Headline: Feb.27th, 2008: William F Buckley Jr Is Dead at 82- The passing of Bill Buckley brought to mind my upbringing in a conservative tribe, sure of libertarian principles as solid as the ground beneath my feet. “Firing Line”, the 1970′s PBS show that Mr. Buckley hosted, was more entertaining than any game show, as I tried to understand the nuances of the Master’s obscure words. Those were the days when the word “Conservative” meant something – a firm adherence to the Constitutional principles of individual liberty that made America a shining light – not an excuse for zealots, warmongers and misguided Neo-Puritans.
Later, as an activist working in drug policy reform, I came again to listen to Buckley’s reasoned arguments against our modern prohibition (War on Drugs) in the National Review, the conservative magazine Mr. Buckley founded. An uncontrolled black market; subversion of the Constitution; lack of respect for the law; an out of control bureaucracy wasting a billion dollars a week; violence and social instability from organized crime- all reasons that anyone truly concerned about their community and the effectiveness of the government, especially law enforcement, recognizes the “War on some drugs” as a tragedy eclipsing the failed prohibition of alcohol.
In this video series, William F. Buckley, Jr. discusses his viewpoints on the drug war: William F. Buckley on Drug War (1-3)
Mr. Buckley is one of many conservatives that have spoken out against the modern prohibition. Walter Cronkite, the venerable CBS news anchorman of the 1960′s and 70′s (whose reassessment of the Vietnam War as lost caused President Lyndon Johnson to realize the war was fruitless), has long held a similar view of the drug war. The Drug Policy Alliance has a video series featuring Mr. Cronkite’s and America’s War on Drugs:Walter Cronkite & America’s Disastrous Drug War Pt 1 of 6
The Drug Policy Alliance also has a brief video featuring conservative economist Milton Friedman condemning the modern prohibition:Milton Friedman and “The War On Drugs — RIP.” Assignment
Another conservative with libertarian roots, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), is running for President of the United States. This video from one of the presidential debates shows the strength of Dr. Paul’s convictions on this issue:Ron Paul Calls for End to Drug War
If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being a gift from God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.
Samuel Adams, Father of the American Revolution.