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Wednesday, April 8th, 2020Last Update: Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 09:38:01 AM

Oklahoma Pot in a Nation of Nazis

By: Andrew K. Boyle

Polemic prose concerning political discourse abounds at present, in the most bizarre terms. It plays out in one of only two types of political engagement. We appear limited to two modes of politics today;

1) “Because my proposal is the only moral option, F@%&-you and your f@%&ing ideas, you f@%&ing racist, Nazi F@%er….”

2) “We should all just get along.”

Not much space for “consent of the governed” giving permission for democratic institutions.

To be honest, the current political climate makes writing for a paper like this quite difficult. Entering the battlefield of ideas still sounds noble, but in practice it is quite a futile endeavor. In a world where all truth is personally possessive and by rule quite a slippery fish to catch and hold up for all to see, conservatives can easily convince themselves that all efforts are futile and avoid the whole business because of the 100% chance of being called a Nazi.

A current mental challenge, I have been entertaining while avoiding the whole subjective truth vs shouting NAZI, is the concept of political identities being a reflection of roles in society. I challenged myself to answer the question, “what good can the progressive left play in our country?” Is there any value in insane political proposals? Stuff like that.

The most interesting group I have found confronting questions like this is known as the Intellectual Dark Web (IDW). It is a group that includes Ben Shapiro (conservative), Jordan Peterson (refuses to be called conservative), Dave Rubin (progressive turned libertarian), and the Weinstein brothers (not the sexual predator, the progressive professor and the mathematician). It is a group of bizarrely talented and honest men, actually having a conversation.

One of the ideas among the IDW is that of politics being a poor manifestation of cognitive abilities and of trait openness. Generally speaking, liberals tend to be quite strong in the trait of openness and conservatives operate well in a world of fixed ideas. In this viewing, liberals are most likely to come up with a radically new idea, and the conservative should take over once the idea is off the ground, so the company or society can survive. Elon Musk starts SpaceX and promptly hires Mitt Romney to manage it.

It is a simplistic starting point, to be sure, but may contain some of the seeds we must cultivate if we are ever to get past this Nazi-twitter war of present.

But enough about Nazi’s, lets talk ideas and sober management.

In a surprising move, Oklahoma recently joined the Legal Pot movement. It is the first truly red state to do so. Prop 788 passed by a wide margin. It is a textbook case of ideas transitioning to sober manager. It was undeniably persons high in trait openness (please forgive the pun) whom passed the measure, and it will be exclusively conservative management types who roll it out. Because of the balance of power in the state, the guys in tie-dye shirts who passed it are required to trust the guys in red ties and blue suits to implement.

The early news about implementation is not encouraging. The first reaction of the management types has not been to carry out the will of the people, but to bend that will in a deep state mode. A scan of the state papers yields a bunch of expressed concerns about the dangers of pot and the moral obligation to curtail a very liberal law. Limits on dispensaries, staffing requirements, a prohibition of the sale of pot you can smoke, the regulations are already ensuring pot will remain a black market transaction.

It is here, in this most minor of drifts, that conservatives open up the movement to a valid criticism that will end up in the insane Nazi yelling business. A principled conservative could look at an undesirable policy like pot through the bedrock principles of freedom and free markets. Yes, pot is a terrible idea, but my principles require me to defend that right on your behalf. Also, we must make the market for pot free and unencumbered, trusting that such freedom will saddle those engaging in the market to bear the full burden of their choices. This business of turning legalization into a “in name only” practice has nothing to do with principles and everything to do with the politics that lead to shouting Nazi in crowded places.

As a libertarian, I would never expect my fellow conservatives to be Elon Musk. Those who do well in the GOP tend to be much more manager than maverick (and if they are the latter it is in a comically John McCain way). But I do hold out hope that they can be Mitt Romney, they guy who made the Olympics and Staples/Office Depot profitable.

Elon, darling of the world for some time, has actually gotten in some trouble of late because of his politics and his business could use more of a sober manager type. Mitt parlayed his business acumen and wild success into becoming the guy who fired women with cancer after he drifted into the world of politics. In both cases, some stay in your lane style advice would be prudent.

Pot is a personally destructive habit, in most cases. It is the will of the people in Oklahoma. It does mean that some portion of the Sooner State will drift into a very unproductive life of getting high, eating Doritos and not much else. The danger to our republic is not the dull drift of the pothead, but in the sober managers becoming societal Nazi’s for refusing to implement the will of the people. Conservatives have much to contribute to society, please don’t waste it fighting the will of the people. Markets are either free or regulated. Freedom can only be unencumbered or a farce. Conservatives of principle need little defending, but conservatives without principles are the ones open to being labeled Nazi and having it stick. Our political future relies heavily on the ability of people to act in such a way that the Nazi label doesn’t stick.

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