Vittert: Neither party empowered by tackling fentanyl deaths –



) — The desire for political power explains just about everything in America.

It’s official now that fentanyl kills more, many more, young Americans than guns, according to CDC estimates. The numbers are indisputable. But you wouldn’t know that by watching network TV or reading America’s biggest newspapers.

The reason for that is simple. Dealing with fentanyl deaths gives power to Republican ideas, while focusing on gun deaths gives power to Democratic ideas.

First, the numbers for deaths among Americans ages 18 to 49. There were 79,000 fentanyl deaths in 2020 and 2021 combined. Compare that to the 58,000 gun deaths in 2020 and 2021. And yet, you don’t hear about fentanyl.

Sure, you know what’s happening, but nobody in Washington or the newsrooms of the major TV networks, seem to care when it does. I’ll give credit where credit is due to the Washington Post, which pointed it out in their article: “Cause of death: Washington faltered as fentanyl gripped America.” it’s a compelling story, complete with pictures of police overwhelmed by emotion associated with the sheer numbers of death. It’s actually not much different when you look at those pictures of police overwhelmed at school shootings.

But the Washington Post story is really only half a story. Washington faltered. We know that, but why? They point to a failure of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Consider another reason: Going after fentanyl is politically inconvenient. Neither side gains political power from it. Compare that to going after guns, which Democratic politicians love to do. The White House even turns over the podium in the press briefing room to Matthew McConaughey to go after guns.


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