University of South Carolina Aiken America Love It or Leave It Questions
Watch the following video clip featuring Texas Governor Rick Perry and Comedian Jon Stewart:
Then in your post answering the prompt, discuss the following questions:
1. What is the major point of contention between Rick Perry and Jon Stewart about how much states should be able to set their own laws? In particular, pay attention to Jon Stewart’s line around 2:06 that gets applause for his philosophy (Perry is fairly open and consistent throughout.)
2. Apply the two worldviews of the authors to the issue of medicinal marijuana. What would Jon Stewart say should be the policy, vs. Rick Perry? Don’t just focus on what each person personally supports but instead their philosophy of government.
Jon Stewart and Rick Perry possess differing ideologies on whether power should lie with the federal government or the states. Stewart believes freedoms should be protected by the government, not restricted by it, and that all citizens should enjoy basic rights regardless of which state they live in. No state is ideologically homogenous and thus an individual state’s populace will never unanimously agree on its policies. However, a state changing their laws based upon the whims of their majority population is obviously harmful to inhabitants in the minority view. Conversely, Perry believes too much power is consolidated in the federal government, which is inefficient and ineffective in administering their primary roles. States can more effectively cater and manage programs aimed at helping their citizens versus a one-size fits all national scheme. Furthermore, states are different and should be able to make decisions about what they want to do without central government interference. Citizens are free to choose and move to states more accommodating to their views and wants if they disagree with their state’s policies.
Pertaining to medicinal marijuana, Jon Stewart would view it as a freedom that should be available to everyone regardless of which state they reside. While marijuana remains illegal under federal law, a decision I’m sure Stewart disagrees with, he also wouldn’t support states making individual mandates restricting legality of its use. Ricky Perry would undoubtedly support state’s rights to make decisions in regard to the approval and/or regulation of marijuana.