Charles Rehn - Democrat for President 2004

A Conversation With America
Questions That Must Be Answered
Web Edition (c) 2002, 2003 Charles Rehn All Rights Reserved




Vices: A Preface


This is one of those areas where we need to have an adult conversation. By that, I mean one where we agree to look at the facts and remove the hysteria and political manipulations and look at the facts.

I want to keep my promise to be very candid with you, and at the same time respect those who disagree, as well as be sure to not send the wrong message to young people.

The first thing I want to say is that I do not believe it is appropriate to judge other people for their activities unless it actually impacts me in a negative way, and then I would only ask that they stop impacting  me. I also believe it is appropriate for the government to limit activities or products, if you will, that are harmful to an individual based on science, not ideology.

I am not what some would call a "Darwinist", believing that we should allow people to ingest drugs at their own peril, or thinking that some all chemicals are innocuous to society.

I believe that any chemica or organic vice is actually a potentially  undesireable thing. Marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, sugar... you name it, very often the effects are the result of a response to poison. They trick your body's immune system into responding in a certain way that makes you think you feel good, effects nerve centers and such... but ultimately, it's  a trick to your body.  Good or bad.

That said, every civilization has had its vices. Like anything, anything can be abused, anything can be harmful, but, generally, most vices simply provid occasional relief from day to day tensions or are used in clebrations and rituals. And, like alcohol, some can actually provide some beneficial effects to your body in a medicinal way.

While I see no problem with the use of some vices, I neither advocate/endorse or oppose them. I believe it is a matter of personal choice, so long as I do not burden others by my habits and others do not burden me.

I also believe that it's important to educate young people as to the hazards vs intended benefits in a way that does not preach to them or forbid them, but informs them in a way that allows them the choice to abstain or, at least choose to moderate their activities in a way that does not harm them or others.

They should be informed about the symptoms of problems, and the assistance available if it's needed. And they should be told the truth, because, after all, they will do what they will do, and betraying their confidence will only cause them to distrust authority.

It's important for young people to understand that acknowledging how, as I did, as most people do, experimenting and drinking and partying is fun, but the fact is that when you're growing up, everything you do and experience shapes your view of the world.

That view inevitably determines your ability to accomplish goals in life, it allows you to appreciate your life and your world in a way that empowers you to feel free to pursue your passions, and gives you the ability to separate reality from illusion when evaluating the obstacles that you meet, and the ways to resolve impasses in the normal course of life.

The abuse or overuse of anything that impairs your perceptions at a young age, during the time when your view of the world is formed as the foundation for who you become in life, can lead to a great deal of turmoil and internal suffering, as well as the squandering of time, hopes and dreams.

When I was in my early teens in the San Francisco Bay Area, it was at the time  of hippies and the Haight-Ashbury, and I saw a lot of people having a good time. But I also saw a lot of people damage their bodies and sacrifice their futures, even their lives, over drugs and alcohol, seeking something outside themselves to make them feel better about themselves and their world. 

For a while, it seemed like every other week, someone would take LSD and come to the conclusion that they were God, and throw themselves off a particular train tressel by the boardwalk, thinking they could fly... and they would usually die.

There are many things that influence our views of the world; substances, people, abuse, good and bad experiences, rejection and love.  But right now, what I'm talking about is drugs and alcohol, in particular.  You may not have control of the world, but you do have control over this. Your personal world.

I simply ask that you consider that even good things can be bad if used unwisely or with ill intent.


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(C) 2002,2003-2009 Charles Rehn Jr IV  All rights reserved