The War on Cannabis: Who Loses, Who Benefits?

The War On Cannabis: Who Loses, Who Benefits?

From the day of its inception, the War on Cannabis has been a disaster for America. It has played a fundamental role in the architecture for the larger War on Drugs. Considered as a whole, this war can fairly be described as a generationally evolving series of wasteful and ineffective policies. In attempting to regulate the legislative needs and desires of mankind, the United States government has caused great harm to be done, in terms both of the law and of medical recourse to help for pain. It is a classic case of the old cliché, a treatment worse than its “disease”. Crimes have been committed in the name of fighting crime. Resources have been massively wasted. The futures of millions have been ruined in the eyes of the law. The question of why remains sobering in its implications. Anti-cannabis legislation was ostensibly created to safeguard the public and keep cannabis from menacing its health, but its effects have done more damage than the act their purpose was to prevent.

The question of whether the herb’s use constitutes a peril to public safety is a real concern. It is only logical for people to pay attention to alerts regarding something that might affect their health. As alerts on the matter have been so often raised, it is only natural for people to have health concerns about drugs, including cannabis. In a Health, Risk, and Safety article titled Cannabis, risk, and normalization: Evidence from a Canadian study of socially integrated, adult cannabis users, we are told that evidence pointing to the harmfulness of cannabis use has never been more abundant (213). Public concern is still highly prevalent, and many experts remain unconvinced that cannabis should be considered safe.

Whether that is true is not the issue here, however. We note only that widespread panic about cannabis was not scientifically based. The issue was never raised by the medical community of the United States. The Medical Science Monitor informs us that cannabis was routinely prescribed by American physicians. It enjoyed legal status in the United States until 1937. This is when U.S. legislature passed the first federal law against cannabis – the Marihuana Tax Act. Empirical approaches to solving the problem of cannabis addiction kept proving it was not a problem. The American Medical Association did not support the new law, and their advice was belittled and ignored. Science was not on the side of the anti-cannabis crusaders. Other rationales were needed and were manufactured where they could not be found.

The approach of the new Threat or Menace campaign was exemplified in Reefer Madness, the famous anti-cannabis public alert movie released in 1936. Self-described cannabis journalist Matthew Green paints a wild yet perfectly accurate picture of its contents in his article “Reefer Madness! The Twisted History of America’s Marijuana Laws.”. The movie exhibits an insane “reefer addict” portrayed in maniacal relief, smoking his way to murder as he enjoys the frenetic tunes of a piano-playing hostage. This law was based on artificially manufactured moral panic, as opposed to sound law or science. It was eventually discarded as being unconstitutional (Leary v. United States, 1969), but not before it set the foundation for the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which was far more comprehensive than the old law, although it continued to rely on selective or pseudoscience and public disinformation.

The tone of the new policy was set from the start by the prejudices of Anslinger, which was to prove disastrous for the cannabis community. Laura Smith, the managing editor at Timeline, paints an unforgiving picture of Anslinger in her piece “How A Racist Hatemonger Masterminded America’s War on Drugs”. He is shown there to be a xenophobic, culturally intolerant, and deeply racist man, one who used his power arbitrarily and in the worst ways. His power over his bureau, and over the anti-cannabis campaign, was completely unilateral. Historian John C. McWilliams stated in his book aboutAnslinger, The Protectors,“ Anslinger was the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (2).” His ideas about the existing social order laid the foundation for the policies he would set. He had a simple goal, but one that was far-reaching in its implications; a one-man crusade to protect American values as he saw them. His worldview held that change was coming too fast, and the anti-cannabis crusade provided him with a high-powered excuse to slow it down. The next step was to use this bitter project to hamstring progressive causes and people by making crimes out of acts that were not criminal. In this way, Anslinger laid the groundwork in place for an endemic legal injustice.

Racism was inherent in the new legislature. The approach was displayed by the confusion caused by a new word for cannabis, “Marihuana” (The more common spelling now is Marijuana) The Tax Act was named after this incorrect term, used as an associative trick based on racism and phonetics. It worked because the word sounded Mexican. Mexicans were unpopular and mistrusted, so tying public perceptions of the plant to Mexican immigrants was an easy way to scare white America. The FBN also targeted jazz musicians and lied about them without remorse. They created images of insane, weed-stinking black men on an unending quest for mayhem and white women; these also did nothing to set Caucasian minds at ease. Racial fear has always been a historically effective way to goad America’s ethnic majority off the path of common sense and decency. The War on Cannabis stands out as a noteworthy example of this tendency.

Shortly before the MTA was passed, a new governmental organization, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, was created to deal with the growing problem of drug addiction in America (Deitsch). Its first commissioner Harry J. Anslinger discarded science and medicine with glee. “Doctors,” he said, “cannot treat addicts, even if they want to.” He chose instead to call for “tough judges not afraid to take killer-pushers and throw away the key.” FBN techniques developed to disseminate the new way proved effective, allowing Anslinger’s perspective to set the tone for subsequent anti-cannabis legislation. Anslinger was a skillful administrator, and he had resources. His ideas caught on and manifested physically in the dehumanizing propaganda used by the FBN to scare anti-cannabis legislature past Congress. The aftershocks of FBN anti-cannabis disinformation are ubiquitous even today, living proof of the program’s success. Celebrating openly a pro-cannabis lifestyle is still enough to get you targeted. It’s easy to get busted, it’s hard to get a job. The way society perceives the users of cannabis today still comes largely from stereotypes based on exaggerated caricatures created during this era. These unfair and cartoonish notions have evolved and generalized over the years, becoming institutionalized as more people became invested in them. They have been used to degrade and delegitimize progressive causes and their advocates.

The propaganda employed by the FBN had been successful, so much so that it started a genuine public panic, and people were demanding that something be done. This gave Anslinger both the lawful right, and the means to pound his enemies into the ground. He was not long in finding his first sacrificial lamb. The first victim of the new policy was selected in 1937, just after the new law took effect. A draconian sentence of four years in prison for an ounce of weed was handed down to Samuel L. Caldwell of Boulder, Colorado. A precedent of insane harshness was set that endured in American courtrooms to this very day. It added greatly to the foundation of the original architecture of the greater War on Drugs, as conceived of and created by President Richard Nixon’s administration.

The Nixon era vigorously continued the judicial legacy of brutality applied to the cannabis community. Like Harry Anslinger had forty years prior, the administration targeted cannabis because its occupants knew liberals could be legally hamstrung as a consequence for using it. The concept was strategic, and its straightforward goal was the same as in the past-to keep conservatives in power at any cost. Neither fair play nor the health of democracy was considered, freedom was injured, and the resultant degradation of our system worked to the detriment of all Americans, whether they smoke pot or not. Chief Nixon White House adviser John Ehrlichman came to some of the same conclusions later in life. He spoke out frankly on the subject to Dan Baum of Harper’s Magazine years after the impeachment of Nixon. He laid out flatly their motives for taking aim at cannabis.

“Look, back in ’68, we had two enemies, you get me? The antiwar left, and the blacks. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be against the war, and we couldn’t make it illegal to be black. But by heavily penalizing the use of marijuana and heroin, we were able to disrupt
those communities. We were able to bust up their meetings, raid their offices, vilify them night after night on the evening news… Did we know we were lying about the drugs themselves? Of course we did.”.

Nixon’s work was built upon famously by the next Republican administration, that of Ronald Reagan. First Lady Nancy Reagan’s iconic “Just Say No” commercial typified the new approach, which was just like the old approach, but newly equipped with a spiffy slogan. In pursuing the anti-cannabis campaign, the Reagan administration was zealous in their willingness to apply suppression through the courts to the cannabis community. A TIME Magazine article from 1988 gives us a look at how it was. “The Reagan Administration calls its new drug policy ‘zero tolerance,’ meaning that planes, vehicles, and vessels may be confiscated for carrying even the tiniest amount of a controlled substance.” It goes on to tell the story of a captain whose boat was seized for a tenth of an ounce of cannabis. Things were so bad during that time for users of the herb that the case can hardly be overstated. Ardor for the arts of slander and libel grew in the government to an extent that left little room for conspiracy theories. Every possible medium was employed to spread Just Say No. Commercials, posters, the sides of buses. School programs like DARE, which stood for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, ensured that no young mind in America could miss the point. The net effects of all the anti-drug campaigning proved to be the same as in the past-untouched and rising rates of use, and black and poor people receiving disproportionately long sentences for small amounts of weed.

Subsequent presidents such as Bill Clinton were left with little choice but to compete with Reagan’s paternalistic style of law and order, and so the status quo remained intact. It was not until the election of Barack Obama that the prerequisite conditions for the monumental decision of 2012 legalizing recreational cannabis in the first two American states, Oregon and Washington, were met at long last. There is no doubt that it was a monumental decision. It represented the reversal of a hundred years worth of American legal policy and a tremendous amount of human struggling. The change, by that point, had been nearly a century in coming. Cannabis laws have been hamstringing the left for that entire time and they still are. Improvements have come, but they are highly incomplete. The threat of things reverting to their former miserable state overshadows all the progress that has been made in this area. Realization of the harm caused in the cannabis prohibition era has been highlighted in the nation’s modern consciousness. More and more people are coming to see how important it is to prevent the reassertion of the destructive and unfair status quo.

The history of the War on Cannabis is representative of a great many other social ills inside American life. The racist, reactionary, right-wing attitudes that created the original campaign are still alive and well in modern American jurisprudence. In the name of punishment and the spirit of human sacrifice, medical science has been stymied and suppressed, people have been ruined and jailed, and our prison system has been afflicted to the point where it has poisoned our political system. It is, simply stated, a historical and ongoing eyesore. Change has come but is far from secure, and a great deal of harm remains unaddressed.

Works Cited

ACLU ProCon.org, 2009. Leary v. United States 
	https://aclu.procon.org/view.background-resource.php?resourceID=003427
Bonnie, Richard J., Whitebread, Charles H., 1974. “The Marijuana Conviction: A History of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States.” 
	https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=185042  
Dagen, Chelsea, 2017. The Distortion of Drugs: War, Discrimination, and Profit.
	https://vc.bridgew.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi 
Deitsch, Robert, 2003. “Hemp: American History Revisited- The Plant With A Divided History.”
Vdocuments.mx, vdocuments.mx/documents/hemp-american-history-revisited-the-plant-with-a-divided-history.html.
Dickinson, Tim, 2016. “Why America Can't Quit The Drug War.” 
	https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/why-america-cant-quit-the-	drug-war-	47203/
Downs, David, 2016. “The Science behind the DEA's Long War on Marijuana.”
	www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-science-behind-the-dea-s-long-war-on-	marijuana/.
Duff, Cameron, Erickson, Patricia G., 2014. “Cannabis, risk, and normalization: Evidence from a Canadian study of socially integrated, adult cannabis users.”		
Glick, Daniel, 2016. “80 Years Ago This Week, Marijuana Prohibition Began With These Arrests.” 
	https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/drug-war-prisoners-1-2-true-story-moses-	sam-two-	denver 
Green, Matthew, 2008. “Reefer Madness! The Twisted History of America’s Marijuana Laws.”
	https://www.kqed.org/lowdown/24153/reefer-madness-the-twisted-history-of-	americas-weed- laws-
King, Ryan, Mauer, Mark, 2006. "The war on marijuana: The transformation of the war on drugs in the 1990s."
Komp, Ellen, 2011. “Mark Twain's Hasheesh Experience in San Francisco.” 
	https://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Mark-Twain-s-hasheesh-experience-in-S-	F-	2328992.php
Jennifer Robeson, 2002. “Who Smoked Pot? You May Be Surprised.”
	https://news.gallup.com/poll/6394/who-smoked-pot-may-surprised.aspx
Smith, Laura, 2018. “How A Racist Hatemonger Masterminded America’s War on Drugs.” 

Millennials, Cannabis, and the Opioid Epidemic- Leave Them Kids Alone!

#SaveOurChildren

While speaking to a bewildered crowd in western Pennsylvania on Saturday, Donald Trump went on a rant about solving the opioid epidemic, by giving drug dealers the death penalty. Not for the first time, either. The situation typifies Trump’s inane and ridiculous thinking. The situation is as lethal as can be already.

If our government wants to solve the opioid epidemic, we think that’s great. We believe it can make some big changes, and we would like to give its members some advice. We feel qualified to do so, as drug laws have ravaged our entire generation. The opioid epidemic has hit millennials and their baby boomer parents the hardest.

It’s high time for America to have this conversation.

Millennial Democrats talked to over a hundred millennial drug addicts to do this piece. Based on their stories, we have come to the following conclusions.

First off, let us have our weed. Quit locking people up for weed. Quit administering urine tests for weed. It’s the legal system that is destroying lives because of cannabis, not cannabis destroying lives.

Many people rely on marijuana, to help them get through their daily lives with greater efficiency and happiness in their work.

Cannabis is a great cure for boredom. It makes all kinds of things interesting. Rather than Ritalin or amphetamine, many people our age have found it helpful for the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder, a disease they said we had. If it wasn’t for the unfair legal restrictions people in the industry face, studies proving its efficacy would have filled up many journals long ago.

In short, cannabis is not the problem; just the opposite. It’s been a help to the human race for thousands of years.

The problem comes in when the person and his cannabis first come into contact with the law.

Picture this: One day, you’re a bright-eyed college kid, getting straight A’s and looking forward to what to all appearances will be a very bright future. You’ve got a progressive set of values and a live-and-let-live sort of attitude, and so you can be counted on to reliably vote Democratic.

The next day, you’re in a car that gets pulled over, and you get searched and your weed is found.

Next thing you know, you’re in jail. Around killers and child molesters, bank robbers and woman beaters like Corey Lewandowski. Every minute is a torture, your self-respect is shattered forever, and you never stop feeling like a second-class citizen again- nor will society ever let you.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that this state of affairs came about for a reason. It’s a very easy way for the right to hamstring the left.

The War on Drugs, although commonly associated with Ronald and Nancy Reagan, was actually Richard Nixon’s creation. It was developed and refined as a strategy to hamstring the lives of voters who Nixon saw as reliably Democratic, according to White House tapes.

Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman said, “We had two enemies- the antiwar left, and the blacks.  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 themselves? Of course we did.”

Returning to our scenario, after some amount of time your sentence in jail is over, and they eventually let you out. Having committed the unthinkable outrage of destroying your life over a harmless and helpful plant, they now proceed to tell you that this was done for your own good and that in fact you owe them money, to cover the costs of your own correction and your ongoing criminal supervision, known generally as probation or parole.

Who’s the criminal, in this scenario? The man, or the State?

This bill will include the cost of your urinalysis.

Thank God, you think. I’m finally out. Time to smoke a fat one, so you do. The pungent cloud of smoke in the room combined with some good friends and music almost makes it possible for you to forget, for a second, the manner in which they defiled you.

The next day, you follow the instructions given to you at the county jail, and you go to see your parole officer. Upon arrival, they give you a strange-looking cup and tell you to pee in it.

Your pee is then sent off to a laboratory somewhere, where a demon in a lab coat will examine it using tungsten-filament lights to see what chemicals are floating around in your fluids.

If the byproducts of cannabis alkaloids are found there, you will receive an unpleasant phone call from your P.O. and you’ll be called back in to discuss it.

It’s not until you get there that you realize what is really going on. It wasn’t just that one time you had to go to jail for. You can’t just resolve not to have weed on you anymore.

They actually expect you not to smoke it. Period. And if you ever do smoke weed again, back to jail you go.

Leaving their office, your world in a shambles, you take a moment to reflect. You have no idea what you’re going to do. You’ve been smoking weed every day for years. It’s part of who you are. You think of trying to get through your daily life with nothing, and you shudder deep to your core.

It is at this moment that you start to look around for substitutes. Soon, they find that the drugs that get you closest and leave your system the fastest, are opioids.

There seems to be something about Vicodin. Everybody started out on Vicodin. Oxys are too strong, at first, and of course the very last thing on your mind is doing heroin.

You’ve been around for long enough to know that the gateway drug theory is a lot of crap. You’d always vowed to prove it with your own life. So although the big H is too hardcore for you, something like a Tylenol 3 or a Vicodin seems just right.

But now, you’re finding out something else unpleasant. Unlike weed, which has essentially the same effect every time, you find out very quickly that the Vicodin you took yesterday worked a lot better than the one you took today. So you take two, and the next day three, and then you get yet another nasty surprise.

Unlike weed, which you could smoke or not smoke according to how you were feeling and what you had going on, you find out pretty quick that your new friend insists that you use him according to a schedule, or he’ll make you sick. Very sick.

One day you wake up and you realize that Vicodin no longer works at all. But your doctor has the answer. OxyContin. You’ve been artificially forced down the road to the gateway drug theory.

Furthermore, when you tell this to the doctor, he takes them away from you and labels you an addict. He has no choice since if you mess yourself up on them past a certain point, HE can go to prison.

All but beside yourself, you leave his office shaking your head. You have no idea what you’re going to do now. You think of taking your own life. You know that many do commit suicide rather than face the prospect of more unbearable pain and sickness.

You decide to get some coffee at the corner store. The blunt wraps on the counter remind you of the good old days before the government decided you were sick and needed curing. When you step back outside and hit the corner, someone is standing there. He looks at you knowingly, and asks you, with compassion in his eyes, “You sick, man?”

In the palm of his hand are the corners of baggies, with tiny amounts of heroin resting in each.

After a while, you get off probation or parole, or you get so many dirty UA’s that you’re sent back to prison, and you’re set loose from there, but it’s never the same again. You are strung out, and your head is messed up. The brightness of your eyes is gone, and there is nothing that anyone can do to put it back there.

The days when you could just smoke weed to get by are gone. Distant as the dinosaurs. You give the just-weed diet a shot for a little while, but by this point, most of the guys you’d smoked blunts with are all gone too, either in the system like you are or diverted back into society. There’s no one left to smoke with. Not anymore.

Thankful to be out, you relax at home and prepare a well-deserved fix, but you forget that your tolerance has reset itself after all that time behind bars.

As soon as you hit that plunger, that drug hits you, hard. You think to yourself, I might be in trouble here, but you feel so good you just sort of forget to breathe. You have overdosed and you are drifting quickly into unconsciousness. Your mother sees your lips turning blue on the toilet and tries to revive you, but by the time the ambulance comes, it’s already too late.

The bright-eyed college student you were will never think anything again.

The drugs of the future are here today. Dreaded heroin is no longer the king of the opioid pyramid. Fentanyl is eighty times more potent than morphine, milligram for milligram. Recently an analogue drug called Carfentanyl has been making the rounds.

Carfentanyl is ten thousand times as strong as morphine.

A kilogram of it was seized coming across the border from Canada last year. It was more than enough to overdose the entire population of the United States.

More Americans died of drug overdoses in 2016 than died in the entirety of the Vietnam War — the result of the US’s opioid epidemic.

Recently Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the company who originally patented that miracle of a wonder drug OxyContin, closed a number of its Oxy factories and stopped instructing doctors to push them on people.

It’s twenty years too late for that. Even fifteen years ago, it was already too late. Heroin use in America reached an all-time high in 2003 and has steadily gotten worse ever since. By 2014 it had tripled.

By this point, the opioid epidemic is like a wildfire, spreading across the land, completely out of control. It will burn and burn until its fuel is gone, and the people in charge do not really understand this. They do not understand that what is fueling this epidemic is not the supply of the drugs, but the demand for them. 

The demand for drugs is caused by pain. Most of us are feeling too much of it so that a very few might feel a bit less.

American income inequality has skyrocketed over the last 30 years, as costs have risen while wages have stagnated for the middle- and lower classes.

Those who perceive all this taking place and refuse to participate are treated as criminals and pariahs and sent down the road of our John Doe Millennial. In 2016 there were 1,572,579 arrests for drug law violations.

Until Americans cease to be treated like cattle by their billionaire neighbors anymore, cattle who own nothing and are entitled to nothing, there is always going to be a lot of pain. Where there is pain, there will be people seeking help for pain. The only way to remove that pain is to lighten the burdens of the people.

In order for that to happen, power must be wrested from the parasites and given to those who are motivated by that merciful goal. There is only one hope for a cure for the opioid epidemic, and it doesn’t involve the death penalty.

Vote blue.

How The GOP Grew Gangrenous- From Nixon to Trump, Pt. 5

“Richard Nixon is a no good, lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time.”
-Harry Truman

Is it fair to start with Checkers?

In 1952, a young Senator from California named Richard Nixon was tapped to become the running mate of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Muckraking columnist Jack Anderson and investigative journalist Drew Pearson wrote an article about money that Nixon might have taken from corporate interests during his tenure thus far in government, where he had served in the Congress since 1947.

In response to this claim, Nixon crafted and delivered his famous “Checkers speech,” in which he decried his opponents and stated that no matter what anyone said, he would not return his daughters’ dog, Checkers, which had been given to them as a gift. In Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson and the Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture, professional correspondent Mark Feldstein gives a useful analysis of how that went over with the people.

“That resonated emotionally with the public, and a huge base — particularly of hard-core Republican conservatives — swelled to his defense and pressured Eisenhower to keep Nixon on the ticket,” Feldstein explains. “Meanwhile, liberal Democrats were nauseated by it and thought it was a maudlin speech. And the polarization that Nixon’s career would have ever after was indelibly marked.”

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Richard Nixon with his daughter’s dog, Checkers.

Thus did Richard Nixon embark upon his road to the White House. Many books have been written as to how he spent his time there, and it is not our purpose to touch on it deeply. Our interest rather lies in what effect it had on our system, to have weathered an assault on its every parameter. The Nixon administration treated America like an old Commodore 64.

Nixon’s failings were tempered and intertwined with great political gifts and considerable vision. His judgement was uneven and delusional, but he had a keen and nimble mind. In penetrating to the core of our system, he was to lay bare the groundwork of it, and expose key vulnerabilities to the light. This paved the way for a systematic undermining and devaluing of truth and objectivity.

Nixon went down in something rather less than a blaze of glory. The affair that became known as the Watergate scandal was a major political fiasco that occurred in the United States in the early 1970’s. Several Nixon operatives were caught attempting a break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., on June 17, 1972.

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The Watergate Complex

The articles of impeachment drawn against him did not consider the break-in itself to be of primary importance in the reason why Nixon had to go. They focused rather on the tyrannical and power-hungry way he’d tried to cover it up. The first two of them read as follows.

(1) Making or causing to be made false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employes of the United States.

(2) Withholding relevant and material evidence or information from lawfully authorized investigative officers and employes of the United States

He was convinced to resign by the four-star general sent in to be his chief of staff toward the end of his tenure in office, Alexander Haig, who played the role that his fellow four-star general John Kelly is playing in the Trump White House now. As Nixon became increasingly paranoid and miserable, Haig ran the daily affairs of the White House, and was instrumental in effecting the president’s resignation. It can only be hoped that Kelly will have similar luck.

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Alexander Haig

The legacy of the deleterious effects of the Nixon era on our democracy cannot be overstated. He had his fingerprints all over the most fundamentally anti-democratic projects ever put together in America, such as the Enemies List. This was the roster of famous liberals targeted by Nixon for IRS audits and other forms of extralegal retaliation. His smear campaigns against his likely 1972 opponent, Senator Edward Kennedy, were reminiscent in many key regards to the fake news attacks on our people last year.

The elimination of the American people’s ability to think critically has had many an epoch. It is certain that a large one took place under Nixon, who in one famous speech toward the end, insisted to America that he was “not a crook.” That statement proved sadly untrue. Nixon was a crook, and his crookedness has reverberated clearly into our own times.

By now it should be getting pretty clear. This new GOP, the one that came to power after the death of John F. Kennedy, was not at all the same entity we’ve been looking at up until now. In the days of Eisenhower, much less in the days of Theodore Roosevelt, this kind of conduct would have been unthinkable. Even Warren Harding, corrupt as a Chinese eunuch, was a far more genial type of criminal. Nixon’s era was vicious.

That ferocity came directly from the fascist element that absorbed into America and Europe after World War Two. It values nothing, except the will to power. It values power as both the ends and the means. Ideology is unimportant to it, but is often employed as its tool.

G. Gordon Liddy, one of the Watergate burglars who went to prison for it, wrote an autobiography and named it WILL. It sings the praises of Hitler and the Nazis on every page. He presents an anecdote inside as to how he silenced an entire D.C. county jail pod, by standing around naked and singing the Horst Wessel song.

This is why they’re getting together with Russia. It’s the same group of guys. The Russia of the modern era is fascist in every regard. Like other fascists, they are intent on controlling the resources of the world. They have picked up and adapted these ratf*cking strategies, included them in their disinformation programs, and used them to destabilize us last year in the very same way the CIA once used to destabilize Third World countries like Haiti and Nicaragua. We have been systematically prepared for this, like Hansel and Gretel, by the dirty work done by Richard Nixon and others.

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Richard Nixon, enjoying his uncrookedness.

The Nixon era is also when the Republicans most directly involved in the 2016 Russian election hacking fiasco started crafting their modern mask in earnest. Guys like Roger Stone, the soon-to-be-indicted Paul Manafort, and Karl Rove all got their start during this time. Their mentors were the men who ran the Nixon administration, a place overflowing with competing monsters. All of these were deeply complicit in last year’s ongoings with the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin.

Donald Segretti, the Nixon operative who coined the term “ratf*cking”, as in, “F*cking a DemocRAT”, played his role, did his prison time, and lived an unimportant life thereafter. However, Karl Rove, the GOP strategist whom George W. Bush referred to as “The Architect”, was a personal protege of his. Rove was already a deeply corrupt and ruthless person, even at nineteen. 

In 1969, posing as a volunteer at the Chicago campaign headquarters of Alan Dixon, a Democrat running for state treasurer, Rove stole official campaign letterheads, and sent out 1,000 invitations to people in the city’s red-light district and soup kitchens, offering “free beer, free food, girls, and a good time for nothing” at Dixon headquarters. A bunch of crazed alcoholics showed up at this important fundraiser for Dixon.

 Although Dixon still won the election, Rove succeeded in significantly disrupting it. Later, Rove said, “I got involved in a political prank.” Pranks of that nature made him useful to the Republicans all the way through the decades between Nixon and George W. Bush. The crimes and techniques of their generation were transmitted seamlessly to ours.

Policies such as the War on Drugs were developed and refined during these decades. Although this war on the American people is more commonly associated with Reagan, Nixon was the first to use the phrase. It was designed as a strategy to hamstring the lives of voters who Nixon saw as reliably Democratic, according to White House tapes.

Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman said, “We had two enemies- the antiwar left, and the blacks.  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 themselves? Of course we did.”

Reagan’s continuation of this so-called ‘war’ was meant to heighten racial tensions for the benefit of the Republican Party. This was a linchpin of the “Southern Strategy” conceived by Lee Atwater, whom most political observers of both parties rate as the dirtiest political strategist of the twentieth century. Voting rights, food stamps, and even madhouses were all taken away from the people. This was effective because the aforementioned white malcontents like to see other people get the shaft- at any cost. They’ve been taught to accept this as a substitute for a decent lot in life since before the Civil War.

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Lee Atwater’s Southern Strategy
The Republicans were able to use the McGovern-Fraser Commission ruling to their advantage, time and again. They became quite adept at handpicking their opponents. Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, and Michael Dukakis were all considered weak candidates by Republican National Committee officials. Although Carter did manage to unseat the incumbent, former vice president to Nixon Gerald Ford, Carter would not likely have been elected, had the GOP post-Nixon not been so hated that Christ himself could not have been elected on a Republican platform.
By 1980 they had significantly regrouped, behind Ronald Reagan, who handily won the presidential election. Many independents and a significant number of Democrats joined Republican voters in electing Ronald Reagan to be the fortieth president of the United States. He won the 1984 election in what was the biggest landslide victory since Cox-Harding, and his vice-president George H.W. Bush had little trouble succeeding him on the strength of that momentum. The very word “liberal” had become an epithet. The Republicans reigned supreme, and that showed every sign of continuing.
That all changed with the arrival on the scene of Bill Clinton. Lee Atwater said at a meeting of Republican leaders in Little Rock in 1989, “What scares me is a southern moderate or conservative Democrat, and the scariest of all, because he’s the most talented of the bunch, is Bill Clinton.”
In that sentence, lies the motive of the “vast, right wing conspiracy” that Hillary Clinton has spoken of, out there for one purpose- to destroy her and her husband.
The campaign to destroy the Clintons was launched in 1989 by none other than the good old Lee Atwater, who was named head of the Republican National Committee. He was a natural choice, having recently put together President Bush’s winning campaign in 1988, personified accurately by the “Willie Horton” TV ad, which attempted to portray the Democratic candidate as a defender of black rapists and black murderers.
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Willie Horton
His job this time was to re-elect George H.W. Bush, and he was worried. Bill Clinton was young, charismatic, and eloquent. Most of all, he was likeable. The reptilian Bush hardly made for a winsome figure to begin with. Next to Clinton, he seemed like a cyborg.
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In 1992, Republicans tried to make experience, character and trust the central issues. Voters indicated that the theme of change sounded by the Democrats was more important, but more important still was the personal power of Bill Clinton, and the amazingly effective duo that he and Hillary had made, ever since their college days.
Clearly, the opposition would have to come up with some new strategies. The techniques developed by Reagan had been skillfully snatched away from them. It became clear immediately that there was no one on the Republican end of the playing field capable of competing with the Clintons on level ground.
This fear and insecurity on the part of the Republicans was the reason behind the launching of what became known as the “Arkansas Project”. Funded by billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, this project was designed to damage and end the presidency of Bill Clinton. After wasting more than $25 million of taxpayer money to trump up charges against the Clintons on Whitewater, Troopergate, Travelgate and Filegate, the right had nothing better than to settle with the Monica Lewinsky affair, and the unjust vilification of Hillary Clinton.
Today it is not possible to determine how many millions have been spent by privately held companies like The Washington Free Beacon, America Rising, Burning Glass Consulting and Citizens United to discredit Hillary Clinton.
Back then, the Arkansas Project ended up a failure. In spite of innumerable attempts to force Bill Clinton out of office, he finished his term, and left office in a country that was in far better shape than it had been before his tenure.
Its legacy proved enduring, though. Last year, every one of those old slanders was unearthed and spread around with the greatest of zeal by the rabid supporters of Bernie Sanders, paving the way conveniently for Donald Trump’s Crooked Hillary attacks. The Arkansas Project cast its shadow over that entire chapter of last year’s debacle of an election. It has also provided a permanent and ever-growing repository of ammunition, used to effect by the revived partnership of mass media and fundamentalism, in the form of Rush Limbaugh and other celebrities of conservative talk radio in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.
Those radio shows, which provide daily lessons in the art of propaganda, have done as much to eat away at the fabric of democracy as any other single factor within the last forty years. They gathered in strength and reach across the nation all through the Clinton presidency. Combined with the entering of Fox News and Rupert Murdoch into the game, the conservative media provided the Republicans with a potent weapon, one they would use to clear effect in 2000.

The US 2000 presidential election was the triumph of media over mind and matter.

To an objective observer, two facts are clear: Clinton’s Vice-President Al Gore won the nationwide popular vote, and according to a recent Miami Herald analysis, he was also in all likelihood the favorite of Florida voters as well.

In a fair count, without cheating or election irregularities, and leaving aside Ralph Nader, the Miami Herald estimated Gore would have won Florida by 23,000 votes. The Bush strategy all along was to prevent a recount and run out the clock.

Jeb Bush, the brother of the Republican candidate for president, George W. Bush, was also the governor of Florida. He was a key component in the plot to steal the Florida election on behalf of his brother. If not for Jeb, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia would never have had the chance to cast that fateful vote on behalf of Bush.

The impropriety of that decision was obvious even to the members of the court.  That is why they passed a second ruling, that the decision used in the process used to block Gore’s final recount could never be used again, as a legal precedent for any future cases.

The Bush era is when most of us millennials entered the story. Many of us remember the new heights of indecency and state-sanctioned lying reached on nearly a daily basis. The disinformation campaign that’s been used on us by the GOP since the Nixon era was taking a terrible toll by this point. The people didn’t know who to believe, and they didn’t know who to trust. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that this did a great deal to soften us up for the Russian disinformation machine.

The Republicans know that the only strength the people have is in their numbers. If they can make sure the left doesn’t work together, they can pick us off one by one. Karl Rove and the Republican Party know this very well. It has been a tactic of rulers since the days of Rome and before.

And so, both in 2000 and in 2004, the Republicans used a man named Ralph Nader, then the Green Party of the U.S.’s (G-PUS) candidate for president, to divide the left and hamstring the Democratic candidates.

We were to see those techniques again, as they were used to cheat Hillary Clinton from her rightful place in the White House. Jill Stein, the milkwater replacement of Nader in the G-PUS, and Paul Manafort were both attendees at that infamous meeting with Putin in Russia.

Al Gore was a highly principled and competent man, but he lacked the drive for victory that Bill Clinton had, and he lacked the necessary vigor to withstand the ferocity of Republican greed. Bush got into office, and spent his time there dragging his country so deeply through the mud that it still has yet to be seen whether or not we can recover.

The next four years changed everything for America.

When Bill Clinton left office, the country had a balanced budget and even a surplus. That was gone within ten months, nine of which had been very quiet. Bush hunted armadilloes, hung out at Camp David, and agreed to read My Pet Goat to some kindergartners.

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George W. Bush reads My Pet Goat

Then 9/11 hit.

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September 11, 2001.

The strange circumstances surrounding that cataclysmic and unlikely disaster will be debated for as long as people walk this earth, and it is not our purpose to look deeply into the mysteries surrounding. We will stick to what we know for sure. Regardless of its causes, George Bush used the biggest foreign assault our nation has ever been victimized by to pass some of the most invasive and insidious legislature ever conceived.

The War on Terror has mostly come and gone, but the domestic effects of the Patriot and Homeland Security Acts will be with us until the end. A war in Afghanistan was started, which we are still fighting. And then Bush used all the nation’s rage to finish a job that his father had started, the rousting of Saddam Hussein from the apex of the power structure of Iraq. By 2003, we were at war in Iraq. By 2004 it was clear we were in big trouble. Nothing else mattered in 2004, except getting George W. Bush out of office.

However, when the election finally came around, an election so crucial that a movie, Fahrenheit 9/11 was made about the slovenly evils committed by the Republican candidate Bush, an unbelievable amount of different things went wrong. Half of the six million people living abroad, for example, got their ballots too late to vote. Malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots.

All in all, nationwide, according to the federal commission charged with implementing election reforms, as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment – roughly one for every 100 cast. But what is most anomalous about the irregularities in 2004 was their decidedly partisan bent. Almost without exception they hurt John Kerry and benefited George Bush. Robert Kennedy Jr. wrote at the time, “After carefully examining the evidence, I’ve become convinced that the president’s party mounted a massive, coordinated campaign to subvert the will of the people in 2004.”

In 2008, the anti- Clinton machines to the right and the left geared back up for another battle. A lot of the same old smears were employed by the Obama campaign, as well as the new tactic of associating her with big business and Wall St. Hillary Clinton called at the time for higher regulations on Wall St. Their decision to side against her cost her the presidency.

As 2009 began, the same juggernaut of lies was employed consistently during her tenure as Secretary of State, most notably in the drumming up of unimportant nonsense like Benghazi and email servers. None of it did them much good with Obama in office. Romney was a joke in 2012. Obama’s reign, hateful as it was to the racist fascist network, was secure.

During the eight years of his tenure, the GOP was to reach heights of total desperation. Outlets like Breitbart and Fox News were a help, but on their own they would never have been enough. It’s only once you factor in RT and Sputnik and the Russians that you can see they had a chance, and this is what led to the devil’s bargain in 2016 that Robert Mueller is now closing in on.

The continuing radicalization of the GOP has now been amply documented for 120 years. Scholars, party insiders, and any human being who has ever set foot in Virginia can all bear witness to that.

The decent and moderate conservatives of the old school, who meant the word in the sense of conservation, who once played such a key role in the enactment of civil rights and environmental legislation, have gone the way of the dinosaur.

Rich and poor alike, the Republican Party of today, as in the 1920’s, is overwhelmingly reactionary. They are strongly opposed to doing business with their Democratic counterparts, and will hamstring them any way they can.

Republicans know perfectly well that when people vote for them, they are voting against their own interests. The day people realize that is the day the GOP stops winning elections. So they have developed an entire playbook of dirty tricks, with which to demoralize the Democratic base and suppress the vote as much as possible. Every time you hear someone say that they don’t vote, because their vote doesn’t matter, you have heard an example of their strategy working.

Republicans have fewer adherents every year, but they have two major factors on their side; a fanatical base willing to carry out the dirty tricks, and the greediest billionaires to finance them. They deceive good people by appealing to their worst instincts. raising the red flag of abortion and gay marriage to divert attention away from their arrogant and greedy policies which cause the poverty, war and pollution we are facing today.

2016 proved once and for all that there is no trick too dirty and nothing too low for the Republicans, who went so far as to collude with Russia, our biggest global rival, rather than see another Democrat in the White House.

In 2016, extremists on both ends of the political spectrum did a great deal to spread around the notion of a moral equivalency between the two parties. They say it doesn’t matter who you vote for, because the President doesn’t really run the country anyway. They say it doesn’t matter who you vote for, because all politicians are corrupt, They say the system is broken, that it can’t be fixed, and that the right thing to do is just stand back aloof from the whole mess until it collapses under its own weight.

Those ideas are paid for by the Republicans, who are only too happy to keep right along tightly controlling the “broken” system. Votes matter tremendously. They’re the only power we have. That’s why the Koch network and others spend so much money every year to keep us from being able to use them.

The new development is for the GOP to link hands with its ideological allies in Russia, who have developed the same sorts of ideas to their most logical conclusions. Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, who is now an exile in London for the crime of having run against Putin in a supposedly democratic election, summed it up best by saying that comparing America’s approach to the management of its global affairs against modern-day Russia’s is like comparing the work a surgeon does to Jack the Ripper. Both of them cut people open, but that is where the similarity ends. Certainly that was true during Obama’s reign, but the future of everything has been thrown into uncertainty by the hacking of our election and the coming to power of Donald Trump.

Democrats have found ourselves beset on many sides, with no control in any branch of government and facing the most terrible international and domestic threats through the disastrous medium of Trump. Knowing the extent of our domestic paralysis, and encouraged by the failure of the West to respond when they annexed the Crimea from Ukraine, it is all too likely the Russians may attempt another seizure of formerly Soviet-dominated areas, daring the West to respond once again.

Last month, they moved tens of thousands of troops, plus accompanying artillery and air support, unsettlingly close to Baltic borders, in what they have labeled “strategic war exercises”, and given the name of the Zapad War Games. In the same week, it came out that over one hundred United States power stations are infected with the very same Stuxnet virus used to turn the power off in Ukraine in 2014, just before Crimea was taken.

In the meantime, the Syrian Civil War is winding down. Assad and the Russians won, while the rebels we were supporting were left to their fate. North Korea is firing rockets over Japan, and instead of entering talks with them Trump is exchanging schoolyard insults with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il on the floor of the United Nations. The rest of the world is watching. It’s become painfully clear that things with the Party of Trump have gone terribly awry.

Going forward, we have got to find a way to reveal and highlight the fundamental fact of this whole series. A tremendous amount of social illness in this country is directly attributable to an imported and organized fascist network that has infiltrated and radicalized the Republican Party.

The long road to tyranny is a slippery slope, and one without organized mile markers. None of this has happened overnight, and it won’t be fixed overnight either. It’s hard to dig your way back out of a hole, especially when that hole is 120 years deep. But it is incumbent upon us to undertake this task, nonetheless. This is our country, for better or worse, and stranger things have happened. Victories have been won against worse odds.

Recognizing the problem is the first step. The one positive of 2016 is that many people have awoken to the general plot. The Republican Party has become an impediment of colossal and vicious proportion. Ohio Governor and 2016 GOP Presidential candidate John Kasich said on Sunday that unless the Republican Party reforms, he can no longer continue to support it.

Hard as it may be for Mr. Kasich to accept, it’s too late to reform the GOP. But it’s not too late to learn from its example. We still have time to reform the country.

Over this series, we took a look at the hole the GOP has been digging for itself. We have learned why it is time to remove the Republican stumbling block from our path. Moving forward, we’ll be taking a closer look at the fascist network we’ve been making reference to, who they are, and where they came from.

By shining light on cockroaches, you make them skitter for cover. It’s the same with Nazis. We’re going to turn over the rocks they’ve been hiding under. By exposing their plots, networks, and strategies, we will truly #MakeNazisAfraidAgain. Fascism and democracy are incompatible, like mold and fungus. Democracy cannot live, where fascism is thriving. To save the  America that our ancestors lived and died in, we have got to see this through to the very end.