“Into this “mess” stepped President Richard Nixon. What he proposed was a striking departure from the status quo. The federal government would now assist poor families that were intact as well as those that had split apart. It would assist the working poor as well as the nonworking poor. The income of poor people living in the South would be tripled… According to not a few economists, 60 percent of all indigent people would be brought above the poverty line immediately were this proposal to be enacted into law. Lyndon Johnson never dared go so far.”
Barry D. Riccio, Nixon Reconsidered: The Conservative as Liberal?
In this country, the more progressive and equitable the reform desired, the more reactionary and divisive the terms it must be framed by its proponent who, ideally, is viewed as an angry and hateful person himself (as for why this is… in a word, racism). Naturally, Richard Nixon is my hero. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pointed out to MMTers that Nixon coined the term “Workfare” because its the only politically palatable way to frame Employer of Last Resort programs.
It was gratifying to see the other day someone as abrasive and angry as Nixon come forward to do God’s work, NJ Governor Chris Christie.
In a Monday speech to The Brookings Institution, Christie declared that America’s drug war, “while well-intentioned, has been a failure.”
“[We're] warehousing addicted people every day in the state prisons in New Jersey, giving them no treatment, sending them back out on the street after their term of incarceration, and wondering why recidivism rates go up and why they don’t get better, why they commit crimes again,” he continued. “Well, they commit crimes to support their addiction.”
“So I said what we need to do is for all first time non-violent drug offenders, we have to make drug treatment mandatory,” Christie added. “Because if you’re pro-life, as I am, you can’t be pro-life just in the womb. Every life is precious and every one of God’s creatures can be redeemed, but they won’t if we ignore them.”
He got a little soft at the end (he made up for it by reminding liberals he’s anti-abortion) but his tone makes him sound like an angry jerk, which is exactly the tone any serious reformer must strike.