I was taught the clear distinctions between an initiative, referendum and legislation. Thus why “initiative” 1000 is called an initiative, I am not sure. What is Initiative 1000? It is recent Washington State legislation to undo a citizen’s initiative passed 20 years ago to ban affirmative action policies in state government. Why people are against affirmative action is unclear. Why would anyone think it is okay to discriminate on the basis of sex, religion or race? Affirmative action is an admission that there is systemic discrimination and needs economic mitigation to address unjust losses in economic opportunity against a person’s consent or for less than transparent reasoning. A recent higher court in Washington has determined that obesity is a disability and can’t be used as a basis for discrimination. Sometimes, people don’t need a reason to discriminate. There are clear preferences and policy to aid the already economically advantaged. It takes a really big person to walk in the shoes of someone else.
A proposed referendum (R-88) has been filed and signature gathers are apparently busy. I visited the Chehalis Walmart on July 9. I overheard the person soliciting signatures that the referendum is to address “initiative” 1000 which “Governor Inslee is trying to stop military veteran hiring preferences in the State of Washington.” People seemed eager to sign without asking questions. Initiative 1000 is not about stopping hiring preferences for military veterans and it certainly wasn’t Governor Inslee alone who may have felt that in today’s political world, disparaging remarks and actions are all too common by persons who are falsely denying their own roots in humanity.
When I heard the solicitor for the referendum stand on the coat tails of military veterans to mislead the public about what Initiative 1000 is actually about, I had no doubt what I would do. My problem is not voter initiatives or referendums. To the contrary, however, I do expect that they should be transparent and honest.
Political speech should not be protected if it intends to mislead or misrepresent. Some people signed because of some concern for hiring preferences for military veterans but I wonder if even those same people felt upset about Trump’s official policy to deport thousands of legal residents who have served in this country’s military with a promise at the time of their service they could become citizens?
Please, take the time to discern the truth; don’t let emotions drive your reactions. Fickle is as fickle does.