Opinions: Election 2020 — Two Viewpoints

Opinion: Presidential Election Is a Battle Between Good and Evil

Brian McNicoll | InsideSources.com

Joe Biden said in one of the Democratic presidential debates that he would work from Day 1 of his presidency to end all fossil fuel production in the United States.

He has endorsed a plan that would require more than three-fourths of the buildings in America to be razed and rebuilt to energy- and emissions-saving standards. He has promised to repeal the Trump tax cuts, which would mean a tax increase for 96 percent of Americans and an increase in corporate taxes from 21 percent to at least 35.

Conservatives would rather not discuss that President Trump has promised — and engaged in — more spending than any other president. They’re not shouting from the rooftops about the president’s plan for a major infrastructure package in the second term, and they’re not sure where we’re going on health care.

Big issues most years, but this election is not about any of them. It’s about competing visions of America. Trump wants to Make America Great Again. His supporters, he says, are “people who love America.”

Biden, on the other hand, tweeted last week that “America was an idea. We’ve never lived up to it but we’ve never walked away from it before.”

Trump’s slogan tells us he believes in America and its people and that, given the freedom to do so, they will build an ever-greater country for their children and grandchildren. To help them, government needs only protect them and their property and, beyond that, leave them to their own devices. Keep taxes low so they can invest, and regulations unobtrusive, so all can take part in economic growth.

Biden’s tweet says that he doesn’t believe in Americans. We need to be fixed, taught differently, herded toward a new future — one characterized by cancel culture, regulations on toilet flush levels, critical race theory training and rioting in the streets.

Trump promises to put an end to riots in one night if only he is asked by local officials. He has, as he pointed out in his first debate, the endorsement of nearly every law enforcement group in the country.

Meanwhile, Biden’s staffers and running mate contributed to funds to bail out rioters so they could attack cities again. They talk of defunding and/or “reimagining” the police — sending therapists and mental health professionals to calls of violent confrontations.

The issues, as we’ve traditionally thought of them, almost don’t matter.

“The coming election is not about personalities or even character,” said Thomas Klingenstein, chairman of the Claremont Institute, in a recent video speech. “At root, it’s not about policies either — domestic or foreign. Nor is the election about the coronavirus or the riots, though undoubtedly these will play a role. What the election is about is the character of America, specifically whether America is good or bad.”

The choice, he said, is between Trump, who wants to preserve the American way and Biden, “who likely would be a party to its destruction.”

That means reparations, affirmative action, socialism, open borders, gun control, abortion on demand until birth and perhaps even beyond and regulation of speech. More broadly, he said, “They want the destruction or the radical restructuring of the institutions that teach the values and principles that under gird the American way of life — family, religion, education, community life.”

The mission, he said, is to convince us we are bad — racist, sexist, imperialist — so that we feel guilty enough to accept the changes Democrats and their BLM overlords wish to implement. Then, it is to silence dissent, through pressure, sanctions, riots if necessary.

The Trump economic story is a remarkable one — more people employed and fewer unemployed in just about every demographic group since statistics have been kept; wage growth four times the rate of the Obama administration; energy independence and renegotiated trade deals.

But that’s not the point to make, Klingenstein says. The point is that this is a battle between good and evil — between people who want to improve America and those who want to radically change it.

One side says trust the innate goodness of man to use his own resources to create economic opportunity for himself and others. It does not apologize for America’s past, and it seeks only to equip people with the freedom and security to chase their own dreams.

The other side says allowing Americans that freedom has led to a systemically racist society that must be completely remade if it is to continue. It insists we think differently, that instead of chasing our own dreams we seek equal outcomes for all — with the definition of equal and outcome supplied by the state.

Trump and his followers unapologetically love America; his opponents do not, Klingenstein said. Do we truly want to place the future of the country in the hands of people who see the greatest experiment in self-determination in history as failed, authoritarian and in need of rejection?

 

Brian McNicoll is a freelance writer and a former senior writer for The Heritage Foundation and former director of communications for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.

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Opinion: As Previous Generations Did, Make a Plan to Vote 

David H. Gans | InsideSources.com

The right to vote is one of our most cherished fundamental rights. It is guaranteed by more parts of the Constitution than any other right. It is the linchpin of our democracy. But securing the right to vote has never been easy. We all must do the work necessary to make our Constitution’s promise of a vibrant democracy real.

At a moment when the nation is contending with a deadly pandemic, and when President Donald Trump is waging a war on mail-in voting unlike any we have seen in our lifetime, claiming that the only way he could possibly lose is because  of a rigged election, it is critical for each of us to have a plan in order to ensure that our vote is properly cast and counted.

Voter  suppression by conservatives, efforts to cripple the Postal Service’s ability to transport absentee ballots on a timely basis, voting misinformation (which is at an all-time high thanks in part to all the president’s attacks on voting by mail), unbelievably long  lines at polling places, and, of course, the risk of transmission of COVID, make this a necessity. In a very real sense, the integrity of our democracy is at stake in this election.

Making a voting plan is nothing new. In past years, long lines at the polls have forced Americans to figure out how they will find extra hours during a busy working day to wait for hours to cast a ballot.

Throughout history, we have seen Americans, particularly in communities of color, forced to go to extremes to make a plan to ensure they could exercise the right to participate in our democracy. For example, during Reconstruction, Black Americans acted collectively to make their way to the polls, often armed for self-defense, in order to exercise their constitutional right to vote as guaranteed by the 15th Amendment. With white  mobs actively seeking to massacre those who sought to participate in our democracy, getting to the polling place without being subjected to Klan violence required careful planning and organization. At times in our nation’s history, that meant swimming,  rather than walking, to the polls. Black Americans know all too well the sacrifices their ancestors made to ensure that their votes would be counted.

The barriers to voting we face in 2020 are unquestionably different, but the basic idea is the same: we all need to make every effort to ensure that our democracy exists not only on paper but in reality. We need to demand that our votes are cast and counted in what is shaping up to be one of the most important elections of our lifetimes.

If you live in a jurisdiction that allows early voting, vote as early as you can. If you  have an absentee ballot, use dropboxes if they are provided in your community, rather than depending on the Postal Service. That can help flatten  the absentee ballot curve, lessen the burden on over-taxed voting administrators, and ensure you take no chances that your mail-in ballot arrives too late to be counted. Take advantage of the opportunity to track the status of your absentee ballot, as many states permit.

Educate your friends and family that vote counting will inevitably go past Election Day this year, and that’s just fine. State elections officials will be working  around the clock to make what will inevitably be a chaotic process run as smoothly as possible. Early action is the best way voters can ensure their mailed ballot still counts in what is shaping up to be a historic election.

Not everyone wants to vote by mail or at a dropbox. Some prefer to cast their ballot in the time-honored method of going to a polling place. If you choose to vote in your local polling place, come prepared with a mask and plenty of hand sanitizer. As experts have stressed, if basic precautions are followed, in-person voting “is about as safe as going to the grocery store.”

In short, there are many options to exercise your right to vote. Educate yourself on how to cast your ballot and have it counted in the way that makes the most sense to you. Vote because your rights depend on it. Vote for a government that works for all Americans. Vote because our democracy is at stake in this election and, most of all, don’t let your constitutional right to vote be wasted.

David H. Gans is Civil Rights Director of the Constitutional Accountability Center, a public interest law firm and think tank. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.

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