Letter: Intemperate temperance
Editor of the Reformer:
The growing radicalism of the temperance movement since the days of the American Revolution carries a stinging irony that is not lost in the conflict of drugs today. The influence of the temperance movement persists in the current draconian drug laws that enable legislatures to extend their powers into the minds and behaviors of each of us. The terrible irony then and now is that at no time was temperance and abstinence of drugs in the interests of the majority of the people. Neither do you find abstinence in the greater historical record.
This remnant minority then, this controlling, even scheming, less-than-half the whole with their obstinate interference in the individual conscience of each person, have deigned to sweep up in their power domain and enacted and exacted harshly against the better or worse judgment of each individual. Through lawmaking they inculcated fear, ignorance, danger and personal seizure, too often marked by credulity and speciousness, that locked up our minds and properties, and stigmatized and demeaned personal behaviors they did not agree with.
But the greater disgrace is theirs. They have set us against each other. They brought about a conflict that can have no resolution. They have turned good and sometimes troubled people into criminals who were not criminals before.
While everyone can have an opinion only lawmakers and their lobbyists can set the standard of law. If lawmakers and lobbyists exercise their personal bias, are bought-off, ambitious, misguided and/or ignorant of the facts — the consequences this minority of people sets into lawful motion are often unassailable and become entrenched. The drug war that was legislated upon us has for too long destroyed generations of our people as they built strata of economies on the backs of our people before throwing our broken bodies and spirits under the bus.
Thus, from criminalization they bred hybrids of different species within the economics that created jobs, jobs, jobs for criminal legislators, criminal justice, criminal enforcement, criminal prison complexes, criminal mental health programs, criminal probation tethers, criminal inspired militarization, criminal seizures, criminal surveillance, criminal curriculum, criminal media reporting, criminal entertainment, to the point that criminal-minded enterprises both legal and illegal are bigger than the federal government.
Only in recent times have they somewhat softened their blows against their victims of victimless crimes as they seek a higher ground of compassion. A higher ground they do not deserve. A compassion that is too little too late.
But, you don't fool me. This lone voice in the wilderness of opinion condemns the rotten fruit in the body of governance, their legislators, their lobbyists and all your like-minded followers and underlings. This American will never let you forget that what little good you may have accomplished is far outweighed by the shameless harm you have done.
Vidda Crochetta, Brattleboro, June 12
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