It seems that aside from being clever atheists who have hot wives, Brad Pitt and I have more in common than I had imagined. In response to the questions of his running for mayor of New Orleans on the Today show, he revealed the even greater similarities…
“I’m running on the gay marriage, no religion, legalization and taxation of marijuana platform. I don’t have a chance.”
Indeed, those things are, in most of America, a death sentence for anyone’s political aspirations. Oh sure, maybe one or two might not kill you, but all of them? Forget it. The sad thing is each of those stances are not necessarily subjective issues like preferring vanilla over chocolate, but rather they are perfectly rational stances and opposition to them is purely irrational and selfish.
Gay marriage is simply an equal rights issue, and opposing it is in direct opposition to our constitution, regardless of what the “real Americans” claim. It’s simply an issue of one group wishing to make themselves feel special at the expense of others, like walking into a club past the bouncer and escorted to a private VIP lounge while the rabble remains outside behind the red velvet rope. You want to talk elitism, I can’t think of a better example of it than people opposed to gay marriage, and you’d have to go back some 60 years to see anything comparable such as segregation defenders. Well I went into greater detail on this before, so I’ll just move on now.
Now I’m not so clear exactly what he means by no religion, but I hope it’s simply a defense of the Establishment Clause and the separation of church and state. Like the Civil Rights movement and the current equal rights movement for gays, it’s incredibly sad to see how long it’s taking to turn the promises of our constitution into a reality. Now we of course have the national motto and religious items on display on government property, but can you believe that here in the 21st century there are currently lawsuits to stop city council meetings from opening with Christian prayers? And I’m not just talking about the tiny towns from the red states of Jesusland, I’m talking about Philadelphia, too.
As for marijuana, it’s an example of the futility of the War on Drugs and the completely crap which is the foundation for that war. Prohibition proved what happens when you criminalize certain indulgences outright. Far from eliminating demand, it serves to amplify it, and along with that you have nefarious elements who will gladly service that demand for a substantial profit and with such profits gain the power to commit real crimes. A 2005 cost-benefit analysis of marijuana prohibition by Jeffrey Miron, a Harvard economist, calculated that ending marijuana prohibition would save $7.7 billion in direct state and federal law enforcement costs while generating more than $6 billion a year if it were taxed at the same rate as alcohol and tobacco. This began as something to appease the religious nutters who had their prohibition of alcohol vanquished, then became an empty gesture for politicians to support as if they were actually doing something, and now is a propaganda machine for the pharmaceutical industry who have a vested interest in eliminating competition.
So yes, sadly in a country when people are more easily convinced by lies and irrational appeals to their fears and vanity, anyone running on a platform like Pitt’s and mine doesn’t have a chance.