I was watching President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address Tuesday with my usual cynicism of any of the government’s propagandist ceremonies which cover over with pomp its many notorious defilements of so many people’s life, liberty, and property.

These magnificent annual pageants of trite partisanship follow such a tight script that they are predictable to the point of banality.

The president lists off everything good happening in the world and takes credit for it. Half the room claps effusively while the other crosses their arms and stares blankly. It is a ritual play acting of the cult of partisanship that creates a perpetual scapegoat (the other party!) for the relentless, oppressive impositions of the U.S. federal government on the American people.

It’s a ritual that sanctifies this political-dysfunction-by-design, elevating it as an ideal, while it imbues the ruling executive with an aura of ascendancy.

The Liberation of Alice Marie Johnson

But I was overwhelmed with deep admiration for Donald Trump when he introduced a woman who had spent the last 21 years in forced confinement for a first time, non-violent violation of the half century old, draconian Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

Alice Marie Johnson’s imprisonment for the last 21 years was a sustained act of brutal, physical violence against a woman in America.

She didn’t hurt anybody. She didn’t steal from anybody. She didn’t defraud anybody. She didn’t even bother anybody. She wasn’t causing any trouble. The police were.

Because she made a choice about her own body, she was forcefully denied by armed men for 21 years the right to make any choices about her body or her life.

A Victim of The 50 Year War on Drugs

She was a victim of the institutionalization of violence against the American people, and as the government’s own reported data reveal, it is selectively enforced against racial minorities.

In 2016 John Ehrlichman, counsel and Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs under Nixon, told Dan Baum in an interview for Harper’s Magazine, that the Nixon-era War on Drugs originated as a method of political persecution, and non-white Americans were explicitly among the intended targets of this devious and malicious policy.

Read this quote slowly:

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Three Cheers for Donald Trump and Alice Johnson

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