President Obama invited voters to join him today on Reddit for an event he called “Ask Me Anything”. True to his word, he logged on and interacted with thousands of potential supporters, answering questions in real time.
The president enthusiastically answered such questions as:
“silent1mezzo: What’s the recipe for the White House’s beer?
PresidentObama: It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty.”
And, more seriously:
“ormirian: Are you considering increasing funds to the space program?
PresidentObama: Making sure we stay at the forefront of space exploration is a big priority for my administration. The passing of Neil Armstrong this week is a reminder of the inspiration and wonder that our space program has provided in the past; the curiosity probe on mars is a reminder of what remains to be discovered. The key is to make sure that we invest in cutting edge research that can take us to the next level – so even as we continue work with the international space station, we are focused on a potential mission to a asteroid as a prelude to a manned Mars flight.”
In fact, the Reddit AMA was so instantly popular after its announcement, the site crashed within minutes due to the overwhelming traffic. Impressive, considering the Republican National Convention is headline news.
Despite this celebrity coup for Reddit, the thirty minute session did not do much more for influencing potential voters than to disappoint thousands of them who submitted questions on such issues as marijuana law reform and closing Guantanamo Bay. In fact, true to history, the majority of the unanswered questions related to marijuana. And, true to history, Obama chose to avoid those questions at all costs, despite their prevalence.
Interestingly, President Obama also chose to avoid addressing the correlation between one of his favorite television shows – “The Wire” – and the issue of the War on Drugs.
Obama clearly participated in this Reddit AMA to try and connect with disenfranchised voters… to win them back, so to speak. One only needs to look at the real-time responses of the disappointed Reddit users to clearly see how frustrated they were at his refusal to address their questions. The threads became less about supporting Obama’s re-election campaign and more about joking on the subject of his continued avoidance on issues which are obviously important to many Americans.
While running for president in 2008, Barack Obama indicated he thought medical marijuana use was “appropriate” and vowed he would not support using Justice Department resources to circumventing state laws on medical marijuana. In recent months, the Obama administration has severely ramped up raids on medical marijuana dispensaries – to the horrified outrage of tens of millions of American voters. It is hypocritical actions like these which cause voters to run for the hills.
Marijuana law reform has majority support from American voters and both President Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney refuse to acknowledge the impact these millions of voters can have on the November elections. Recently, more than 100 college professors from all over American signed a letter supporting Colorado’s Amendment 64 -a marijuana legalization initiative which would make the plant legal for adults over 21 years of age.
Obviously, neither Mitt Romney nor President Obama feel they need the votes of tens of millions of marijuana supporters. Are they both so secure in their abilities to win the election that they snub an important issue like marijuana law reform?
With the advent of the internet, the propaganda of the War on Drugs is no longer effective. Americans can simply research the scientific, medical, economic, and civil rights evidence for themselves and discover the federal laws against marijuana are based on outdated lies and entrenched politics.
We the People are no longer mindless sheep, willing to follow the brightest banner. And 2008’s presidential election taught us not to believe campaign promises. We the People were enthusiastic to support a presidential candidate who claimed to support marijuana law reform, only to be viciously betrayed by the former pot smoker.
President Obama should be well aware of this fact. But there is a light at the end of this dark and twisted tunnel. The president has time to correct the damage of his blatant lies to the marijuana community – and the states he is damaging with these raids – before the election.
He can immediately stop the raids against medical marijuana dispensaries. He can publicly call for the repeal of federal laws against marijuana and its derivatives. He can publicly support the U.S. Court of Appeals to reschedule cannabis (marijuana) to a Schedule II substance – meaning it has medicinal value.
Perhaps then the outraged American voters will support his re-election campaign. His campaign managers may choose to discourage this, but perhaps they should first run another Reddit session asking all marijuana supporters to log on and express their support. And the Obama campaign should do some simple math.
If they do, Reddit will certainly crash again… this time from millions of participants.
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