For quite some time, I have been vehemently opposed to the candidacy of Newt Gingrich, to the point where I sometimes thought I was being paranoid, even allowing that I suffered from Gingrichphobia.

Well, I now feel vindicated, and if anything I don’t think I was being paranoid enough. In his latest interview, Gingrich has made it abundantly clear that he wants to ramp up the War on Drugs.

As to states rights, forget it. Newt says the federal government should rule:

Three Republican presidential candidates have shown an openness to handing over control of drugs and medical marijuana to the states. Would you continue the current federal policy making marijuana illegal in all cases or give the states more control?

I would continue current federal policy, largely because of the confusing signal that steps towards legalization sends to harder drugs.

I think the California experience is that medical marijuana becomes a joke. It becomes marijuana for any use. You find local doctors who will prescribe it for anybody that walks in.

In other words, the man sees doctors as a suspect class along with everyone else. Of course, his belief that doctors should not be free to practice medicine as they see fit, but should instead have federal overseers, is perfectly consistent with his traditional support for Obamacare-style Big Government health care tyranny.

His reasoning does not even mention constitutional considerations. He simply thinks there should be federal supremacy because people will cross state lines.

Why shouldn’t the states have control over this? Why should this be a federal issue?

Because I think you guarantee that people will cross state lines if it becomes a state-by-state exemption.

I don’t have a comprehensive view. My general belief is that we ought to be much more aggressive about drug policy. And that we should recognize that the Mexican cartels are funded by Americans.

Expand on what you mean by “aggressive.”

In my mind it means having steeper economic penalties and it means having a willingness to do more drug testing.

“Aggressive” does not stop there. It also includes his continued support for the death penalty for drug offenses:

In 1996, you introduced a bill that would have given the death penalty to drug smugglers. Do you still stand by that?

I think if you are, for example, the leader of a cartel, sure. Look at the level of violence they’ve done to society. You can either be in the Ron Paul tradition and say there’s nothing wrong with heroin and cocaine or you can be in the tradition that says, ‘These kind of addictive drugs are terrible, they deprive you of full citizenship and they lead you to a dependency which is antithetical to being an American.’ If you’re serious about the latter view, then we need to think through a strategy that makes it radically less likely that we’re going to have drugs in this country.

Places like Singapore have been the most successful at doing that. They’ve been very draconian. And they have communicated with great intention that they intend to stop drugs from coming into their country.

What a dichotomy! You either think there’s nothing wrong with heroin and cocaine, or else you think that drug dependency is “antithetical to being an American.” Why single out drug dependency among the various social ills for “un-American” status, unless the goal is clearly to malign, demonize, scapegoat, and persecute? Looking closely at the Singapore model, I do believe that is precisely the man’s goal. To reshape America along totalitarian lines.

And Republicans (much less a plurality of them) are even considering voting for this guy?

I have to say, I have never been more ashamed to be a Republican than I am right now. (BTW, it pains me to have to write this, because I am a loyal person who has long believed in bending over backwards in the interest of helping the Republican cause.)

And how can he stand there and accuse Ron Paul of saying “there’s nothing wrong with heroin and cocaine”? Ron Paul has gone out of his way to condemn drug use (as well as other irresponsible behaviors), but like many Americans, he believes the war on civil liberties is far worse.  I see the Gingrich view as along the lines of “there’s nothing wrong with violating the Constitution.”

To this Machiavellian striking a utilitarian pose, the Constitution means little or nothing. Nor do the rights of any individual. What matters to him is his opinion of what constitutes the greater “good.” Thus even patients in need of medical marijuana should be deprived of it by the government because otherwise it might send a message that it’s OK!

In 1981, you introduced a bill that would allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes. What has changed?

What has changed was the number of parents I met with who said they did not want their children to get the signal from the government that it was acceptable behavior and that they were prepared to say as a matter of value that it was better to send a clear signal on no drug use at the risk of inconveniencing some people, than it was to be compassionate toward a small group at the risk of telling a much larger group that it was okay to use the drug.

It’s a change of information. Within a year of my original support of that bill I withdrew it.

I’d like apply the Gingrich “logic” to pain killers. Better to have some people inconvenienced by intractable pain than send a message that it is OK to use narcotics! And why not? Aren’t narcotic drugs more dangerous than marijuana?

Pressed for specifics on the WOD, Gingrich makes what I consider a surprising admission. He proposes making drugs more expensive. (Music to the ears of the drug cartels, of course.) By violating the rights of as many Americans as humanly possible in a massive invasion of the privacy of their bodily fluids.

Speaking of Ron Paul, at the last debate, he said that the war on drugs has been an utter failure. We’ve spent billions of dollars since President Nixon and we still have rising levels of drug use. Should we continue down the same path given the amount of money we’ve spent? How can we reform our approach?

I think that we need to consider taking more explicit steps to make it expensive to be a drug user. It could be through testing before you get any kind of federal aid. Unemployment compensation, food stamps, you name it.

[OK, so let’s “name it.” How about getting a tax refund? A mortgage interest deduction? A social security check?]

It has always struck me that if you’re serious about trying to stop drug use, then you need to find a way to have a fairly easy approach to it and you need to find a way to be pretty aggressive about insisting–I don’t think actually locking up users is a very good thing. I think finding ways to sanction them and to give them medical help and to get them to detox is a more logical long-term policy.

Sometime in the next year we’ll have a comprehensive proposal on drugs and it will be designed to say that we want to minimize drug use in America and we’re very serious about it.

Hey, I don’t doubt for one moment that he’s serious about it.

That’s the whole problem.

The man wants to massively ramp up the drug war. A war against citizens he considers less than citizens, and as people who should not be regarded as Americans.

Words fail.

I have been hoping I was wrong in my paranoid assessment of Gingrich, but it has now become obvious that I was right. If anything I understated the case.

Perhaps I should have been “much more aggressive” about Gingrich. When was the last time his urine was tested?

I hate to say this, but I might have to consider voting Libertarian after all.