The 15 Republicans running for their party’s presidential nomination broadly agree on most of the major issues of the day, which makes their areas of substantive disagreement that much more interesting. Take addiction issues, for example.
Chris Christie, to his credit, has spoken with great eloquence about people close to him who’ve struggled with drug abuse, and the importance of treating addiction issues. On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve seen Rand Paul adopt a more ridiculous posture, telling a New Hampshire audience a couple of months ago, “People always come up to me and say, ‘We got heroin problems and all these other problems.’ You know what? If you work all day long, you don’t have time to do heroin.”
And then there’s Ben Carson, who appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” yesterday, where host John Dickerson asked the candidate for his perspective on “the human side of addiction” based on his experience as a medical professional. Carson responded:
“[U]sually, addictions occur in people who are vulnerable, who are lacking something in their lives. And so we have to really start asking ourselves, what have we taken out of our lives in America? What are some of those values and principles that allowed us to ascend the ladder of success so rapidly to the very pinnacle of the world and the highest pinnacle anyone else had ever reached?“And why are we in the process of throwing away all of our values and principles for the sake of political correctness?”
Carson then transitioned to complaining about border security, arguing that “there is a transportation of heroin through our southern borders that is unimaginable.”
At a certain point, my thesaurus is simply exhausted, and all of the available adjectives that could be applied to Carson’s unusual worldview have been used, repeatedly.
I will say that anyone who connects drug epidemics and “political correctness” probably shouldn’t be in a policymaking role.
Also note, while a growing number of officials in both parties have begun to see the so-called “war on drugs” as a failed, costly experiment gone wrong, Carson believes the exact opposite. Just a few weeks ago, Glenn Beck asked the retired neurosurgeon if he’d continue the “war on drugs.”
Carson responded, “Absolutely. I would intensify it.”