Thursday, May 21, 2015

Waka Flocka Flame for President!

Originally published by Voices of Liberty

Most of the people reading this will vote for Rand Paul or Gary Johnson in the upcoming Presidential election. However, there’s one candidate that everyone should be paying attention to: Atlanta-based rapper Juaquin James Malphurs, better known by his stage name, Waka Flocka Flame. Pundits are already having a good laugh, but here is what those spineless, arrogant fools are missing: this is a very important candidacy coming to the public at a crucial time.

Yes, it’s true that there’s no way Waka Flocka will make it to the White House in 2016; he’s still 28 years old, or seven years younger than the Constitutional age requirement to be President of the United States. But not everyone runs to get elected. Waka Flocka’s video announcement on Rolling Stone Magazine’s YouTube channel, made on “4/20, the best day of the year,” makes the rapper’s number one issue clear.

Waka Flocka has said over and over that he’ll legalize marijuana on Day 1 in the White House. Foreign Policy’s Benjamin Soloway remarked that this is a “goes-without-saying plan.” But from a libertarian perspective, the simplicity of the issue really does go without saying. There are over 11,000 Executive Orders on the books, most of them dictatorial in some way or another, that are still enforced as law.

All that it would take to bring on the beginning of the end of the War on Drugs would be for one Executive Order with one sentence: Marijuana is legal in the United States. If the next President actually gave a damn about constitutional procedure and didn’t want to bypass Congress, he could still put out a one-sentence Executive Order on Day 1 in office: Possession and distribution of marijuana will not be prosecuted by the government of the United States.

I have much respect for Waka Flocka Flame as he tours the country and brings awareness to the marijuana issue and the only clear solution to America’s current drug problem: legalize it. America tried Prohibition already, and it didn’t work. Prohibition has only grown the prison industrial complex, devastated the black community out of proportion with other ethnic groups, and fueled the flames of civil wars across Latin America, especially Mexico and Colombia.

Candidates who are simply running as agents of change have a power to truly change the national dialogue; just take a look at how much more libertarian the dialogue is leaning after Ron Paul’s candidacy than before 2012.

Waka Flocka has also mentioned to the press how he sees himself as an Independent—as do many libertarians and aspiring libertarians—but days after declaring his candidacy, he unofficially endorsed Hillary Clinton. Part of this may be because of her [current, subject to change] support for state-level marijuana legalization. However, this endorsement came with a condition: that Hillary advertise for his new album, Fleckavelli 2. She has not done so, and her failure to return Waka Flocka’s endorsement perhaps voided it. The rapper also later claimed to view Hillary Clinton as his only competition.

Though he at one time endorsed Hillary, his classifying Clinton as the opposition is right on the money. Clinton’s marijuana stance is dangerous to liberty and to the legal cannabis industry. State-level legalization does nothing to end the federal War on Drugs. This has been the case in California, especially San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties, as the DEA under the Obama administration has shut down more state-law-abiding dispensaries than under George Bush.

If Waka Flocka is as dedicated to marijuana rights as he says—and I believe he is—he should be supporting the Republican frontrunner, Rand Paul. The libertarian-leaning conservative truly believes in “Don’t tread on me,” and is already on board with ending the War on Drugs which treads on millions of people. Rand Paul is the only current (of-age) candidate that’s been calling to end the drug war for years, and he has a voting record in the Senate to prove it.

On the other hand, Hillary Clinton has supported the drug war since at least the 1990s. Even after President Obama was reelected—after breaking his promises to dial down the War on Drugs—Hillary Clinton said to Politico that “legalization is not the answer to the drug war.” Her sudden back-peddling to status quo of legalizing marijuana at state levels—something beyond the President’s control, anyway—truly gives me the sense that Hillary Clinton is just another flip-flopping politician who will lie when it’s convenient.

Unfortunately for this self-appointed dictator, neither Waka Flocka Flame nor Rand Paul give a damn about her changing positions on the War on Drugs. They both understand that to partake, or not to partake, is the individual’s choice and a natural right that no law or dictator can change.

In the meantime, I look forward to watching Waka Flocka’s candidacy. I think he’ll do good work bringing to light the suffering that the War on Drugs has caused Americans, especially inner city communities that are disproportionately affected. He’s already highlighting the simplicity of the solution: legalization! Better yet, once Waka Flocka realizes his views on drugs are aligned with Rand Paul’s, he might even endorse the good doctor!

So far, this 28 year old rapper from Atlanta is doing a great job getting millions of apolitical fans to pay attention to a key issue. Of the top three parties running candidates for next November, the frontrunners are currently Hillary Clinton, Rand Paul, and Gary Johnson. At the moment, both Rand Paul and Gary Johnson are for ending the drug war. Only Clinton is for continuing the oppression. But hey, I still count our lucky stars to know that 2 out of 3 mainstream candidates are pro-liberty!

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First Waka Flocka Flame image courtesy of Voices of Liberty.  Second Waka Flocka image courtesy of Adam Bielawski via CC BY-SA 3.0 license and obtained from Wikimedia Commons.

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