Every four years this columnist writes about the stark choice between the candidates for president (and vice president) and their views on how the country should be run.
Every election is declared "the most important in history." This year it might prove true.
Were it not for the invasion of the COVID-19 virus, Donald Trump would likely be on his way to a national sweep with probable gains in the Senate and House. It is the virus, along with his personality, that rubs people the wrong way. These have made the race close. In the latest YouGov poll, former Vice President Joe Biden leads Donald Trump in the popular vote 53.2 percent to 44.3 percent. Trump supporters, however, are betting on a substantial "silent" vote to put him over the top.
On the issues, President Trump is winning. Joe Biden has promised to reverse his gains and that's why the contrast between the two tickets could not be more stark.
For voters serious about the future of the country, the following issues should be paramount.
COVID-19. President Trump is doing everything possible to balance eliminating the virus while maintaining the economic health of the nation. Joe Biden offers bromides and promises actions the president has already taken.
Economy. Last week's 33.1 percent GDP growth announcement proves Trump is on the right track. Household spending and income rose in September, reported the Commerce Department. Unemployment is falling.
Taxes. Biden promises to eliminate the Trump tax cuts, stifling economic growth. The government takes in record amounts of money. Overspending is the problem.
Immigration. The president's wall is working, according to his administration, which claims that the 15 miles of new wall construction under Trump has slowed the flow of undocumented people crossing the Southern border. Biden and Harris essentially favor open borders and citizenship for 11 million already here. This would send a "y'all come" signal and transform the country in ways most citizens do not want. Would Biden also tear down the wall?
Courts are being transformed into what the Founders intended. Judges appointed by Trump are no longer making law, but upholding the Constitution. Biden would reverse course and put judges on the federal bench who interpret the Constitution the way they see fit.
Liberties, including religious liberty, would be diminished by a Biden-Harris administration. Many on the left think worship should be confined to a building for one hour on Sunday mornings. They would likely curtail the right of especially conservative Christians to apply their faith outside those buildings. Trump has championed religious liberty.
On social issues, like abortion and the right of law-abiding people to own guns, the Trump administration has been a vocal defender of the unborn and of the necessity for people to own weapons to defend themselves against criminals, including raging mobs in our streets. Biden and Harris give only tepid opposition to the violence, while supporting "protests." On many streets there seems little difference.
Adding States. Biden and Harris, along with a likely compliant Democratic Congress, would almost certainly add Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, ensuring a Democrat congressional majority. This would effectively end the two-party system and irretrievably injure the nation as there would be nothing to check the Democrats' power and the corruption one-party rule often brings.
Foreign policy. President Trump is ending wars and not starting new ones, requiring our allies to take responsibility for their own defense. He also has brokered deals between three Middle East countries and Israel and moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Saudi Arabia is likely to come on board should Trump win re-election, isolating Iran. Biden's foreign policy record is dismal.
Then there's the issue of Biden's mental state and whether ultra-liberal Kamala Harris would soon succeed him. A vote for him might turn out to be a vote for her.
If the choice is between personality and policies, the advantage goes to Trump and Mike Pence. They deserve four more years, considering the stark contrast with the policies of Biden-Harris-Sanders and AOC, the last two being the real powers that would be behind the "throne."