Although Republicans lag the nation in its change of heart on social issues, more people on the Right are coming to realize the high price of the federal government's marijuana prohibition.
The editors of National Review, arguably the most influential conservative publication in the nation, recently published an editorial arguing for the legalization of cannabis. The conservative publication of record noted the significant cost of marijuana prohibition, both in terms of currency and of human life:
Regardless of whether one accepts the individual-liberty case for legalizing marijuana, the consequentialist case is convincing. That is because the history of marijuana prohibition is a catalogue of unprofitable tradeoffs: billions in enforcement costs, and hundreds of thousands of arrests each year, in a fruitless attempt to control a mostly benign drug the use of which remains widespread despite our energetic attempts at prohibition. We make a lot of criminals while preventing very little crime, and do a great deal of harm in the course of trying to prevent an activity that presents little if any harm in and of itself.Quite a departure from the Right's "Just Say No" rhetoric of the 1980s.
More people on the Right are also coming around on military interventionism. Rand Paul, whose non-interventionist view of foreign policy and homeland-first view of defense is a 180-degree-turn from a decade of George W. Bush-brand military adventurism, is a serious contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. In fact, according to some polls, he's the leading candidate. In modern history, no Republican nominee for president has had a view of foreign policy anywhere close to Rand's. Even Barry Goldwater was an interventionist.
That's impressive. Even though Rand isn't the libertarian his father is.
There's reason to be hopeful in these times of uncertainty: The liberty movement's growing in size and influence, and it's taking the Right in the right direction.
Seth Mason, Charleston SC