree with, are that callous. Your cynicism is palpable.
The problems are complex. Billions of dollars are being spent trying to solve it or at least stem the tide, but Ewing's final conclusion is a political one, not a rational one based upon real facts and a genuine understanding of the root causes. "Americans who want to prevent lives being destroyed by drugs should change their own attitudes and elect politicians who share the attitude that every effort and every tool must be used to eliminate demand for illegal drugs." I would offer that politics has not only not fixed this problem, but is one of the reasons it has gotten worse. Mistrust of anything to do with government at every level, extremist viewpoints, failure to come to the table to reach a compromise has undermined this countries ability to solve it's problems. It is also rather strange that a Tea Party proponent who seeks less government is looking to the government for the solution.
By the way, we actually do have a national strategy to combat drug abuse and addiction." The Obama Administration’s first National Drug Control Strategy, published in 2010, charted a new course in efforts to reduce illicit drug use and its consequences in the United States. Science has shown that a substance use disorder is not a moral failing but rather a disease of the brain that can be prevented and treated. Informed by this basic understanding, the annual Strategies that followed have promoted a balance of evidence-based public health and safety initiatives."
If we continue to believe that drug abuse and addiction are " self-induced" problems, and to treat it with the " same sympathy that an orphan, who killed his parents, deserves" we are doomed to failure. We do need to use every tool and means at our disposal, but let us also apply some common sense and use the right tools and address the real causation. This is one issue that should unite us. Mr. Ewing's commentary seeks to further divide us.