William Thien

Archive for August 4th, 2019

One of the most important tools in a politician’s toolbox is the “single” issue. Single issues are issues that cause a voter to toss everything else significant to them out the door when making a decision about who to vote for, casting their ballot in favor of the candidate that supports the voter’s favored single issue. Single issues motivate voters and divide the electorate at the same time.

I believe the following three issues will be at the forefront of the 2020 presidential election and candidates running for office at all levels that neglect these issues will suffer at the ballot box. Here the issues are in no particular order since they are all important to one group of voters or another:

  1. Abortion rights – an obvious choice as Republicans currently around the country are busy writing laws that restrict a woman’s options, infuriating the female voter, while the Republicans are in the legislative majority in many states.
  2. Gun rights – another obvious choice as liberal legislatures are restricting gun rights in states where Democrats are in the majority. This is a movement that is gaining momentum as the leading organization lobbying for gun rights, The NRA, has suffered from financial improprieties and related scandals. The NRA even lost my own renewal payment and when I provided proof from my credit card statement that I paid for two renewals in the same year, I never heard from them again. Go figure they are having problems.
  3. National marijuana legalization and related criminal record expungement. This in my opinion is the game changer of the three significant “single” issues I list here. Why? By the time of the 2020 election it is believed that as many as 15 states will have legalized adult recreational use at the state level. Currently there are eleven (11) states that have legalized adult recreational usage already with 33 states allowing medical marijuana usage. Ninety percent of the country now has legal access to some form of marijuana yet the federal government is still grasping at the public’s neck on the issue. The big three automakers and other large industrialists can have their cars and supplies manufactured in Canada or Mexico where marijuana is legal or decriminalized and sell their products here, yet Americans lose those related jobs, and still the big three automakers and other manufacturers who have offshored their production to Canada and Mexico fight against your right to use marijuana. Furthermore, huge numbers of people have a criminal record for non-violent marijuana possession. There are a number of viable bills designed to legalize marijuana usage at the federal level and expunge the records of those who were caught using marijuana. Numerous presidential candidates from The Democratic Party have publicly come out in favor of such legislation. To my knowledge no Republican presidential candidates favor such legislation, yet a substantial majority of the public thinks marijuana should be legal. This tells me the Republicans are out of touch with the voter.

If you do the math two of the major “single” issues, abortion rights and legislation legalizing marijuana at the national level, favor The Democrats as gun rights is a single issue favored by voters that vote primarily for Republicans.

I myself favor the legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use. The widespread panic and moral breakdown of society many Republicans and some skittish Democrats in office said would happen upon legalization in states where marijuana has been legalized has not materialized. In fact, quite the opposite has happened as the states take in huge sums of revenue they can use for infrastructure improvements and social programs. Correspondingly, where adult and medical use is legalized, usage among adolescents goes down, too.

Fear is a powerful motivator. A similar method, the installation of fear was used by Democrats during the wave which legalized concealed carry across the country that installed Republicans in office who favored concealed carry, a movement which happened in hundreds of elections at both the state and federal level during the last ten years.

Copyright © William Thien 2019

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