Think Progress (spoiler alert: they're liberal) has a great post up tonight reminding us that with all the 24/blather about the presidential race, what's most striking is all the issues that the candidates never talk about. One or two of them we've written about here on the blog (drones...perhaps you've heard of them) but most of them we've ignored, too. (where is the epic Attytood rant on factory farming, for example?)
The first one on the list strikes me as most important:
Writing in the New Yorker, Adam Gopnik termed “mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history…perhaps the fundamental fact [of American society], as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850.” Indeed, as Gopnik notes, there are more black men are in prison today than were enslaved then and more total people in prison than there were in Stalin’s gulags at their largest. The result of this wave of imprisonment was structural inequality so severe that it was called “the new Jim Crow” by a famous book of the same title, as the strict limitations placed on convicted felons have rendered millions black Americans second-class citizens. One of the principal causes of the rise of mass incarceration is the War on Drugs, which has failed abysmally at limiting the use of dangerous drugs but succeeded wildly at aiding and abetting racial inequality in the United States and the murderous drug trade abroad. The Justice Department recently doubled down on these policies by initiating a massive crackdown on medical marijuana in states that have legalized the drug’s medicinal use.
Maybe when the number in prison hits 47 percent the media or the candidates will take notice...