The Question Rubio Won’t Answer

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He’s from the younger Latino generation but belongs to a party whose center of gravity is with the white elderly. Maybe that explains it. But let’s deconstruct his answer to the question: “Have you ever smoked pot?”:

“I’ll tell you why I never answer that question. If I tell you that I haven’t, you won’t believe me.”

‘Tis true. But if you told us you had, we’d believe you. And that is simply a function of the rank dishonesty in this debate. So why not challenge that dishonesty, simply tell the truth, grapple with the details of the argument, pro and con, and take a position informed by your own life and experience? That’s what elected representatives are supposed to do. So why are you refusing to do your job?

“And if I tell you that I did, then kids will look up to me and say, ‘well, I can smoke marijuana because look how he made it.’”

Well, duh. So – again – why the avoidance of the truth? Because you prefer propaganda to truth? Because your own life would illuminate one aspect of the debate? So for fuck’s sake, tell us if you did or didn’t. It’s not that hard. No one will be offended either way – and at least people will give you points for candor. After all, politicians have been asked that question regularly since Bill Clinton.

The last three presidents all smoked weed before they became president. And the truth is: smoking marijuana does not ruin the lives of the vast majority of those who smoke it. If you know that to be true (and it’s undeniable), why are you still dodging the question?

“I know I’m sounding like a 42-year-old dad, but here’s the problem. You can make mistakes at 17 that will be with you the rest of your life, OK? … People won’t get hired because of that stuff.”

But the only reason people don’t get hired is because of the Prohibition we’re discussing. So this is completely circular. As is completely obvious.

The one thing that has struck me most forcefully these past few months as the marijuana debate has finally really gone mainstream is how desperately unprepared the politicians are to grapple with it, and how transparently weak the arguments of the Prohibitionists are. Rubio just confirms what we already knew. He refuses to answer relevant questions about his own life, refuses to take a stand even on a clear ballot initiative in his home state, and reverts almost instinctively to a circular argument when forced into the open. He has essentially abdicated being an elected representative because his political interests – pandering to the white elderly – require him to sustain any number of untruths. I’m sorry, but I don’t have sympathy for him. Just contempt.