ABC is debuting its new show “Homeland Security USA” tonight at 8pm eastern time. Presumably the show is intended to make us all proud to be an American. If the previews are any indication, I won’t be feeling very proud.
Many of the preview segments focus on busting drug runners, probably because it makes for very good television. Cutting open a Ford Contour at the border and finding bundles of some sort of drug has a sort of “gotcha” appeal. The appeal of high-speed boat chases doesn’t need to be explained.
Seeing criminals caught red-handed (think “America’s Most Wanted”) is usually satisfying, but when it’s for the victimless crime of transporting drugs, there’s little to be excited about.
By creating black markets for cocaine, heroine, and other drugs, the “War on Drugs” has helped only criminals. By making drugs hard to come by, prices have gone up. Making substances that were once available at any drugstore worth their weight in gold. Just like alcohol prohibition created Al Capone and the modern mafia, the drug war has fueled organized crime and created urban gang violence. Protecting the turf where drugs are sold has caused violence to escalate, hurting countless people not involved in the drug trade and tearing apart our inner cities.
So, seeing federal agents chase down a drug smuggler, beat him, and arrest, him doesn’t fill me with patriotic fervor.
The rest of the show concerns itself with Homeland Security’s role is policing our borders not for illegal things, but illegal people. The clip shown on the website shows an officer saving us from the menace of a woman trying to work in the US without a proper work Visa. How dare she!
The comic tragedy of the interaction between the agent and this Visa-less woman is her would-be profession: she wants to be a belly dancer.
Surely America can afford to have one belly dancing gig go to a foreigner!
It’s thinking of tragedies and absurdities like these that sap what patriotism I have left.
I hope Americans see this show and sees it for what it is, a naked admission of just how out of control government has become.