How a legal move in America’s red states could help Trump voters cope with Biden’s win, and stop an uprising
- Voters in several conservative states have agreed to legalise marijuana use, giving them a way to deal with their cognitive dissonance and post-election misery
- The move might just be the US’ best hope of keeping the start of a civil war at bay
Biden will do his best to reverse an orientation in Washington that made America unrecognisable to its closest allies soon after US President Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017 and, for the world’s autocracies, a new member of their club.
However, the president-elect’s words, while welcome and necessary, won’t be enough to eliminate the rancour that, more than any time in at least half a century, threatens to tear the country apart.
Joe Biden declares ‘clear victory’ after tight US 2020 presidential race
His victory was not the landslide that some polls had predicted. While Biden got more votes than any presidential candidate in America’s history, Trump took second place in that category. More than 71 million people cast their votes for a man who has relied so heavily on divisiveness for political expediency that he was never willing to condemn white supremacy.
The jubilation in Washington on Saturday, from the late-morning media declarations that Biden had won, to late into the evening, played out against a background of boarded-up windows. Many businesses took the precaution in case the outcome went the other way, a result that might well have plunged America’s cities back into the kind of chaos we saw after George Floyd’s death under the knee of a police officer in Minneapolis.
Voters in the Trump country states of Mississippi, Montana and South Dakota did what many of America’s more liberal jurisdictions have been doing for years and legalised marijuana. Mississippi will allow it for medical purposes only, but this step often breaks the floodgates, leading to an eventual green light for recreational use.
Trump calls election a 'fraud' and Biden awaits full vote count as frustrated Americans protest
The list of Trump transgressions that run counter to traditional conservative ideals is long, but the president has been a master at keeping the hypocrisy from bringing him down for several reasons. To simplify things, let’s break Trump supporters into two broad groups. The first is those who thought tax cuts and deregulation justified the wholesale elimination of the principles that made America a world leader.
In normal times, nothing would frost Southern and Midwestern populists more than the idea of a New York city slicker with white shoe lawyers and accountants gaming the system to enrich themselves.
This is where the ushering in of marijuana to the red states of America might just be the country’s best hope of keeping the start of a civil war at bay. You’re less likely to want to launch an insurrection when enjoying a nice indica high.
Robert Delaney is the Post‘s North America bureau chief