Here on the third day of Boys State, many have already settled in as elected officials. Those higher-level positions are still up for grabs, and campaigns have begun. With party platforms established and agendas decided political discourse has begun- controversial issues the focus- from gun control and immigration to the legalization of marijuana: all issues that we as young men find pertinent in our communities across Texas. Some of the speeches took a somber mood as we remembered the losses we saw this year in Sutherland Springs and at Santa Fe Highschool. Some took a more lighthearted approach addressing entertaining topics to stimulate their audiences and provide comedic relief.
The political parties really identified where exactly they sit on the political spectrum originally only distinct by name they took up real identities: the beliefs held by those in the majority. Both parties openly consider themselves conservative. Sitting in the Federalist Party delegation I noticed that protecting and expanding Texans liberties was the motivation behind the Federalist agenda.
The general consensus was for the death sentence, but against its litigation, no to new gun restrictions but yes to reform, and overarching support for the legalization of Marijuana. When it came to the legalization of drugs there was little dispute. There was even a call for the legalization of LSD by a candidate for Associate Justice of The Supreme Court: Caleb Brock.
Some already have developed strong feelings of loyalty and pride in their parties for example, Federalist Party Platform Chairman Ben Feinstein told me in regard to his party’s upcoming primary elections, “…the federalist party has a lot of potential… we have a lot of kicka** candidates running for stuff we’re going to win- yeah- I’m excited to see it happen, I’m excited to see it unfold.”
After the political platforms, we were dismissed to lunch where the debate continued. There were heated discussions throughout the lunch rooms well up until the State Party Convention began after a long walk to the capitol.
That is where the legislation got crazy. To list only a few of the topics coming out of the capitol today were the: ‘Embargo of the Cargo’ banning all cargo shorts on the basis of their fashionableness, the establishment of the ‘Texas Space Force’, and the allocation of funds to build the ‘Lone Star’, which will bear eerie resemblance to the Death Star, to be used to deter illegal immigrants by force, lasers and all. The most normal legislation on the floor was the legalization of marijuana.
The point of Boys State is to understand the political processes of Democracy. Though the topics may seem ridiculous the goal is ultimately being realized. The topics you will find are actually very well thought out if you ignore their plausibility. For example, aforementioned Caleb Brock, having done extensive personal research, highlighted LSD’s medical uses arguing, “they’ve been used for treatment of anxiety and depression and PTSD in veterans and all sorts of people,” he even quoted previous Texas drug legislation. All his arguments were supported by real factual evidence.
In the end that’s what makes Boys State so fun. Topics that never would see the light of day on, like LSD legalization, find the podium.
To end on a serious note, the satirical topics presented shadow the real topics that most find too difficult, painful, and their legislation too colluded to discuss effectively, and when the unspoken is finally spoken only then can real change begin. As ridiculous as it may seem together we have embarked on that difficult journey already even if only tragicomically: we are talking about it.
That’s where I have to commend Boys State. It collects the best young men throughout Texas and presents them with a platform to begin that much needed discussion and launch a generation of leaders passionate about the well-being of their state and their country.
Author: Isaac Moncrief