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During a visit to New Hampshire this week, a state that Trump once referred to as “a drug-infested den,” during the 2016 campaign, the president rolled out his plan to combat the American opioid crisis. The three-pronged approach addresses prevention, rehabilitation, and trafficking–which carries a potential death penalty punishment.
Is President Trump seriously promoting the death penalty for drug pushers?
After dropping a big hint on the subject last January with, “I think I actually know the answer, but I’m not sure the country is ready for it yet,” Trump finally said the words out loud, “If we don’t get tough we’re wasting our time, and that includes the death penalty.”
Why New Hampshire?
It was New Hampshire’s mind-boggling statistics on opioid abuse that prompted then-candidate Trump in 2016 to announce another campaign promise; eradication of drug use and abuse for residents of the Granite State and across America:
“More than any place, this state, I’ve never seen anything like it with what’s happening with the drugs, more so than in other places, and other places are a disaster. But we’re going to turn it around for New Hampshire.”
New Hampshire, which leads the nation in per-capita deaths caused by fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, had just experienced the highest death toll on record at 481 people, and the presidential election brought the epidemic to center stage.
It appears Trump is making good on that pledge.
Too Little, Too Late?
Following on the heels of Trump’s campaign promise, then President Barak Obama channeled First Lady Nancy Reagan and turned the heat up a notch in the war on drugs with a special opioid addiction awareness week:
“During Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, we pause to remember all those we have lost to opioid use disorder, we stand with the courageous individuals in recovery, and we recognize the importance of raising awareness of this epidemic.”
To be fair, Obama held a meeting or two after spending eight years in the highest office in the land with no discernible progress. My hero.
The Trump battle plan has been in the works for almost 18-months, as the administration held several private meetings with his inner circle, sent his top advisers to hold town halls, what he has termed “listening tours,” and established a commission to study opioid use and abuse in America. Just a few short months ago, Trump declared the abuse of Opioids, including prescription painkillers and street drugs, heroin and synthetic narcotics such as fentanyl, to be national health emergency, revving the engines of his task force into a street race unparalleled by previous administrations.
For those of you who have become accustomed to lip service in the past 12 years, that’s called progress.
Capital Punishment. Why Not?
Of course, the United States should hold their policies and laws to the highest sniff test. But there are times when fighting fire with fire is necessary. The opioid scourge is one of those times. Several other nations, Singapore and the Philippines, just to name drop, have a stringent judiciary law in place for drug dealers, possessors and traffickers. To paraphrase comedian Ron White, you deal drugs and kill people, we will kill you back. Does it work? Drug problem in Singapore; what drug problem?
“You kill 5,000 people with drugs because you’re smuggling them in and you are making a lot of money and people are dying. And they don’t even put you in jail. That’s why we have a problem, folks. I don’t think we should play games.”
If we know anything after a few years of Trump, he will pull out all the stops to bring a promise to fruition. This crisis is no different and perhaps it is with his older brother, Fred Jr., in mind that he is floating capital punishment for those who traffic drugs as a career. The elder Trump died in 1981 from an addiction to alcohol and substance abuse. The president defers to the love of his sibling on the subject and has repeatedly and with visible sadness stated, “He had it all.”
Let Trump Be Trump
America’s addiction to opioids killed more than 42,000 people in the U.S. in 2016; a number that liberals won’t acknowledge in public when gun violence is their go to 2018 game plan. Cogitate on that number; 42,000 while deaths by firearms contribute to approximately 13,000 each year. In 18 short months, the President has a plan to reduce opioid abuse, addiction, and trafficking; a subject no other President spent time understanding or attempting to solve. It’s time to give the guy credit for action and not the usual Swamp toady lip service. Mrs. Reagan would be proud.