I was born to be a Republican. Because I was raised in a conservative household, I registered to vote as a Republican at age 18. Truthfully, I didn’t have any idea what that meant at the time.
When I went to college, I started leaning a bit left. It appeared that Democrats were more compassionate and made promises that sounded really great in theory. The humanity in me believed that giving everyone free houses, free health care and everything they could ever want would make for an ideal world.
As I approached my 30th birthday, I started to get serious about politics and tried to figure out where I stood on all these issues. The 2016 election was the perfect opportunity to dig deep and uncover my political ideologies. It was then that I realized I actually did lean more towards the Republican party because of one major factor: limited government.
I don’t like people telling me what to do. I don’t like being told how to handle my money, or my time or any other part of my life for that matter. I want to be able to make my own choices and be accountable for my own actions. I believe, as Plato stated, “Good people don’t need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around those laws.”
I know many young voters feel the same way. They are beginning to see what happens when the government has too much control. We want to be free to live our lives without interference from the government.
Because of my opposition to government overreach, I am disappointed that Idaho has proposed a constitutional amendment that would block voter’s ability to legalize marijuana, even for medical purposes. I believe that adults should be able to decide how they live their lives. Marijuana has legitimate medical benefits. Legislators of Idaho blocking its ability to help citizens of Idaho (even if the citizens themselves vote to legalize it), is contrary to the basic principles of the Republican Party. The people must be able to vote on whether, and to what extent, marijuana should be legalized in Idaho.
Idaho is one of only three states that prohibit residents from possessing any amount of THC. Measures to block marijuana usage at this point are a waste of time and money. Legislators attempting to prohibit it from ever being legal is textbook government overreach, and limiting government is a founding principle of the Republican Party. As President Ronald Reagan said, “Man is not free unless government is limited.”
As generations come and go, community standards will sway within each party’s respective base. The Republican Party will have a stronger future if it listens to young voices who speak up and stand for its core values. If we truly believe in limited government, we must not carve today’s standards into constitutional stone in a vain effort to prevent change desired by future voters. I will vote to oppose the proposed amendment.