A Question of Character:
“You did drugs and you should be disqualified because it shows a serious flaw in your character”.
First let me say that when I site historical figures I am not comparing myself to men of that stature. When I use the name JFK, MLK, Gandhi, etc. I am not saying I am their equal or comparing myself to them. I am an ordinary person.
Kennedy, FDR, why our leaders today seem of less stature than those leaders of the past. These men lived in the world and were not held up to an impossible standard of behavior. They were men of their times, not insulated from the world. They lived lives that broke the rules, frequently. They made mistakes, they had affairs, used drugs and alcohol, and they literally saved the nation and the world from nuclear annihilation and world domination by an evil empire. This is not an academic question, it is a question of survival. What is at stake is our survival as a people and as a civilization. It is time to grow up and let human beings be human beings. Human beings make mistakes all the time. Did their mistakes make them a danger to themselves or their nation. Were they addicted to alcohol or drugs, no. Did their sexual behavior break the law, no. Would the standard you are applying today have harmed the nation and the world if applied to them, yes. Without FDR we would be speaking German. Without JFK the USA would be a nuclear wasteland. At some point you must recognize that unrealistic demands on public figures is in and of itself a very dangerous thing. The standard should be, does the behavior break the law, shock the conscience, disable the mental capacity and decision making ability of the responsible party. I am not saying addiction to alcohol or drugs is okay. I am not saying criminality is okay. But neither is the demand for purity in our public figures.
Young people who are just starting out in life are getting a terrible message. You are telling them to play it safe or else. The message is, if they get in a fight with their boyfriend/girlfriend and go out and get drunk, or whatever and drive their pickup truck into the bar ditch that their life is over. The way they see the world is, if they make a mistake at 15 or 18 they won’t get into their first choice college, which means they won’t meet the perfect mate, get the perfect job offer, and then live the life they have all planned out for themselves. These demands and expectations means the generation to come is stunted and imprisoned by fear of the slightest mistake. Can we afford one more generation that merely made good grades while living in a bubble?
I make mistakes every day but I try to do better every day. I do not abuse drugs and alcohol. I do not have a drug or alcohol dependency and I never have. Not once in my entire life have I ever sought treatment for same. On occasion I have a drink of wine or a beer. On occasion in the past I have used cannabis for medicinal purposes related to my autoimmune illness. I take a drug test every 90 days to prove I am not using drugs. I will continue to do so.
If I was a drug addict or mentally ill person I would not have been able to accomplish what I have done. I was accepted into the laboratory of the scientist who literally wrote the bible on molecular genetics. I went into business with the former head of the National Defense University. I joined the Hanta Virus Team at Texas Tech University. I have written books, made films, written songs, taught school, taught myself a foreign language, traveled the world. These are not the accomplishments of a mentally ill drug addict. If you wish to believe that I am a racist, sexual deviant, or mentally ill drug addict you are free to do so, but it is a lie used to change the subject.