I was terrified of my bathroom when I was five. My neighbor told me that there were spies from the government who were listening in there. As I grew older, I realized that he was another one of the many paranoid meth lab anarchists escaping his fears by living in the woods away from where the government could get him. When I moved away from rural Humboldt County, I thought I had moved away from people who irrationally fear the government, but Michael Drew’s column (“Don’t Let Authoritarianism Creep Its Way Into Society, Daily Nexus, May 26) proved me wrong.
Referring to our democracy as an “encroaching police state,” Drew bases his argument on the amount of legislature passed in California per year. He mistakes bills written for the benefit of society as the evil plot of the government. Last time I checked, raising minimum wage and banning the watching of TV while driving weren’t typically considered evil by Californians; the California Legislature doesn’t make laws against evil, they update laws to fit contemporary times, protect the safety of the citizens and allocate funds to improve the welfare of Californians, whether this is welfare or water. Drew overlooks the fact that he attends a publicly funded university, travels on public roads and collects mail from the U.S. Postal Service.
Drew also gives passing reference to controversial marijuana laws created by our “metastasizing” government, asking is “passing laws against something that occurs naturally ludicrous?” But last I checked, marijuana never grew indigenously in the United States, being introduced in the 16th century. It’s not like the police arrest people because they didn’t weed their backyard. People who grow marijuana know the risk and accept the consequences if caught. And no, passing laws involving naturally occurring things is not ludicrous. I am quite happy with building codes keeping my house from collapsing on top of me. Gravity is natural, right?
But because this is America, and Drew is allowed to come up with a “peaceful solution” to our evil empire, I have a suggestion. Move to the Humboldt forests and live with my paranoid neighbor, spouting your conspiracy theories while watching your crop grow. If you live where I did, you wouldn’t have to deal with the government’s awful roads, schools, phone lines, electricity, the whole infrastructure created by our “mess of a system.”
Jessica Lavash is a senior linguistics and global studies major.