Vote Your Principles, Not A ‘Personality’

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By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

After the 2016 election, we were talking to a man about how he had voted. He said in 2008 that he voted for Democrat Barack Obama for president. In 2012, he didn’t vote at all. In 2016, he voted for Republican Donald Trump but said he could have voted for Vermont liberal Democrat Sen. Bernie Sanders if he would have been on the ballot.

We thought, “What does this man believe in?”

He was bereft of political or social principles. His political affiliation was based on the shallow cult of personality. Whoever excited him at election time got his vote, not because of what he or she stood for, or the candidate’s vision for leadership.

When you go to the polls next Tuesday, will you vote for what you believe in, or will you vote for a person who just might tear down all that you hold dear?

Medical care and insurance

Will you vote for a Democratic candidate because he or she believes that people with pre-existing medical conditions deserve affordable healthcare and shouldn’t be dumped by an insurance company? If you have a condition or a family member, or friend, suffers from some affliction that makes care expensive, will you vote for the candidate that backs the Republican movement toward dropping the requirement for covering people with pre-existing conditions?

Many Minnesotans are struggling to pay for medical care and can’t pay the high deductibles they are forced to accept because they are trying to keep premiums affordable. Democratic candidates see affordable healthcare for all Americans as a right. Republicans see it as a privilege for those who can pay the price and a burden for taxpayers.

Do you support the candidate who would let the government negotiate for lower drug prices for Medicare to lower costs? Democrats do.

An exploding national deficit

Do you believe in fiscal responsibility? Did you vote for Donald Trump and Republicans because they were going to lower the deficit while giving you a huge tax break?

The facts show that the $1.5 trillion tax law passed by Trump and the Republican Congress last year is leading to a rapidly growing deficit. The U.S. Treasury Department recorded a $779 billion deficit for the 2018 fiscal year and we are on our way to a $1 trillion deficit. The quickly rising deficit is attributable to primarily one action – a tax cut for the favored the very rich.

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated that most people living in rural America would receive an average $930 tax break from the Republican law this year. Poor Americans got about $40.  The wealthiest 1 percent of Americans are getting $33,000 in 2018.

“President Trump kicked off his holiday (2017) weekend at Mar-a-Lago Friday night at a dinner where he told friends, ‘You all just got a lot richer.” He was talking about the new tax bill he pushed.

Do you believe in fiscal responsibility? You are not getting it from the current president or the Republican Party – but they have a plan….

Cut Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid

Republican U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now saying that to pay for the significant tax cuts for the wealthy and a massive increase in military spending that are ballooning the deficit that we need to cut spending. His target for cuts: Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid.

At the same time, they are making medical care for Americans less certain and more expensive, the Republican leadership would cut the social safety nets for many Americans who rely on these three programs. Yes, changes that are needed, but their changes will target the vulnerable as well as the average citizen of this country.

Do you support giving the rich a massive tax cut, then paying for it on the backs of average Americans? Supporting Republicans running for Congress will lead to cuts Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid.

Clean water

Will you vote for the candidate that believes that the state’s relatively new buffer law will play an essential role in cleaning up our rivers, streams, and groundwater, or will you vote for the candidate that would severely cut back the law?

There are communities in Minnesota and Iowa spending millions to treat their drinking water because of contamination directly attributed to farm nutrients and chemicals. It is recommended that you don’t swim or fish in a vast majority of lakes and streams in southwestern Minnesota because of pollutants coming off the land. Will you support the Democratic candidate who would see those waters cleaner or the Republican candidate that would roll back the buffer law?

Climate change

There is no greater threat to future generations than our changing climate – and 97 percent of the world’s scientists agree that we are the cause.  A hotter earth means increasingly devastating droughts, expansion of deserts, human and crop diseases moving northward as insect habitats expand, and more intense storms including more flooding rainfalls. It means the failure of habitats that support animals and plants that feed the world.

The societal instability that is being created by a changing climate will accelerate as food and water become scarcer in a hotter world. The U.S. military sees the volatility climate change brings to the world as a threat it must prepare for now, not at some point in the future.

Do you believe the 97 percent, or the 3 percent? Are you concerned about your children’s future? If you are, then you have no choice but to vote for a Democrat who will counter Trump’s withdrawal of the U.S. from international climate agreements and his support for coal. Energy companies in America already recognize that wind and solar are the future. The solar industry employs more people than the coal, gas and oil industry combined.

Gun control

Another senseless massacre of innocent people by a madman with an AR-15 assault rifle capable of killing dozens in seconds. Trump. It’s just the latest in the endless tally of mass shootings in America each year.

Trump and the Republican Party’s answer: Armed guards and citizens in schools, churches, businesses, bars, movie theaters, government buildings, and the list goes on. Making America an armed fortress is insanity. Reasonable gun control measures backed by Democrats are supported by a vast majority of Americans.

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