Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

A recent study shows that men tend to react to holiday shopping as if they were soldiers fighting in a war, or police putting down a riot . . . that is, with extreme stress, high blood pressure, accelerated heart rates.

Maybe that’s why I usually wait so long to do my Christmas shopping. It’s just not healthy.

So, here comes Christmas again and I’m still thinking about my gift list. At the very top of my list is something I wish all Americans had: the right to vote on their own laws.

Yes, what I want most for citizens in every state is to get what only 24 states offer: Voter initiative and referendum.

It’s no panacea. But it does enable “We the People” to nudge — even push — politicians. An amazing number of ballot measures in states with initiative rights have successfully reformed or limited government. Wouldn’t it be great to have that right everywhere?

I know, I know: Wishing for initiative and referendum everywhere is rather like wishing for World Peace. And yet . . . it’s not. We are Americans, and we can affect our own politics. We can tell our representatives that we simply won’t vote for them unless they pledge to give us legal rights to the initiative process.

Sure, world peace would be better. But we can’t control the world. We can, with effort, convince our very own elected politicians to give us a gift that, as they say, keeps on giving. It’s called initiative and referendum.

This is Common Sense. Happy Holidays. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Great post, Paul. I am with you 100%, and please keep me posted if there is ANYTHING I can do, blogging-wise or whatever, to help push this in the Other 26 states.

  2. Warren Norred says:

    Um…no. I & R is just another step closer to full-bore democracy, which our forefathers warned us of. Look at what direct election of senators has gotten us (loss of state power, mostly). Has lowering the age to vote increased the quality of our elected officials? NO.

    I&R guarantees that we have state-sponsored gambling in every state, as well as whatever the stupid idea du jour is that some millionaire wants to push. It isn’t that many goals of I&R folks want is bad – it is that the idea of the citizen-legislator going around the elected officials is going to do long-term damage.

    The real key to limiting government is education of the masses and trying to help them understand the federalist nature of our government, and why it is good that the states should handle most things, rather than the feds. Anything else will always fail.

  3. Werner says:

    You’ve got it, Warren. While the I&R process has given us some good laws (Prop 13 is a prime example) we’ve also been snookered into all sorts of bond issues, gaming, etc. Here is San Diego we passed a bond issue to build a sports stadium for the Chargers; 99.5% of advertising money was spent in favor of the bond. Bet you can guess whose interest bankrolled that.

  4. Albert Harris says:

    The process isn’t perfect. As everyone knows, Proposition 8 passed in CA, defining marriage as a contract between one man and one woman. AG Jerry Brown is trying to get the state supreme court to declare it unconstitutional; so nine judges can toss the will of several million Californians. I wonder if they will.

  5. Harry STaley says:

    Great comment. We have struggled for over 15 years for I & R in Rhode Island, but never get beyond the legislative committees. They refuse to report it out for a vote, even though the citizens, in a non-binding referendum voted in favor of it with well over 60% in favor. We aren’t giving up,but in a one-party state dominated by unions and special interests, it will take a long time. Our legislature has a total of about 13 Republicans out of 113 members. We aren’t giving up, but it will take a total breakdown in government to even breath some air into the potential. Come to think of it though, RI is about as close to a total breakdown as you can get without actually going down with the Lusitania. We’re in for the long haul.

  6. evelyn harries says:




  7. Hank G says:

    1) Paul I didn’t know you were PC (that’s not Personal Computer) happy holidays indeed!…Merry Christmas and HNY to you and yours.

    2) Mrs Harries-is that a real name? Harries could be derived from harass, you know. It is a simple thing to get off of any list-all you have to do is learn to read and you will find out. Must be a graduate of our illustrious monopolized “school system.”


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