November elections can’t get here soon enough and here are some choices that I hope readers will consider when they cast their votes.
• Walls or bridges? Do we really believe that all men and women are endowed with inalienable rights and are entitled to equal treatment without regard to race, ethnic origin, religion, or sex? Should we vote for politicians who will work to make our country more inclusive or ones who pander to hate?
• Irrational fear or reality? Politicians, Russians, and special interest groups know that fear translates to votes and they don’t care if that fear is based on lies. Some people in the media get rich stirring up irrational fear and have a vested interest in keeping us angry. Snopes and FactCheck are our internet friends. Should we evaluate our fears with researched facts or form opinions by listening to idle chatter in our social echo chambers?
• Statesmen or partisans? Tea Party conservatives have embraced the idea that politicians should be partisans instead of statesmen. That attitude gave us Donald Trump. Do we want our senator to be a statesman or a partisan?
• Science or superstition? The methods of science are the only reliable way to understand the world we live in. When 97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is real and 84 percent are certain that human activity is the cause, any reasonable person should pay attention. Are we willing to bet our grandchildren’s future on the minority opinion?
• Red or black ink? Once upon a time the Republican Party portrayed itself as the party of fiscal responsibility, but a tax cut that will add a trillion dollars to the national debt was the final nail in the coffin of that claim. Thanks in large part to that tax cut, the government spent $895,000,000,000 more than it took in during the last 11 months. Does fiscal responsibility matter to us?
• Basic healthcare or not? Is affordable basic healthcare for all Americans a human right? The World Health Organization ranks the US health care system as 24th best in the world. The 23 countries ranked ahead of us have universal health care systems. Do we care about the healthcare of those less fortunate than us?
• Facts or fiction? We live in a country whose president has told an incredible 4,715 documented lies in his first 592 days in office. Does truth matter to us? Should we support a representative who has enabled Trump’s dishonesty?
• Money or character? Big money has corrupted politics. Which candidate is more likely to serve his constituency honestly, one funded by big money donors and PACs or a candidate funded by small individual donations?
• Laws or lies? Do we believe that no one is above the law, including the president? Is it patriotic to support candidates who want to stop or impede the investigation into Russia’s attack on our 2016 election?
• Vote or abstain? I don’t think it is hyperbole to say that our country is at a historical crossroads with the soul of America at stake. Do we care enough about our country to vote?