Say No to Gore Vidal's "Drugs"

Essay by maiflowerHigh School, 12th gradeA+, August 2008

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For many years now, the United States has been waging a costly war against drugs and the complications that they bring along, but in his essay "Drugs," Gore Vidal proposes to have what he believes is the solution to this problem. Whether for or against the issue, the intrigue that surrounds Gore Vidal's controversial stance for drug legalization is undeniable but ultimately not enough to be fully convincing. Vidal's casual and sarcastic tone spawns interest and maintains attention, but after critically reading each line, there is no denying that numerous fallacies are hidden throughout the entire piece. Vidal claims that the miracle cure to America's problems with drugs and addiction is to legalize drugs, but this radical proposal is often supported by logic based on speculation, which is usually not a trustworthy source of evidence. Not only are most of his arguments assumptions, but many of his concepts are also oversimplified.

What ultimately kills the argument's credibility is his often inflexible or unrealistic reasoning that gives no leeway for a middle ground position on his argument for legalization.

Putting aside the reasoning and logic, the proposal itself is too experimental, unrealistic, and does not take into account how the plan may play into morality. Unlike another simplistic approach against drugs - Ronald Reagan's "Just Say No" policy - that was at least "directed at lessening drug use," Vidal's plan of full legalization is literally a plan to actively "do nothing to stem the tide of drug abuse" (Vacco). Although the after-effects of legalization may help to solve the nation's drug problem, no one knows for sure because Vidal's presumed positive results of drug legalization are essentially theoretical since the U.S. has never attempted to legalize all drugs before. Not only that, legalization is unrealistic because the United States would be...