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Points Toward the Presidency: Stephen Colbert

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Editor’s Note: Following her reviews of the Ricks– Santorum and Perry— Guest Blogger Kelsey Harclerode brings her attention to the third (or maybe second-and-a-half) candidate in Saturday’s South Carolina Republican primary: journalist and political pundit Stephen Colbert.

Friday’s “South Cain-olina Primary Rally”made it clear: Stephen Colbert wants to be the Republican presidential nominee.

Because Colbert has never held elective office, his record is relatively slim compared to those of his fellow contenders for the nomination. But because I am a ruthless reporter dedicated to informing Points readers about each and every candidate’s drug policy stances, I have delved deep into Colbert’s record (and mind) in order to better vet this potential President of the United States of America. Below, I detail Colbert’s positions on some of the biggest drug issues of this campaign season.

Youth Expert Colbert, ca. 2002

Unsurprisingly, most candidates during this primary have assumed that the continued prohibition of marijuana and other drugs is the most reliable way to reduce teen use. Colbert offered up a refreshingly different solution back in 2002, when he served as the Senior “Youth-of-Today” Analyst at The Daily Show. Thinking outside the political box, he suggested that adults show off their drug use to convince rebellious kids that drugs are not cool.

Colbert is in a position to offer sound policy strategies in this area; although most of the American public is probably unaware of it, Colbert is in fact Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, DFA (honorary Doctor of Fine Arts). The seriousness with which he takes his role as a public health advocate is evident in his commitment to promoting wellness and the proper use of over the counter medications in his television segment “Cheating Death,” sponsored by Prescott Pharmaceuticals.

Guard Your Borders, Lock Your Doors

But if Colbert supports drug education and wellness, he’s nobody’s softie. He has shown a keener grasp of the political economy of drug trafficking than any of the other candidates, arguing in 2006 that “the greatest threat these drug dealing scum pose is not to our children, but to our marketing campaigns.” Thanks to this insight, Colbert has been an ardent supporter of the War on Drugs. In 2009, he noted that cross-border drug trafficking to Mexico had resulted in violence that could no longer be called “mild” but was truly “caliente,” and he called on President Obama to stop “considering” deploying more troops on the border and “just do it.” In a 2008 interview with the Drug Policy Alliance front man Ethan Nadelman, Colbert fearlessly asked the lobbyist if the War on Drugs was “a ‘Great’ war or ‘the Greatest’?” In the same conversation, he unmasked the marijuana lobby’s plot to free every “drug-addled zombie” currently in jail for possession and let them loose on the nation’s streets. This unambiguous crusaders’ zeal puts Colbert far out in front of the other Republican candidates on the drug war ferocity scale.

This will serve him well in South Carolina, and Colbert should anticipate an even larger margin when his campaign hits Florida. It was just last year when Colbert applauded Florida Governor Rick Scott’s ingenious decision to write his own support letters for citizens to mail in to their local newspapers. Since Colbert publicly “praised Rick Scott’s praise of Rick Scott,” the Governor will no doubt be an invaluable asset to the on-the-ground Colbert campaign in Florida. In the words of Colbert’s hero, “Bring ’em on!”

Position on the Points Inhale-Scale: A vote for Stephen Colbert is vote against drugs and for big business!

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