Last evening my wife got me away from GOTV efforts and we went up to the family's vacation mountain retreat home to have dinner with her sister/hubby and all year round friends from that neighborhood. My wife's sister lives in a northern suburb of Denver and her husband is a former local elected official who was a Republican, though defines the RINO (Rep. In-Name-Only) status. The friends are an unmarried couple who share a private road (driveway) with the homestead and a couple down the way.
The conversation started with the knowledge that I am a Democratic activist with my brother-in-law inquiring any interesting voting trends. But it went quickly to CO's Marijuana Constitutional Amendment. It was then learned that all eight of us had already voted so we polled each other and found 5/3 voted for legalization. My brother-in-law who has recently admitted smoking some medical marijuana grade from his own brother's prescription said he voted against legalization for recreational use. My wife said, "what a hypocrite, you even offered some to us this summer."
He then explained, "He had a sudden gut check that he just didn't want make any easier for young people to get pot than it is already"?
Really I replied; "You having been in school administration, if you took a survey of high school and middle school aged students and said that if they had to produce a joint in 24 hours, otherwise their mother or grandmother would be harmed greatly how many would be able to produce a joint?"
He said at least 70%, but I then said I have seen studies saying it is closer to 90% but let take 70%. Then I asked; "Is prohibition working either way?"
He naturally said no, "but in the case of young people acquiring pot through the black market than both parties have broken the law."
And I replied, "AND? That is the point, prohibition is not working except putting young people in jail and many getting felonies and long term, for something you did as a responsible adult.
"But that is just it, I am adult, I just think we should do it another way instead of a constitutional amendment."
"Would you like some more wine?" I then asked. You know back in 1933 when finally prohibition ended on alcohol it took a constitutional amendment as well." It then forced the state and fed's to come up with laws to regulate it. Prior to prohibition it was not regulated in the least, anyone, any age could drink alcohol, etc. Now we have laws that say you have to be 21 years old, 3 years older than what is considered an adult to drink or purchase liquor."
And he replied, "that is just it, do young people still get it?"
"Yes, from many means, me at 16 I had a fake ID, friends took it mostly from parents or got older friends or what not to get theirs, but it is still regulated, right now kids can still get it easily through friends and at school anyway, the thing is prohibition doesn't work, does it."
He admitted that maybe I was right but that he still felt funny, where my wife asked, yeah after you probably smoked your brother's medical stuff. "
Our neighbors then asked if pot was legal would I buy it? Pretty much 5/8 said yes except me and the other neighbor who was down the way. And then everyone chimed towards me why I wouldn't buy it, where I said, "I would grow it and then make oils and butters."
Now after the jump we moved to the Presidential election.
As we ate the conversation turned on how many phone calls we have all received where my brother-in-law asked, now isn't it so that once you vote you are supposed to be taken off the list? I said that I know the Dem campaigns update daily the voter database and then upload it to the state voter database and I also know that the Republicans use a non integrated network county/state/national and then independent databases now owned by the Super Pacs so I can't say whether they update them daily.
Then our neighbor said, but it is the robo calls, I get them on my landline and cell phone which is my business line and they come up to ten times a day now. Well I think we have received two or three robo calls since voting has begun. Now I make calls from home to Democrats and ID'd Unaffiliated and get about 25% pick ups and maybe 2 refused the others say they voted or will.
A neighbor said you actually do this? Yes. Then our driveway neighbor said I know Bob and Sue are flamer's like their Mom and Dad but [my sister and brother-in-law] you voted for Romney of course? "No", they replied. There was silence then our neighbor said, but he is a registered Republican? Now he said, boy I am getting it, first for my pot stance and now for voting for Obama.
Then the other neighbor asked our sister-in-law, "but how are you better than 4 years ago? You are now unemployed, trying to start an insurance brokerage and you voted for that guy?"
My sister-n-law replied that, "we got into trouble with the Republicans and the same approach that Romney and Ryan are promoting, plus everything else, and I am proud of Obama."
Our female neighbor from the down the way got up and had to compose herself. Then our driveway neighbor's girlfriend said, "I voted for Obama," which had to be a surprise to our driveway neighbor who had a Romney sign at the entrance of our shared driveway/private road. "She said, "it is simple, the entire Republicans are all about men and protecting the rich, not about protecting women or protecting the opportunity to make it."
Then our neighbor whom we share things and have respect for said something disheartening. "How could you vote for that sand n!&#* " Now the girls including the one that now walked in said, come on we got to talk about something else.
But he continued. "Obama is a communist and is taking this country away from what made us great, starting with the difference between whites and all the others."
There was silence where even the neighbors down the way stood silent. Where we talked about Thanksgiving and how we plan taking care of the driveway road during the winter when our neighbor takes a trip. He then goes on, but I not sure if I am going to come back to the US if Obama wins, you know the entire elections will be prove it was stolen.
I then said, [QM], "I respect and will defend to my dying day your right to vote and even hold opinions totally opposite of mine, but election will not be stolen if Obama wins."
He then said something honest and revealing. "Bob I actually don't respect your privilege to vote, or have opinions if they are opposed to what I believe is American values."
My response was again deliberate. "Then you don't believe that democracy works or only works when your opinions or belief or side wins, for you don't believe that Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy even Ronald Reagan, were American or held American values? I mean if you really look at it, the rich and privileged have gotten everything they wanted over the last 30 or more years, and then after their recklessness and malfeasance plunged this economy and nation into a Depression it is only them who were bailed out and now they have their guys up front trying to continue their world. So [our kind neighbor] none of us are better than four years, that is what a Depression is about. The question then is, they have now gone so far over the edge with their xenophobic rhetoric and ideology that they have politically and psychologically captured many regular Americans so deeply that many Americans now fail to see that we are all in this together and only our democracy will save us. Because if you really are informed you would know that Wall Street banks admit this is a plutocracy and that the plutocracy owns much of America and only the 'quaint tradition of a one-man-one vote is between them and total rule.' Heck they even put this in a memo to their investors. So don't be fooled we are part of the middle class and all of us are struggling, some more than others."