Very Important Headlines For March 23rd

  • What Holds America Together, David Brooks, New York Times 

The story itself is a bit less fulfilling than I'd hoped given the short by strong headline. The crux is that diversity in culture embodied in freedom is generally what keeps this country of ours together. It also serves as a reminder that in the grand scheme of the rest of the world our country is extremely young and it's natural to go through growing pains.

But that's not what I wanted to focus on - this headline reminded me of a point that's important as we're continuing to see the seeming fracturing of it based on the current political environment. What does keep this country together? Not culturally or philosophically but literally? With the coming "Walks for Life" tomorrow I thought this story and topic is perhaps a bit more relevant at the moment 

We've arguably been at a low point since the civil war regarding the real ties that bind. The Constitution. For several years I've argued that the more aggressively state and local governments fight the Constitution, and generally getting away with it, the bigger and deeper the divides, the greater the risk for the future of the country regardless of where you stand on any particular issue. 

We've seen this play out on two fronts and I don't think it's the least bit coincidental that we're having the political strife we're experiencing today as a result. The two issues... Marijuana and illegal immigration.  

There's no such thing as legal marijuana of any sort in the United States anywhere. 

It's still a schedule 1 drug according to the federal government which means no subordinate government can "legalize" it in any capacity. As I've warned right along too many people take a look at the issue rather than the premise of what's at stake and so because many Americans, Floridians - want it in given capacities we've said screw the Constitution - we'll do what we want at the state and local level rather than seeking the appropriate reforms at the federal level. The result has been lax enforcement of our laws by federal authorities (often with the impact only being realized on the banking end of marijuana sales) who're often caving to political pressure and the fear of backlash by looking the other way. Not surprisingly after seeing that it's possible to break the law at the state and local level - certain state and local governments have done the same thing with immigration.  

Think about this for a moment. Had state and local governments enforced our immigration laws right along in-conjunction with the federal government, which has complete oversight of all immigration policy, would we have any of the crisis - perceived or real - pertaining to illegal immigration? Nope. And Donald Trump wouldn't be the boogeyman of the fear mongers either. 

And again, this isn't to say that reforms aren't needed to our immigration policy regardless of the extinct of illegal immigration concerns, but this wouldn't be the hot button political wedge that creates the level of divisiveness we're seeing. So, what's next?

If the actual thing that holds this country together - the Constitution, the rule of law, doesn't really apply unless we want it to at the state and local level... What's the next shoe to drop? Will it be related to gun control and the 2nd Amendment? And how many more before the Constitution is irrelevant and our states are anything but united? Food for thought this weekend... 

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