A postscript to Ronald and Nancy Reagan’s televised catechism from the residence of the White House, in which the first lady, dressed in red and gold, issued a black-and-white admonition to the nation’s schoolchildren: “Just say no” to drugs, she said, in her sincere but mistaken belief that words could trump what neither law enforcement could stop nor the laws of economics could slow––the demand for illegal drugs.
I say instead: “Build the Wall.” Build walls, plural, to prevent Mexican and Chinese drug smugglers from sending synthetic opioids to the United States.
Between the manufacture and sale of counterfeit pills in general, and fentanyl in particular, Mexican cartels and Chinese drug smugglers use our 1,954-mile-long southern border as the world’s biggest vein: a means of penetrating the body politic, so Americans can inject their bodies with poison, overdose, and die.
I know of what I write, because I know how hard it was to say “No.” I know how hard it was to right my mind, so I could stand upright; how hard it was to lift my arms, as they had been withered by heroin and weakened by tourniquets; how hard it was to speak when, for weeks, I needed a machine to breathe; how hard it was to go from the darkness of a coma into the brightness of consciousness. I have earned my stripes in a war I oppose, but a war it nevertheless is, which means I can either do nothing or let nothing stop me from exposing this threat to our country.
The threat comes in the form of “Mexican Oxy,” knockoff pills that contain heroin and/or fentanyl, in addition to similar “imports” from China. If we are to end this trade imbalance, which no tariff can correct and no task force can control, we must replace these bricks of heroin––we must substitute these brown paper-wrapped packages––with actual bricks and mortar, and barbed wire too, until the porous is virtually impenetrable.
We must put America first by putting Mexico and China on notice.
To them, I say: We did not start this war, but we intend to win it.