Pop Culture

If You’re a Human, You’re Political.

I once saw someone complain about Captain America being "too political." Uh, he was created by Jewish kids before World War II to make a statement against Hitler. He was literally created as a political act.

I once saw someone complain about Captain America being “too political.” Uh, he was created by Jewish kids before World War II to make a statement against Hitler. He was literally created as a political act.

Barry Petchetsky at Deadspin reports that sportscaster Adam Schefter was asked if politics belongs in sports reporting. Here’s part of his response:

No. Politics is not a normal day-to-day topic of discussion and reporting. It does not impact how we go about our jobs. Sports figures who publicize their political viewpoints only serve to divide the audience. People are drawn to sports as an escape from politics.

Petchetsky dismantles Schefter’s argument beautifully, pointing out that most of the major sports stories that Schefter has commented on are in some way or another political in nature, including stories about labor, the high cost of universities, and the Orlando shooting. Petchetsky concludes, “the truly baffling part here is that Schefter (and so many like him) don’t see anything political about this stuff. The only way to cover sports without introducing politics is to cover it dishonestly.”

I highlight this post for two reasons. First, it’s wonderfully written and well-argued. Second, it’s true for everyone. Everything is political. Yes, that “brainless” movie you just watched at the multiplex was political — if you didn’t detect an agenda, it very likely reinforced gender norms, political opinions, and other underlying societal premises. Politics is how we as humans navigate conflicts and other societal debates. Politics are hardwired into our brains and our lives. Avoiding politics would be like avoiding air, or avoiding sunlight.

It has been said many times before, but it always deserves repeating because people like Schefter never seem to learn: being apolitical is a thoroughly political position. If you decide not to see the political nature of things, or if you decide not to live in the world as a political person, you are ceding the conversation to literally anyone else.

One of the most common reasons why people complain about sports and movies getting “too political” is because they disagree with the statement being expressed. If you voice your opinion but you expect others (artists, sports stars, newscasters) to keep silent — well, that’s a political opinion, too, and a bad one. We need more discourse, not less, in the public space. This belief that political conversations are impolite is practically Victorian, and it silences important voices.

I get it. These conversations are uncomfortable. They force you to think about things you may not want to think about. Sometimes they lead to arguments, and those are never easy. But ignoring these conversations, or pretending they don’t exist, is a fool’s errand, like promoting abstinence-only education to teenagers and then being shocked when the teen birth rate soars. The rise of a liar like Donald Trump, someone who promotes an impossible agenda while employing dangerous rhetoric, is a direct result of a politically illiterate culture like the one Schefter encourages.

Pope Francis Should Not Be Applauded for Inching Towards Inclusion

pope-1248270_1920

Pope Francis recently released a 256-page “apostolic exhortation” titled Amoris Laetita (“The Joy of Love”). Among a host of issues related to love and family, Francis addressed the matter of communion for the remarried (or lack thereof) and “all but explicitly” said “yes they can.” The pope considerately “left room for priests to interpret his words as they see fit since he wrote about it in a rather roundabout way.” Such deference to moral ambiguity seems peculiar, particularly coming from a man who has warned that moral relativism represents “the spiritual poverty of our time.”

When it came to homosexuality, however, Francis ditched his lack of decisiveness. This is what he had to say on the subject of gay marriage:

There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.

The pope’s comments are terribly upsetting, but not at all surprising. Having said that, the media’s fawning appraisal of Francis’ document has been bizarre, primarily because it’s appearing from what we would normally call “liberal” sources. For example, here’s what the Washington Post had to say about the document’s overall message:

Francis rejected outright the notion of same-sex marriage. But he laid out the church’s warmest welcome in modern times to divorced and remarried couples, saying they should not be judged, discriminated against or excluded from church life. And he encouraged their priests to be merciful in considering whether such Catholics can receive Communion.

I love how the authors quickly skip over his unequivocal dismissal of same-sex couples. Sure, Francis is continuing to perpetuate centuries worth of exclusion, but come on — he’s the head of a slow-moving church. What is he supposed to do — provide moral guidance?

Even the inclusive-minded EJ Dionne lapped up the pope’s document. He actually praised Francis for “lifting up what can be called social justice Christianity.” Come again? Just a couple of weeks ago Dionne lambasted Donald Trump for being a “clownish peddler of racial and religious stereotypes.” Why didn’t he similarly call out the pope for being nothing more than a “clownish peddler of homophobia”?

Jonathan Capehart, another prominent liberal writer, claimed to have “mad love” for Pope Francis’ proclamations:

…ever since Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis I in 2013, the credo of his papacy has been inclusion, dignity and respect for people whose lives find them outside of the strict tenets of the church.

Capehart goes on to praise Francis for nudging “the church away from its mien of judgmental scold.” He even pats the pope on the back for not using the word “‘sin’ in relation to homosexuals or homosexuality.”

This is desperate praise. It’s not good enough to release an ameliorative document which slowly marches the church “toward an increased level of inclusiveness.” If the Catholic Church doesn’t already embody the perfect example of human morality, then what is it for? You’d hope that inclusion, mercy, and love would be at the heart of any worthwhile credo from the beginning.

As we’ve seen with North Carolina’s recent flexing of bigotry, exclusion is not a viable prescription for society. Prosperity, on an economic and social level, comes about when we readily incorporate everyone and don’t ask them to hide their true nature. The US owes much of its success to this inclusive formula. As Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson argue in Why Nations Fail:

Countries such as Great Britain and the United States became rich because their citizens overthrew the elites who controlled power and created a society where political rights were much more broadly distributed, where the government was accountable and responsive to citizens, and where the great mass of people could take advantage of economic opportunities.

Nations and religions can either emphasize parts of their traditions which promote loathing, suspicion, and exclusion or they can embrace reality — that is, they celebrate our inevitable differences and empathize with our dissimilarities. No, “empathy” is not “the latest code word for liberal activism,” as Karl Rove likes to think. Inclusion and empathy are, in fact, the basis of human morality and key ingredients to ensuring a thriving nation.

That’s ultimately why we shouldn’t applaud an institution for gradually moving towards these self-evident moral truths. The time for inclusion is now, not later.

Should You Boycott North Carolina or Not?

TacoPearlJamCat

Yesterday, Seattle band Pearl Jam became the latest in a string of performers to boycott North Carolina due to its bigoted bathroom law. Daniel Kreps at Rolling Stone reports that last night frontman Eddie Vedder discussed the band’s thinking at a concert just before an encore:

We thought we could take the money and give it to them and still play the show, but the reality is there is nothing like the immense power of boycotting and putting a strain, and it’s a shame because people are going to affected that don’t deserve it but it could be the way that ultimately is gonna affect change, so again, we just couldn’t find it in ourselves in good conscience to cross a picket line when there was a movement so…

Pearl Jam joins Bruce Springsteen and Seattle author Sherman Alexie in boycotting North Carolina over the law.

At the same time, up-and-coming Seattle band Tacocat posted on Facebook that they’re going ahead with a planned North Carolina show tonight:

While we respect the decisions of giant acts like Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, and other mega-musicians whose shows have real economic impact on the region (and whose music has a wide enough fan base to possibly reach the ears of slime-brains in power), we feel that pulling out of our show—an all-ages show booked months ago at the Pinhook, a queer-friendly/ran venue—would only further punish those being marginalized.

We, as much smaller, radical-leaning bands, do not feel that resources like live music should be cut off from LBGTQ folks, allies, and young people who actually live in North Carolina. We view our live music (and the music of so many other likeminded bands) as a special tool that can be used for fighting oppression, creating an outlet to vent, or at the very least, simply as an opportunity to dance around with like-minded peers in an environment we seek to keep discrimination free.

Tonight we’re giving a portion of the door to Equality NC and passing out Trans Lifeline buttons. We invite North Carolina’s punks, divas, aliens, weirdos, and friends to come out and have a glittery time dancing/laughing in the face of the patriarchy!!!

So what we have here are two opposite approaches to a single problem. Which is the correct approach? Do you boycott the state in the hopes of causing change, or do you raise awareness inside the state by showing up and being vocal about your opposition?

At the risk of sounding wishy-washy, I’d say that both approaches are exactly right. And I think that what matters most here is keeping scale in mind: huge touring acts like Springsteen and Pearl Jam make a mammoth economic impact when they go on tour, and the sudden withdrawal of that impact can be extremely jarring.

Smaller bands like Tacocat, though, don’t make that kind of splash in the local economy. Their show’s impact can likely be measured in the thousands of dollars—liquor sales and staffing for the club are probably the two biggest—as opposed to six or seven figures for high-profile performers like Springsteen or Pearl Jam. So by going and making a show of their protest—by personally applauding and donating money to those locals who are fighting the law, and by calling out those who support the law or do nothing—they’re leading by example.

Plus, major musical acts like Pearl Jam are more likely to have broad, bipartisan fan bases, and so their boycott is likely to be educational for those who support the anti-trans bathroom bill. Tacocat is likely to have a younger, and therefore more liberal, fanbase that is already aligned with them.

If you believe your income or presence could be a support for a law you disagree with, it’s probably best not to go. If you believe your personal protest can make a difference, you should feel obliged to go. But ultimately, the decision to boycott or not to boycott is a deeply personal one, and not as simple as following a flow chart.

 

Joe Biden and Will Smith Speak Economic Truth

1. At the annual Davos conference, in which the wealthiest people in the world gather to discuss, you know, rich-people topics, Vice President Biden delivered a speech that plenty of the people in that room needed to hear. As Reuter’s Ben Hirschler reports:

“My call to action here is simple – embrace your obligation to workers as well as your shareholders,” Biden said, criticizing the recent trend by firms to return mountains of cash to investors by buying back stock rather than investing for the future.

Biden could not be any more right, here. If you want to learn about the roughly trillion-dollar dent that stock buybacks leave in the American economy each year, Nick Hanauer wrote about it for The Atlantic last year. Biden then dropped an even-bigger truth bomb on Davos:

“When the middle class does well, the wealthy do very well, and the poor have a ladder up,” he said.

Joe Biden to rich people, basically: "You don't have to be less rich, but  poor people do have to be less poor.

Joe Biden to rich people, basically: “You don’t have to be less rich, but poor people do have to be less poor.”

This is the absolute truth, and the fact that Biden is dropping it on the Davos crowd, which has thrived on the trickle down concept that giving rich people more money will benefit everyone, is admirable. The fact is, tax cuts for the wealthy don’t create wealth, in part because rich people are rich because they’re very, very good at holding onto the money they make. You need the middle class to get a raise, because they will then spend that money on goods and services, thereby stimulating the economy and creating more good-paying jobs, which will continue the cycle in a positive feedback loop. And, yes, plenty of that money will flow upwards to the top one percent, meaning that we’re not asking the very rich to give up their Davos membership cards. The thing about economic inclusion is that it benefits everyone and not just the very rich.

2. When asked today on Good Morning America about his decision to boycott the Oscars because every single major nominee was white, Will Smith correctly identified diversity as “the American superpower.”

Smith and Biden seem to be working from the same inclusionary guidebook this week. Here’s Nick Hanauer on diversity:

The evidence is clear: diversity does not hinder growth—it supercharges it. That has always been America’s competitive advantage: we have the most diverse workforce in the world, and for all our problems, we do a better job of integrating diversity than anyone else. Diversity is America’s most valuable resource; it is what makes us the most innovative nation on Earth.

Let’s be clear: diversity is the morally right thing to do, but it makes economic sense, too. One of the most diverse action movie franchises of all time, the Fast and Furious series, also features the most diverse cast in Hollywood. If you think that’s a coincidence, you’re not thinking seriously about this. People like to see themselves in the movies they watch. As Smith says, his Oscar boycott “is about children that are going to sit down and they’re going to watch [the Oscars] and they’re not going to see themselves represented.” Those kids won’t be included, and they will feel as though Hollywood has excluded them. Without new, diverse generations of actors and directors and screenwriters, Hollywood will continue to make movies by and for an increasingly white population, and eventually the whole system will become irrelevant. In economics and in art, inclusion is key.

3. Joe Biden is about to have a lot of time on his hands; I’d love to see he and Will Smith team up to make an inclusive economics-themed buddy cop movie. But maybe that’s just me.

You Really Ought to See The Big Short

"Hey, weren't you in Crazy, Stupid, Love?'

“Hey, weren’t you in Crazy, Stupid, Love?’

It’s not very often that we talk about movies here at Civic Skunk Works, but this is a special occasion. Over the holiday break, I caught up on my awards-season movie-watching (Star Wars is fun, Carol is awesome, I was disappointed with The Hateful Eight) and The Big Short was my favorite movie of the lot. It was incredibly fun to watch—funny, inventive, well-acted, and directed with a simmering sense of anger by Anchorman director Adam McKay. You should definitely watch it. And yes, the movie is based on Michael Lewis’s book with the same title, and yes the book is better than the movie and you should read it. But the movie is entertaining and educational in its own right; I think people who’ve read the book would find a lot to enjoy in the movie.

The Big Short, if you didn’t know, is the true story of a small group of investors who decided to bet on the housing bubble bursting. (Spoiler alert for anybody who was in a coma in 2008: the housing bubble did, eventually burst.) The movie ingeniously makes the characters—played by Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Christian Bale, and others—so dorky and likable that you’re actively rooting for them, which means at various points during the movie you realize that you’re hoping for the economy to collapse. The moral ambiguity of the whole thing is difficult to wrap your head around—the investors are horrified that the housing bubble is built on lies and deception and ignorance, but they’re also hoping to profit off of it—and that mixture of outrage and guilt creates a nice narrative drive that makes the movie a pleasure to watch. Don’t just take my word for it—even Bloomberg‘s Barry Ritholz, who wrote an excellent book about the economic downturn, says the movie “gets the broad strokes of the crisis correct.”

The best part of The Big Short is that it educates while it entertains. It trains the viewer to understand that all the technical jargon you hear from the so-called “experts” is a smokescreen, a trick to convince you that they know something you don’t. This is a vital lesson that more people need to learn, because it’s how conservative economists (and economist-adjacent bloggers) manage to trick the general public into thinking that, say, when you raise the minimum wage you’ll get a barren restaurant-free hellhole rather than one of the most vibrant restaurant cities in the nation. So much of the housing bubble can be applied to the conservative trickle-down scam that after watching The Big Short, you’ll watch a Republican debate, say, and wonder why everyone else can’t see through the copious amounts of bullshit flying around onstage. It will train you to be a smarter consumer of economic information—not a bad feat for a movie directed and written by the guy who brought you Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

The NFL should launch a “Voting Awareness Month,” but here’s why they won’t

Like 49 percent of Americans, I consider myself a pro football fan. I wake up every Sunday, have a cup of coffee, set my Fantasy Football roster(s), and tune into the best sporting experience the world has to offer.

In 2014, NFL games reached 202.3 million unique viewers, “representing 80 percent of all television homes and 68 percent of potential viewers in the US.” If you think that’s impressive, think about this: 45 of the top 50 TV shows last year were NFL games. And all of the top 20 programs were football games. 2014’s most-watched matchup, featuring the Eagles vs. Cowboys, had 32 million viewers alone.

The NFL uses its TV superiority to promote worthwhile causes, too. They advertise their PLAY 60 initiative, “a campaign to encourage kids to be active for 60 minutes a day in order to help reverse the trend of childhood obesity.” And every fan of the NFL knows about the controversial “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and the nationalistic “Salute to Service.” Both of these programs are promoted in order to, essentially, create awareness and solemnity around their respective topics. Oh, and they also happen to sell copious amounts of pink and camouflage merchandise!

But why should the NFL only assist these causes? As the #1 de facto TV program in America, the NFL has the unique opportunity to push other deeply patriotic and non-partisan initiatives. In fact, I’d argue the NFL still has the chance to embrace another extremely important cause:

The NFL should promote voting awareness in order to address our nation’s exceptionally low voter turnout.  

They could call it something like, “Vote for America,” and label it as a program which sought to create awareness around the most sacred and noble right given to US citizens: voting. You can almost hear Al Michaels saying, “And as a part of the NFL’s campaign, Vote for America, we urge all American citizens, domestic and abroad, to participate in our nation’s next election. Remember, you have a voice and it matters. If you are not registered to vote in your state, please visit our website at nfl.com/voteforamerica.” Hell, like their other awareness programs, they can even start selling merchandise that’s red, white, and with a bolded tick saying, “I voted!”

Image courtesy of coward_lion at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of coward_lion at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why wouldn’t they want to galvanize the nation to get out and vote? It’s a righteous cause which makes their organization look mature and sanctimonious (a look that has unfortunately evaded the NFL in recent years).

Maybe they wouldn’t want to wade into the highly partisan nature of our current politics. Fair enough – it is a subject that is dividing our nation. However, that same logic could easily apply to the NFL’s “Salute to Service” program, and as I mentioned earlier, any successful voting awareness program would have to be aggressively non-partisan in tone and messaging.

So why else would they be against this idea?

I fear that the NFL and its owners would be against such an initiative because a vast majority of NFL owners are (almost) all rich, white dudes that (almost) exclusively support the Republican party. Don’t believe me? Read this:

 So far in 2015, NFL team owners have donated $2,827,804 in support of presidential candidates. The vast majority of the money came from two GOP mega donors and went to a handful of Republican super PACs…

Robert McNair, the owner of the Houston Texans…has donated more than $2 million to the presidential hopefuls…hedging his bets by writing $500,000 checks to super PACS supporting four Republicans: former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott WalkerSen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

The second largest contributor, New York Jets owner Robert “Woody” Johnson…has donated more than half a million dollars combined to Jeb 2016 and his Right to Rise super PAC. He also serves as the national finance chairman for the Bush campaign and has held fundraisers for Gov. Bush at his homes in the Hamptons and New York City.”

So herein lies a big reason why the NFL may not want to promote voting awareness: low voter turn-out is usually good news for Republicans and by proxy, their financial backers.

Indeed, this current state of low voter turnout has been a major reason why the modern-day GOP has done so well during midterm elections (though, to be fair, it is not the only reason). Just 36.4 percent of the voting-eligible population cast a vote in 2014. In 2010, the number was only slightly better at 37.8 percent. Both of these elections cycles were very favorable to Republicans. In 2008 and 2012, where voter turn out was 56.8 percent and 53.6 percent respectively, the outcomes were decidedly less favorable to the GOP. A similar outcome should be expected in 2016.

So it makes sense that a program like “Vote for America” would struggle to garner support within the NFL. But this is a real shame, because the NFL (more than any other organization in America) has a unique opportunity to remind hundreds of millions of Americans about their most sacred civic obligation. If they can annually remind people to thank the troops for their commitment to keeping us free, they should also consider promoting the civic obligations that come along with living in a free country.

At a time when our nation’s people feel so disconnected to the inner machinations of government, the NFL could offer a bridge to help Americans engage with their politics. Nonetheless, for the time being a voting awareness program supported by the NFL seems like nothing more than a Hail Mary.

Fox News wants you to fear Syrian refugees

For right-wing America, a major organizing principle of their political existence is fear and hatred towards “the other.” Mexicans. Iran. Atheists. Homosexuals. Planned Parenthood. Obama. Obamacare. African Americans. The poor. Oh, and this woman called Hillary Clinton.

But as Media Matters now reports, Fox News wants their viewers to fear Syrian refugees – you know, those awful people that are fleeing from a dictator who has killed over 200,000 of their fellow countrymen. Kristan Fisher at Fox & Friends had this to say on the subject:

Those are reportedly Muslim refugees on a train in Europe chanting “Allahu Akbar” or “God is great.” Now, to be clear, we’re not saying that any of those people are terrorists or in any way affiliated with a terror group, but it does highlight just how many of these refugees, who are fleeing violence in Iraq and Syria, are Muslim.

In other words: “We’re not saying all these Muslims are terrorists, but they definitely could be.”

And Steve Doocy at Fox & Friends wasn’t about to be outdone by his co-worker. He suggested the Syrian migrant crisis could be a product of ISIS’ threat “to send a half a million migrants to Europe as a psychological weapon, which means there could be bad guys in there with the good guys as well.”

In other words, Fox wants you to be scared – very scared of anyone who is Muslim and seeks refuge in America. Harbor suspicion towards them. Ignore the bible’s call to “Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:4). These refugees aren’t weak and needy, they are the wicked. Their mere existence is a threat to yours. Buy more guns. Be fearful. They could be anywhere.

This isn’t hyperbole. My family has a place on Hood Canal, a sleepy stretch of holiday homes in Mason County. Yet, our neighbor (who is a loyal Fox News viewer) believes that ISIS has penetrated the nearby town of Belfair and is ready to attack at any moment. (For those that do not know, Belfair has a population of roughly 700 people). In his own words, ISIS has chosen this little town because it is a “soft target.” He tells me this every time I see him. Every time.

These delusions are not randomly generated. They are systemically constructed and fed by a “news” station that implores their viewers to be suspicious of the “other.” Fear sells and hate brings people together. It’s a political strategy that has worked throughout our nation’s history. But we know that this approach to life and politics is not the way of truth or love. It is the recipe for racists and bigots that want any excuse to hate.

Nonetheless, we know this is the right’s playbook when it comes to the political process. As Nick Hanauer has repeatedly pointed out, their claims rarely represent “a description of reality” –  they are merely “intimidation tactics.” If we are to build a more perfect union, we as a nation must not fall for their hateful methods.

Will Hillary Clinton Evolve on Pot Legalization?

Political pundits from the right, center and left are complaining that Hillary Clinton doesn’t have a “sense of purpose or energy or mission.” Some, like David Brooks, worry that there’s an “unconscious boredom” with her candidacy. (This coming from the same David Brooks that mocked Obama as “The Chosen One” for being, I guess, too inspirational in his 2008 campaign. You’re a tough crowd, Dave.)

What the media fails to realize is that Hillary Clinton is not a “Yes We Can” sort of leader. She’s more of a “Let’s See How Things Progress & Then Respond Appropriately” type of candidate. Her support (and then opposition) of the Iraq War illustrates this strategy, as does her flip flop on gay marriage. She is a shrewd political creature who has a penchant for knowing when the time is ripe to change (or “evolve”) her views on certain issues.

Moreover, she also knows when to not stick her neck out on an issue: see the Keystone pipeline & TPP. This calculating behavior is what makes her so infuriating to her enemies and allies alike. She is the political embodiment of the prudent populist when it comes to divisive issues.

Enter marijuana legalization.

Back in 2007, Clinton was firmly against the decriminalization of the devil’s lettuce. Who can blame her? In that distant age, only about 36 percent of Americans favored legalization. But in a similar fashion to same-sex marriage, public opinion on this subject has changed rapidly. Now, 53 percent of Americans are fine with legalizing marijuana – which prompts the question to any serious presidential candidate: Would you support legalizing marijuana nationally?

This is what Clinton had to say in 2014:

On recreational [use], you know, states are the laboratories of democracy. We have at least two states that are experimenting with that right now. I want to wait and see what the evidence is.

In other words, “Let’s See How Things Progress & Then Respond Appropriately.”

The current state of marijuana in the USA.

The current state of marijuana in the USA.

However, a lot has changed since 2014. There could be more laboratories of democracy to come. While preparations are still under way, it looks like there will be legalization initiatives on the ballot in (at least) Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Nevada. If we assume for a second that all of these initiatives are successful in 2016, that would mean 1/5 of the US would have legal weed. And if we further assume that Hillary Clinton walks into the White House in 2017, she will be residing over a nation which has a deeply complicated relationship with marijuana.

If both of these hypotheticals turn out to be true, we most likely know how Hillary is going to face this issue. Her prudent populism isn’t that hard to decipher. As Paul Waldman identified, “with legalization becoming more popular, particularly in her party, don’t be surprised if Clinton begins a slow evolution in a more liberal direction on this issue, as she has on many others.”

In other words, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when President Hillary Clinton would get behind marijuana legalization. An evolution on pot would tick so many boxes for her: it would make her appear forward-looking, it would alleviate the mass incarceration problem which predominately effects African-Americans, it would bring in the youth vote, and it would generate more revenue for local and federal governments which are in desperate need of some cash flow.

Is it that hard to imagine President Clinton standing before a teleprompter in the near future and announcing to the American people that “it’s time to turn this page in American history?”

I don’t think 2016 will be that final chapter. The marijuana legalization movement is too nascent and frankly, she understands that she does not need to put her neck out on this issue – yet. But could this be a defining political issue in 2020? The American people certainly do: 75 percent of Americans think that legal marijuana is an inevitability in this country. Marijuana’s time is nigh.

While she may not say so now, Hillary knows this as well. She is merely waiting to respond appropriately.