Nancy Reagan And Just Say No

OneEyedJack: I do remember how she was disparaged for her "just say no" motto on drug use. The left howled and mocked her for that, because...I don't know why.

Maybe they felt like there should have been some huge new government program with massive funding to go with that.

Man, I really hate to do this - and waited a bit before posting - because I might be mistaken as saying something disparaging about the late First Lady, but since it was brought up...

If Carrie Nation wants to stand out there with the Salvation Army band and preach against boozing, more power to her. When she and her moralizing ilk attack the bars with an axe, or get a Constitutional Amendment passed prohibiting booze, that's a whole different matter.

It wasn't Nancy's saying "Just say no" - it's that her husband was in charge of (admittedly inherited) the "huge government program with massive funding" that locked up people and ruined lives and families for smoking a little mother nature. (Yes, and harder drugs.)

Blanket Prohibitionism is always the solution worse than the problem it's intended to treat. Unconstitutional, in the sense of presuming guilt without an actual transgression.

People who drink or do drugs, generally speaking, it's a personal matter, not a transgression. Self-abusive levels are a matter for one's family, church, and might be a matter for one's boss, but not for law.

People who drive drunk, deal to kids, barf and pass out on the street, are belligerent or threatening to others - whether because they are narcotized or not - are transgressing, and a matter for law.

Legalization can go too far the other way, when repeated drunk drivers are let off with a slap on the wrist, when pot candy ends up in kids' hands, and worse, enforcement of laws against transgression is too lenient.

The poor, drunk, drug abusing, and demented we will have with us always, and our current vast epidemic of abuse is a failure of religion, of education, of economy, the degradation of family and neighborhoods, and understandable disregard for big and unbalanced government and consequent disdain for the rule of law.

"Just say no" is fine, upstanding moral advice, a great generalization. Nancy didn't deserve the horrid disparagement she got; it was, for a few of us, simply that The Government, her husband's administration and others, held a gun to your head while saying it, that made her statement difficult to appreciate.

I'll stop there. It's all be said (and argued against) a million times for decades.

It's early in the day, but I think I'll grab a beer and toast her memory. And Ron's.