Can we admit we’re part of the problem?

Reasonable people should at least agree in concept that some degree of control should be exercised by the federal government at the Mexican border. The Mexican border is ground zero for immigration. Canadians appear to be content with high taxes, socialized medicine, expensive booze, expensive gasoline, and less than balmy weather. We should hardly blame Mexicans for wanting to leave their country. The Mexican government has a long history of corruption and the Mexican drug cartels are well organized, well funded, well armed, and in many ways more powerful than the Mexican government.

It would be comfortable and convenient for the USA to blame all of this on Mexico. The uncomfortable facts are these: The USA is Mexico’s primary consumer of marijuana. The USA is Mexico’s primary consumer of heroin. The USA is Mexico’s primary consumer of fentanyl. The USA is Mexico’s primary consumer of methamphetamine. The USA is Mexico’s primary consumer of cocaine.

The import-export business with Mexico, however, is a two-way street. Recently the Mexican government arrested Ovidio Guzman Loera, the son of Joaquin Guzman Loera also known as “El Chapo”. El Chapo is now serving a life sentence in an American federal prison having been sentenced for his role as a drug cartel kingpin. The snake appears to still be functioning quite well, however, without its former head. The Mexican cartel run still by El Chapo’s family recently overpowered the Mexican army while wearing bulletproof vests, using AR-15s, AK-47s and reportedly at least one grenade launcher. The cartel kidnapped the Mexican soldiers’ families, took control of the airport in a city of one million people while also blocking main thoroughfares. The military type weaponry used by the cartel was all reportedly manufactured in the USA.

There is no justification for the violent and amoral behavior of the Mexican drug cartels. That said, if people in the USA are buying the cartel’s drugs and supplying the cartels with military-grade weapons and bulletproof vests, what does that say about our country? What could possibly be wrong with too much dope and too many powerful weapons being manufactured and sold? This is the dark underbelly of a free market economy. It is perhaps even worse in Central America.

There are no easy solutions to these problems, but it might be a good start for the USA to admit that it is part of the problem. Ask your friends in AA how well it works to solve a problem one won’t admit. H.L. Mencken said it best, “There is always an easy solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.”

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Jim Maxson

Mr. Maxson is a retired Minot attorney, former ND State Senator representing Minot's 3rd District from 1986-1994, and former ND Democratic National Committeeman from 2000-2008. He speaks two languages, English and Metaphor, and is cursed by a long memory.

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