If drug laws make no difference in drug use, why bother having them? (disclaimer: I'm anti-drug...and anti-drug war...)
With the exception of higher drug use in San Francisco, we found strong similarities across both cities. We found no evidence to support claims that criminalization reduces use or that decriminalization increases use.
I went to the Los Angeles “Festival of Books” and there happened to be space at Laura Schlessinger’s (known as “Dr. Laura”, though I don’t think she’s a doctor) discussion of her new book (The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands?), hosted by Marta Waller. I was prepared for an hour of “fair and balanced” opinion about why discussion of the Iraq was is unpatriotic.
I thought she was actually pretty smart and humorous as well. Her main points were that there were some ideas that came out of the women’s movement which were actually detrimental to women. For example, women get the idea that the fact that they should have equal oppornity means that men should be just like them. In truth, we all know that men and women are different…not really worse or better, but just different in the way we approach things and it’s useful to act as such. As well, women shouldn’t feel less because they choose to stay at home and raise children. Children are important. Bravo.
She even said that there were important things that came from feminism, though perhaps as a result of her need to entertain and sell books, she constantly made fun of the very same feminists. I can’t help but think that she would reach more people if she stopped insulting them as a lot of feminists would perhaps listen to her. She also had extreme views on “the diversity crowd” who she felt were trying to eliminate all traditional values, leaving no room for those of us (ie. me) who truly believe in diversity, including allowing those people who believe in traditional values to practice them….just don’t try to force them on the rest of us.
I actually ended up asking her a question about this, concerning whether she felt the need to villify the “opposing” view in order to entertain and sell more books. Predictably, she answered that she was too “intellectually honest”, but I think if she stopped and thought, she’d realize that there is a contradiction there. A lot of conservative talk radio (and some liberal stations too) entertain by villifying the other side at the expense of any meaningful debate. But as research on motivated reasoning would say, her entertainment is probably more effective than meaningful debate anyways.
My biggest complaint was for Marta Waller, KTLA anchorwoman, who “off handedly” threw out how much admiration she had for Dr. Laura because she didn’t “flip-flop” unlike others….like public officials. This went on for several minutes and it was painful. She was so obvious about trying to un-obviously attack Kerry that I felt insulted as an audience member. If she really wanted to say “I think Kerry flip-flops on issues and so you should vote for Bush”, I would have respected it MUCH more if she’d just said that. The way she said it was so calculated and unnatural that it made me wonder if she approached her newscasts with the same degree of calculation. I’ll likely write a letter to KTLA to that effect.
The ironic thing is that Dr. Laura’s nuanced views of feminism (though masked behind her outrageous personality) are exactly the kind of nuance that her conservative ilk (ie. Marta Waller) brand as flip-flopping. Perhaps she has intelligent things to say, but they are bound to get lost if the general societal trend to demonstrate what conservatives call “resolve”, or what I would call “lack of open mindedness” or “stubborness”, continues.