By Nathan Barton
This is a continuation of the last posting: The Election for Massa: Mixed Results.
But it is the ballot issues that are the point of my commentary this morning. You can see the results of the major ones in one place at NPR. It is really a mixed bag.
Cannabis proponents and businesses have the best results. Except in Arizona, the various efforts to legalize both recreational and medical use seem to have succeeded. If I am not mistaken, a majority of States AND a majority of population as calculated by state, now have legalized cannabis. I am NOT in favor of toking any more than I am of smoking or drinking, but the travesty of liberty and justice that the War on Some Drugs has given us may be weakening and that is a good thing. I don’t believe that people should smoke tobacco or marijuana or drink liquor, but I don’t believe that they should go to prison or be fined because they do or sell it to willing buyers. Of course, several places, like California, have replaced the black market with a market that resembles the Soviet model – or perhaps that of Pharaoh’s Egypt: no way it is a free market, and even less of one than Colorado.
On the other hand, the hoplophobes and hoploclasts had a far better day than is good for their states, and for the Fifty States as a whole. Nevada, California, and Washington state have all taken yet another step farther to disarming their own people, which makes less and less sense to anyone who loves liberty. (Maine defeated the attempt there.) Making it harder to buy weapons for self defense against criminals (in and out of government) will fuel the resentment and rebellion demonstrated by the recent Bundy Ranch and Malhour Wildlife Refuge confrontations.
But there are many other ballot issues: constitutional amendments and initiated measures and referred laws that should be examined. They are far wider ranging than the issues of cannabis and firearms/self-defense.
I can understand why people voted for many, even though they are bad ideas: the idea of a “crime victims’ bill of rights” is one that showed up (and passed) in South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana. Adding this stuff to state constitutions is not good in the long run, although it was justified frustration with the judicial system that triggered these.
Some of them are incredibly bad: the “campaign finance reform” measure in South Dakota (I called it and still do, “Welfare for Politicians”) is an example. The taxpayers of the state will fund many political campaigns with no choice.
Several states (including both South Dakota and Colorado) preserved or increased minimum wages, an action that will continue to harm their economies. But it is easy to see why people would vote for that, as our “recovery” continues to fail to provide the same living we took for granted just 10-20 years ago.
A number of the measures tinkered with government itself: Maine voted to allow ranked-choice voting and Missouri voted to require ID for voting, to name two. An attempt to create a fully-socialized medical system in Colorado failed by 80-20, which was surprisingly high given the strong Tranzi showing in the state on races for office.
But what is very notable about the ballot issues is how many of them show significant splits in the electorate in many states: there were three where the vote was 50-50; another 12 issues had results of 55-45 or less. (That is out of the 44 total NPR reported): the states are more divided than ever not just on WHO to elect to office but on issues of great importance in day-to-day life. I do believe that it is getting worse.
We do not (right now, at least) need to make sure our bug-out bags are fully ready, load into our cars, weapons readily to hand, to prepare for civil unrest (although there were supposedly massive “student protests” with some violence on at least five campuses of state universities in California against the evil of electing Trump as Massa). At least no more than usual. But the time is moving closer.
Mama’s Note: I don’t plan to slack off on my preparations for disaster… that old asteroid may yet cancel the human “election.”
One last point, looking back to the election for Massa: if you look at an election map with results by county (for instance this one at the NY Times), you see how badly divided the country is on a local level. 90% or more of the land of the Fifty States went for the GOP. Except for the Reservation counties in the West and heavily-black and Hispanic counties in the South, the Democratic strongholds are the urban zones. They remind me of the Han Fortress Cities in the Nolan novel Armageddon AD 2419; enclaves surrounded by the “primitives” who fought the conquerers and were generally ignored except for a punitive expedition now and then by the arrogant Han who treated them like sub-humans. (Gareth suggested the comparison could also be made to Eloi and Morlocks from H.G. Wells’ novel The Time Machine.) Is it not obvious that the Democratic arrogance and isolation can be partially attributed to their physical locations and being the “elite” patrons being surrounded by their clientèle?