Why the Proposal to Ban Menthol and Flavored Cigars Should be Stamped Out
One of the greatest leaders of all time, American Civil War Major General William Tecumseh Sherman, once remarked in response to South Carolina seceding from the Union that:
“You people of the South don't know what you are doing…Besides, where are your men and appliances of war to contend against them? The North can make a steam engine, locomotive, or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or pair of shoes can you make. You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical, and determined people on Earth—right at your doors. You are bound to fail.”
And they did. The war ended up costing upwards of six hundred thousand lives, marking it as The United States’ bloodiest conflict. This same sentiment carries over to today. President Joe Biden wants to put a halt on the production, sale, and consumption of menthol cigarettes. This is pure evil. The difference between Biden and the 19th century southerners is the president obviously does know what he’s doing. His altruism, or desire to placate others, says a man or woman in America cannot live for his or her own sake. They fail, in his eyes, to be able to care for themselves. In particular, black and brown adults, to him, resist thinking independently.
It seems as though the real goal is to deflect from any real discussion about reparations for slavery. Rather than address larger issues like removing ideas, science, education and economics (I.S.E.E.) from the State, President Biden has chosen a narrow issue of minimal long-term government overreach, as Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) Chairman Dr. Yaron Brook has detailed.
From the Prohibition of alcohol, America witnessed one of the bloodiest epochs in this country’s relatively brief history. At the height of this vicious time, which obviously trampled individual rights, more police officers were killed than in any other period in the nation’s history. Additionally, Prohibition created a financial incentive for cops to give in to temptation of corruption by mobster bootleggers like Al Capone.
Americans found ways to smuggle and guzzle booze. People will always create opportunities to get their fix, either through the manufacture and sale of the fire water, or its consumption. Millions participated in the black market. It is human nature to create black markets when it’s impossible to obtain goods and services through legitimate means. President Biden knows this. He’s aware of history. In fact, he knows he can spend even more money today cracking down on Americans than during Prohibition, or at least he should know. During Prohibition, speakeasies, stills, passcodes and underground transactions took the place of above-board means. Americans got away from dry towns, or used clandestine operations to satisfy their thirst for alcohol. In the wake of the entire experiment, thousands died, and the government spent millions (now billions in today’s dollars) enforcing the corrupt laws. When the ban was finally lifted, gangsters launched headfirst into gambling, prostitution (still illegal in most states) and of course, illicit narcotics.
Americans have paid a hefty price for the War on Drugs; approximately one trillion dollars, and millions of lives have ended with incarceration, overdose, or murder. Those who have survived the “War” so far, must carry with them physical and psychic scars.
The Prohibition of drugs ought never to have started like the Prohibition of alcohol. The powerlust of bureaucrats and politicians that leads them to draft and enforce prohibition laws seems like an addictive drug in itself, one they have no intention of quitting. But all these laws do is stamp out and destroy human beings, not vices. As radio and television personality and philosopher Troi “Star” Torain says, such actions are an intrusion into life.
Not worth the fight
In the rubble of this destruction, the prisons swell, and the graveyards burst with fresh corpses. Folks still lingering during this ongoing fight against individualism find themselves trying to improve their lives, despite present conditions. It is because of the rise of the War on Drugs that cartels and street urchins carry semi-automatic firearms and anti-tank weapons through city streets here in the U.S., and in villages and towns all over the developing nations where the drugs originate. The primary reason the police force uses militarized vehicles and arms is to contend with people armed with heavy amounts of force themselves.
Yet, because of the insidious notion that the government must be a nanny, telling people what they can and cannot put into their bodies as adults, we have a disastrous situation before us. Biden’s proposal to put a stop to menthol cigarettes, this is just another garroting of the freedoms. If the law passes, we can probably expect hundreds, if not thousands more Eric Garner cases, as police work to enforce the government’s misguided laws.
The issue is the malignancy of altruism. People feel that others should be controlled and regulations should be in place to edify everyone but the individual.
The death specialists
The US Food and Drug Administration or what ARI intellectual Dr. Harry Binswanger calls The Federal Death Agency uses its power to make sure individual Americans know who’s the boss of their own bodies (hint: not them). This government body has curtailed life expectancies, stopped the research of innovative drugs, and, together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bungled the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Biden ought to rescind his proposition and unburden the economy by eliminating licensing laws, jettisoning minimum wage laws, and of course legalizing sex work and other victimless vices for adults.
No matter what, nanny statism involved in telling an individual what they may and may not do with their own body, is itself immoral, and violates our most basic individual rights: the right to be free in our persons, and pursue happiness. We may not agree with how someone chooses to do that, and it may even be objectively unhealthy, but that’s not the point. Whether it’s menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars, or crack cocaine, legal adults (not children) should be able to manufacture, vend, and consume these substances as they see fit. As long as they don’t decide to operate a vehicle under the influence and other conditions, men and women ought to be left free.