Pot initiative in California designed to turn out youth vote
George Soros is a major funder of the Democratic Party. The party sometimes has problems motivating young people, who vote overwhelmingly Democratic, to get to the polls.
One way Soros has helped drive them to get into the voting booth is to stoke up their enthusiasm with efforts such as MoveOn.Org - give them a sense of involvement. Barack Obama uses the same strategy: meetups, basketballs games, Organized for America, the internet: make it fun for young people to become Democrats.
But over the last year, the young have grown disaffected with Democrats; midterms always pose a problem with voter turnout. Young people are tuned out and thus don’t turnout.
Soros has a solution.
Soros may have figured out one other way to get the young to the polls: promote ballot measures to legalize marijuana. Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of the left-wing magazine The Nation, gets it:
From her weekly column in the Washington Post:
With all the hand-wringing over a Democratic "enthusiasm gap," one effort to turn out young people at the polls this November is showing real energy and promise. What's the secret? In a word, as 78-year-old John Burton, chairman of the California Democratic Party, put it, "Pot."
Proposition 19 would make it legal for Californians over 21 to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use, and it would authorize city governments to regulate and tax commercial production and sales. Its passage would signal a major victory for common sense over a war on drugs that has been an abysmal failure in the Golden State and throughout the country….
It would be great if young people would take to the streets and the voting booths on issues like Afghanistan, historical levels of inequality and poverty, or to protect Social Security from a Republicans takeover. But they're not. And if it's reforming an ineffective, wasteful and racially unjust drug policy that mobilizes young people -- who are at the core of the rising American electorate along with African-Americans, Hispanics, and unmarried women -- so be it. According to Public Policy Polling, for those who cite Prop 19 as their top reason for voting, 34 percent are under age 30.
"There's nothing that motivates young people more than this issue, "Aaron Houston, executive director of Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, told me. "So much of this comes down to young people saying they don't want this war on drugs to be waged in their name anymore."
That is one way to bolster the number of Democrats rousing themselves enough to get to the polls. This holds a greater promise of success than endlessly trying to get their supporters to drive people to the polls, hand out leaflets, make last minute phone calls, and other ground game measures that are arduous and difficult to pull off.
Hence, we have George Soros writing op-eds promoting pot legalization. He wrote a column this week in the Wall Street Journal, “ Why I support legal marijuana” - naturally keeping the motive of driving Democratic turnout unmentioned. This week he also announced that he would spend an additional one million dollars encouraging similar ballot measures in other states (and other pro-pot measures). Soros has probably been funding think-tank studies that issue report after report that rationalize legalization efforts. That is Soros’s Modus Operandi - pull every lever he can to direct the flow of policy.
Of course, the use of ballot initiatives to boost turnout has also been a favorite tool of the Republicans as well (recently used in Missouri to allow citizens to register their disapproval of ObamaCare, but also bringing Republicans to the polls). The only difference is that Republicans don’t use tactics that promote drug use to do so.