1971 President Nixon declares a war on drugs. During his press conference he states that drug abuse is public enemy number one. Decades later, have we won the war on drugs? This is one of the most unsuccessful undertaking the government has taken on. Put aside the fact that the war on drugs is basically unconstitutional; how are we the people better served because of this war? Prison incarceration rates have rose dramatically since this war was declared. We have turned recreational marijuana users into convicted felons. America has the highest incarceration rate in the world, much of which can be directly linked to the war on drugs. And yet still, billions and billions of dollars spent later, people still use drugs. Who is the herion addict hurting when they inject heroin into their own bodies? Themselves! If it is their body, then how can the government regulate what they put into it. Admittedly, if that heroin addict robs a store seeking money to support his addiction, then incarcerate him for the robbery.
In 1964 President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty. Since this time our government has spent between 8 and 10 trillion dollars on the war on poverty. Each new president has added more to this cost. Clinton with 191 billion and Bush to 368 billion. Are there less poor today than in 1964? No. Today, we still have around 37 million americans living in poverty. All the wasted money for government programs that were supposed to help eradicate the poor, have in fact failed. They have only increased government dependence on these programs. We have seen generational poverty as a result.
In September of 2001 President Bush declared a war on terror. Success in this instance can only be measured in terms of whose definition of success we look at. For terrorists, its been a success. For Americas, it has not. We have watched our civil liberties erode due to fighting this war on terror. So many have sacrificed liberty for the solace of temporary safety. They think this their duty as good Americans. Similarly to the other wars the government has declared, this one has no clear end. Who surrenders in the war on terror? There is an undefined enemy and no traditional battleground. In turn, our own government has elected to declare Americans terrorists and America a battle ground in the war. It seems to me that Americans have waived the white flag in surrender to our government.
At the end of the day, when America declares war on something the victims seem to be the American people. These wars have not benefited any of us. They have kept us poor, jailed and blindly led some to give up their civil liberties. Maybe our government has declared war on Americans??