“I vote for the best candidate, regardless of party affiliation.”
How many times have we heard that sentiment? Rising above the fray, judging soberly, saying no to partisan ideology—it suggests a hint of nobility in one’s character.
It also suggests a hint of madness, or at least someone utterly confused about what this election is about.
The foolishness manifests as obsession over a candidate’s personal characteristics, as if reviewing Tinder profiles and seeking the right personality match.
Hmmm, kinda nice looking, likes dogs and long walks on the beach, loves to travel, partial to Chardonnay. OK, this might work… [Swipe right]
OMG, has weird hair, talks in polarizing rhetoric, seems narcissistic, has curiously-limited vocabulary. No, I don’t think so… [Swipe left]
Obviously, it’s gotten worse in the age of Trump. If you pay attention to what’s come out of the President’s mouth and keyboard—and the mainstream media has paid attention only to this for the last four years pretty much to the exclusion of all other news—you’ll find a lot to dislike. Some memorable zingers:
“Would someone please punch that guy in the face. Go ahead, I’ll pay your legal fees. Punch him in the face.”
“Carly Fiorina looks like a horse.”
“Grab ‘em by the pussy…”
And so forth.
These cringe-worthy statements fuel endless Facebook comments to the effect of: “I don’t see how anyone could ever vote for such a horrible person…”
If only we were voting for the person. We’re not.
This idea of judging presidential candidates on their personal characteristics began with the first televised debate: Nixon vs. Kennedy in 1960. Kennedy was trailing until the nation had a chance to see the two side-by-side. JFK was handsome, smooth, and articulate. Nixon wasn’t. The nation swooned for the youthful senator from Massachusetts, and the era of choosing a nation’s future based on a candidate’s personality had begun.
Of course in earlier, more innocent, times we could afford such nonsense. How different would life had been in the early sixties if Nixon had beaten Kennedy? The nation wasn’t polarized the way it is today. We mostly shared the same values. Can anyone even remember what the pressing issues in Washington were in—say—1961? Perhaps it made sense to choose a president based on looks and personality—in short, the way a consumer brand might hire a spokesmodel, a beauty pageant select a winner, or a Tinder user choose a date.
Jump forward to 2020. Our nation is in the midst of a cold war. Not a cold war with Russia. Not even with China. It’s a cold war with ourselves: a civil war of red vs. blue.
And today, the stakes are far higher. The US/Russia conflict was about which countries would turn communist and fall into Moscow’s orbit, versus which would stay free.
Today’s cold war is about whether the US itself will turn communist—or at least socialist. That’s the big strategic picture, but the battle’s being waged on dozens of domestic policy fronts.
Today, America is at a true crossroads. On almost every issue, Republicans (called “Team Red” herein for simplicity) want to go in one direction, and Democrats (called “Team Blue” herein for simplicity) want us to go precisely, 180 degrees, in the opposite direction.
That is what’s on the ballot this November. You’re not being asked to choose which you find the least discomfiting: Trump’s polarizing uncouthness, or Biden’s sleazy, swamp-creature corruption. You’re being asked to choose America’s direction for the next half century. Here’s a voting guide, to help with your decision.
Think that’s an over-simplification? Well of course it is. So here’s a breakout, on an issue by issue basis
|Team Blue||Team Red|
|Health Care||Socialized medicine. If you like your doctor, you can’t keep your doctor. Sorry. We all get the same doctor. Abolish private health insurance. Drag American health care down to the lowest common denominator, and if you have to wait six months for a critical procedure like they do in places like England and Canada—sorry, everyone has to queue up for limited resources. That’s how Socialism works. Duh.||Health care is so dysfunctional precisely because of government interference with the marketplace. Provide government assistance to the needy as required, but in general let the free market loose to deliver quality health care at prices one or two orders of magnitude lower than today’s. And here’s how to do it.|
|Education||Maintain government monopoly over failing K-12 public schools, shovel more money into union dues and pensions and away from kids, and remove all “choice” from the equation, so no one can escape the dysfunctionality while test scores continue to plummet, especially for minorities. Also, use this stifling control over K-12 to turn kids into proper little automatons, who hate their country and love Big Government.||It’s all about “choice.” Let parents decide which schools to send their kids to, and provide vouchers as necessary. Let the schools compete so the most effective rise to the top—and so all can benefit from them: especially minorities who’ve been so ill-served by the present government monopoly on education. Teach useful skills in K-12, rather than political indoctrination.|
|Taxes||The higher the better. Who cares about economic growth? The one thing we can’t tolerate is that someone might earn more than someone else. Ever. Somewhere. OMG, the horror.||The lower the better. Economic growth is the best way to “raise all boats” and afford all the social safety nets and other things government needs to provide in a compassionate society.|
|Regulation and growth of government.||The more the better. If it moves, regulate it. Keep regulating it, until it quits moving. And in general we need more government, not less.||Believes the Regulatory State has metastasized into a monster, and needs to be trimmed back…not fed. Believes bureaucrats’ salaries should be cut back roughly fifty percent (minimum), so landing a cushy government job is not equivalent to a sinecure.|
|Climate Change||$100 trillion for a Green New Deal in a hopeless quest to eliminate CO2 from the atmosphere—even though that will achieve nothing except the death of all plants, and thereby the elimination of life on Earth.||Recognizes that CO2 is plant fertilizer, it is not controlling Earth’s temperatures, and without CO2 all plants would die. And there are far better uses for $100 trillion than killing plants.|
|Clean Environment||Don’t change the subject. We’re trying to eliminate carbon dioxide. That’s the only environmental issue that matters. Oh, and straws.||Favors policies that will reduce toxic pollution in the air and water. Is disgusted that the once noble environmental movement has been hijacked by anti-science Global Warmists who inexplicably hate CO2.|
|Reparations||By all means! Let’s hand out taxpayer money based on everyone’s skin color. What could go wrong?||You can’t cure sins from hundreds of years ago by paying cash today to those who were not victims of those sins in the first place.|
|America as melting pot||No way! We need to divide up into respective victim groups so we can inflame tensions between them. People need to see themselves for the victims they are, and be taught their problems are the fault of others who oppress them — not their own lifestyle choices.||E pluribus unum. We are all Americans and we should celebrate what we have in common, not our differences. We need to eliminate the very concept of “hyphenated-Americans.” America is and always will the land of opportunity. That’s why so many, of all skin colors and ethnicities, want to move here.|
|Policing/Law & Order||Defund the police. Riots are mostly peaceful. Who cares if this means more blacks will be killed in minority neighborhoods? The more civil unrest, the easier to advance our not-well-hidden Marxist agenda.||“Broken windows policing” directly impacts quality of life for everyone. We need to provide cops in the neighborhood as necessary to break up the street gangs and lower crime. Giuliani did it easily in NYC in the nineties. It’s not difficult. You just have to do it.|
|Homeless taking over the cities.||Absolutely we should turn over our public spaces to the street bums who must be encouraged to urinate and defecate wherever they wish. Provide free needles to the addicts to make things even worse. Remember: a Marxist takeover is the goal, and the more dysfunctionality we can generate in the meantime, the more we help that cause.||Zero tolerance for homeless taking over our cities. Provide public food and shelter for those fallen on hard times. Provide mental health facilities for those who need it. Provide pathways out of drug addiction as necessary. Do NOT let people camp on sidewalks. That is not a solution. It’s destroying our cities and turning America into a third-world hell-hole.|
|Transgenders||Gender is a social construct. You are what you think you are. And if that means biological guys using women’s restrooms, high school girls’ locker rooms, and competing against female athletes, so what? Otherwise you’re a bigot. And non-inclusive. And hateful.||Gender dysphoria, although quite rare, is a thing. Those afflicted need to be dealt with compassionately. But no societal good is achieved by pretending that what is not so, is so. That grafts the mental illness onto society itself. Get these people the help they need. Don’t change reality to accommodate their gender confusion.|
|Higher Education||Free college for everyone. And by the way we need more Diversity Czars and Grievance Studies professors on campus. And a 100% ban on conservative speakers. Turn our campuses into echo-chambers and make sure no student graduates without full indoctrination into Progressive values.||In the last quarter century, higher education has become completely dysfunctional, not least because of the subsidizing of tuition through government loans—which allowed schools to send their tuition soaring, and enabled the shoveling of obscene salaries into school administrators’ pocketbooks. In a perfect world, remove every penny of taxpayer money from higher education. Make colleges compete in the marketplace for customers, as do other businesses, without government putting its hand on the scale.|
|Government Employee Unions||What’s not to like? We pass pro-union laws, and shovel endless $’s into unsustainable retirement benefits for their members. In return, the unions shovel cash into our political campaigns, ensuring we can never lose at the ballot box. This is the mother of all quid pro quos, and we love it!||Even uber Progressive FDR was against government employee unions, realizing the unavoidable conflict of interest, and damage they would cause. Government employee unions should be made illegal.|
|Other issues||Whatever the question, the answer is always more government, less freedom, and higher taxes to pay for it.||Whatever the question, the answer should rarely be more government. We need more freedom and free-markets to produce the wealth that will bring improved living standards to all.|
These issues are the ones on the ballot this November. No, it’s not about Trump’s narcissism, polarizing rhetoric, limited vocabulary, or weird hair. Nor is it about Biden’s swamp-creature corruption, 48 years of accomplishing nothing in Washington other than enriching his family, or his thralldom to the furthest Left radicals in his party.
It is about which direction our country now turns. If you favor the AOC vision, of a United States rebuilt along Marxist lines, an America in which the homeless are allowed to take over our cities, citizens are encouraged to Balkanize into grievance groups and be pitted against each other, minorities are told they have no hope of ever getting ahead because of systemic racism, crime flourishes, and the goal of cleaning up our air and water is replaced with a nihilistic cult that demonizes life-sustaining carbon dioxide and wants to spend $100 trillion we don’t have to remove it from the atmosphere, then by all means vote Team Blue.
If you favor the United States as envisioned by our founding fathers, a land of equality, opportunity, and freedom, if you favor the Constitution and its protections on individual liberty, if you want to see crime curtailed, the homeless moved into compassionate shelters and off our streets, Americans celebrated for what we have in common not what divides us, the economy unleashed to bring prosperity to all, and—most important—the preservation of the freedoms guaranteed in our Bill of Rights, then Team Red deserves your vote.
Trump and Biden may, nominally, be at the top of the ticket when you enter that voting booth in November. But you’re not actually voting for either. And you’re certainly not selecting a Tinder date.
You’re being asked to weigh-in on the soul of our country — and the question of whether we’ll even have one.
You’re being asked to choose between two opposite visions of America.
When you make that choice, I hope you’ll think carefully about what’s at stake. I’ll be swiping Right.