When a state’s executives and legislators instantly denounce a legitimate proposition by its people because, if passed, it would defy federal law, then we have a problem. Our country was founded on getting the federal government to do what we tell them—not the other way around.
Right now, Rob McKenna and Jay Inslee, two opposing gubernatorial candidates for Washington state, are debating some issues. Like pot.
One question to make it to the debate floor was for their opinions on the currently active ballot measure that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Both candidates wholeheartedly agreed that the measure should be struck down, regardless of the huge amount of supporters. The reason?
“Well, even if it did pass, that’s against federal law! And then we’d have to deal with… that! It’s a bad proposition and it should not pass.”
Is anyone clear on when it became okay for elected officials to tell the people who voted them in to stop being ridiculous with their requests? I don’t recall their job descriptions to include acting like overbearing parents who can’t trust to a group of educated adults to choose its own laws. In fact, a major responsibility a governor has is to listen, consider, and then respect democratic values, like basic voting. And then to stand up to the federal government until everything’s settled and everyone’s happy. Unless I’m wrong. Anyone? Am I missing something?
The federal government exists to be molded by the people, I’m pretty sure—not to stand in the way of giving entire states what they politely and legitimately voted for.
If McKenna and Inslee are both too afraid to put on some fighting gloves in order to defend what the people of their state want, they’re not being American enough, and they don’t deserve our votes. Thomas Jefferson, along with many of his founding colleagues, would surely scoff at the cowardice of a statesman too cautious to do his job.
The race for Washington’s new governor is looking grim.