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Posted by on May 6, 2011 in Politics | 20 comments

Rep. Ron Paul at GOP Debate Says He’d Go Along With Legalization of Heroin

Rep. Ron Paul again showed why he is so popular among his supporters: he even got applause in South Carolina for basically saying, yes, let heroin be legalized as well. Two things: a)that is a first for a GOP primary debate (it has never been said by a candidate in a Democratic party debate) and b)if he ever got the nomination this statement would instantly doom his candidacy no matter what his ideological point was.

Here’s the segment:

Mediaite correctly notes:

While Rep. Paul took the drug issue on from a philosophical perspective, libertarian bird-of-a-feather Johnson appealed to the empirical sensibilities of the audience. Describing the legalization issue as a “cost-benefit analysis,” Johnson threw out some facts on the “war on drugs”: “half of what we spend on law enforcement, the courts, and the prisons is drug-related… we’re arresting 1.8 million people a year in this country– we have the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world.” While this rhetoric didn’t have the “wow” factor of Rep. Paul’s hearty support of heroin, it highlighted the difference between primary and general election audiences to see how Paul’s simple arguments were met with cheers while Johnson’s, which take a bit more time to digest and dispatch any moral qualms with legalizing drugs, were met with silence.

That typifies much of the way American politics now operates. The flip statement, the quick answer that sparks an emotion, the snarky or quoteable sound bite — that is the mother’s milk of politics now. “Nuance” has become a dirty word but “nuance” often means thinking things through. Many people who advocate legalization of pot or who would not oppose it would be firmly against legalizing heroin due to all of the issues that would raise and create — not to mention the serious consquences on several fronts.