Wednesday, November 7, 2012
The Death Of The Wedge Issue
Voters in several states had two wedge issues on the ballot: same sex marriage and marijuana laws.
In Maryland, Maine and Washington, voters - for the first time - explicitly and directly legalized same sex marriage. Particularly in Maryland (Baltimore) I think Obama's endorsement of same sex marriage made a real difference.
In Massachusetts, suddenly a lot of people developed glaucoma, as they legalized medical marijuana. In Colorado and Washington, they said, "Forget nausea and PTSD, just spark up dude!" The legalization of small amounts of marijuana is a remarkable thing to happen by ballot initiative. Medical marijuana only barely failed in Arkansas.
The War on Drugs and the War on "Traditional Marriage" have been conservative vote getters for decades. Gay marriage may have cost John Kerry the presidency.
Those days are gone, apparently, although we might see a marijuana backlash at some point.
Watching the presidential returns was like watching a DVR'ed football game, where you already knew who won, but you were waiting to see how it played out.
But the ballot initiatives were truly interesting.