In the 1980s, the radical left presented the nation with a new conspiracy theory: Ronald Reagan, the CIA, and congressional conservatives were conspiring with South American drug dealers to flood our cities with crack cocaine. Their alleged goal was the eradication of an increasingly influential demographic made up of inner city youth. Legends about midnight dope shipments, unmarked planes, and mysterious government airstrips were, by the end of the decade, commonplace. There was never any evidence to support the speculation, but that never stopped race baiters like Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan from repeating it. In reality, it was simply another lie, propped up by Democrats who sought to exploit the destructive effects of addiction for political gain. These days, drugs are flooding in from Mexico at a catastrophic rate and if liberals want to hold someone responsible, they need look no further than their own Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.
Recently, a reporter for conservative website CNSnews.com asked Pelosi a simple question. “Are you committed to sealing the border against the influx of illegal drugs from Mexico and, if so, do you have a target date in mind for getting that done?”
Pelosi offered a rambling reply that began with a heartfelt claim that first and foremost, she wanted to eliminate U.S. demand for illegal narcotics through education and prevention. Unfortunately, after that, things began to spiral out of control.
“The RAND Corporation,” she said, “a few years ago did a report that said it would be much less expensive for us to, through prevention first and foremost, but through treatment on demand to reduce demand in our country, is the cheapest way to solve this problem – Incarceration is the next cheapest. This is an issue that is very important to our country because of what it’s doing to our teenagers. That is the problem – what it is doing to our people.”
In other words, the Speaker believes that securing our border is too expensive. If teens are foolish enough to get hooked, they should be offered inexpensive alternatives like taxpayer-funded rehab or a nice cozy jail cell.
Never mind the destruction that will be brought to bear upon these young people, their families, and their communities. Never mind that many of them will overdose long before Ms. Pelosi manages to get them into treatment, or that their imprisonment will swell the ranks of our already overpopulated, underfunded jails. For Nancy Pelosi, a woman who has presided over the largest spending increase in U.S. history, saving money is suddenly more important than human suffering.
“It costs seven times more to incarcerate than to have treatment on demand.” She said. “It costs 15 times more to interdict at the border. And it costs 25 times more with eradication of the cocoa leaf.”
The Speaker’s callous audacity is simply stunning. Imagine if George W. Bush had gone in front of the cameras and said “I’d rather put addicted teens in jail, because stopping drugs at the border is eight times more expensive.” The outcry from the left would have been vehement and completely justified. Now that they’re in power, and terrified of any border debate that might cost them Hispanic votes, they remain silent.
There’s no doubt that prevention is important. Education is a key element in the battle against drug use. However, many of the same people who falsely accused President Reagan of importing drugs to wipe out African Americans now support a woman openly arguing against preventing their import and sale. The hypocrisy is simply staggering.
Nancy Pelosi wants us to believe she has the United States’ best interests at heart. She’s spent the last year passing health care against the wishes of the American people, while constantly arguing that she was doing so out of a deep concern for the lives of the downtrodden. In reducing the impact of drugs and the plight of the addicted to a mere budgetary numbers game, she’s exposed her much vaunted compassion as nothing more than abject fraud.
Robert Laurie writes a daily political commentary blog, The Robalution. Robert holds a degree in English from Wayne State University, and has worked in advertising as a graphic designer and copy writer.