As we are just a few days away from the 2020 election, I think back to when I first started writing this column, in 2008, also shortly before the outcome of that year’s presidential race. I sigh when I reflect on how we deemed those times contentious, and lament: “oh, to live in such a benign political climate again!”
It saddens me tremendously that friends and family members shun one another because of differences about political candidates. The conversation becomes intolerable when one side, if not both, exclaims in exasperation: “But how can you not see what I’m talking about? It’s so obvious! There is no other way to look at it!” Sadly, that’s where we are in 2020: lifelong friendships and family bonds shattered over a red hat with white letters on it.
That said, at the risk of incurring further sorrow and disappointment by alienating even more people who can’t get past the Trump thing, I am proceeding with making the case for his reelection.
My main reasons for voting for Trump in 2016 were his strong stance against illegal entry and stay in the United States, and his condemnation of irresponsible journalism and political overcorrectness. For good measure, I was also happy with his insistence that NATO pays its fair share, his outside-the-box thinking not to do things a certain way because that’s how we’ve always done them, and his narrow focus on fighting terrorism without become bogged down in endless wars. His tariffs, lowering of corporate taxes, and focus on appointing originalist judges were icing on the cake.
But then came COVID-19. Let’s not kid ourselves: COVID-19 has changed our lives more so than any event in modern history – at least in my own lifetime. During my 50-plus years on earth, we saw the political assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, humans walking on the moon, the resignation of a president, a handful of wars, and our two glorious Twin Towers knocked down by a couple of airplanes flown by terrorists. But none of that even came close to changing our lives the way COVID-19 has. And right now, I would vote for the person most capable of restoring us to a pre-COVID-19 world – even if it meant putting up with other policies and platforms that I do not favor. But I don’t feel any more confident that Biden can bring us to the light at the end of that tunnel any better or faster than Trump can, and so for me, the candidates’ ability to fight COVID-19 is a wash. Sure, the Trumpies will say he shut down travel from China when Biden called it “racist” and “xenophobic” to do so, and the Democrats will counter that Trump downplayed the seriousness of pandemics to begin with, largely dismantling the mechanism Obama and Biden had put in place. Like I said, it’s a wash. On the other hand, just because COVID-19 has transformed our lives doesn’t mean all other issues are no longer important.
In most elections, that candidate named “Other” is often the most appealing choice. But this is not about Trump vs. Other, it’s Trump vs. Biden. Accordingly, when deciding for whom to cast my vote, I don’t try to imagine a world without a President Trump – that part’s easy, I just have to think back to my entire life before January 2017 – but instead a world with a President Biden. What would that world look like?
Let’s start with the positive. The mainstream media would take a respite, having a president it likes and respects, and millions reading the New York Times and Washington Post, and watching CNN, MSNBC, and the three big free networks will no longer have tension and agitation. A sense of calm – if not reality – will soothe them. But the right won’t go away quietly. The harassment we Trumpists feel on a daily basis will be reversed. Personally, I’m not a harasser, but those who vote for Biden won’t get a moment’s rest from the angry sore losers. It happens every time, no matter which party or candidate wins or loses. The pink hats will be replaced with colonial outfits and muskets.
How about the economy? It’s the corporate tax rates I worry about. To raise them now will be disastrous – especially in an economy trying to rebound from COVID-19. Foreign policy? We’re still America, we won’t fall apart. Things will get back to the way they were in the Clinton, Bush, and Obama years – which is not awful, but surely a few steps backward. Now, for what’s really troublesome.
Open borders and Sanctuary Cities will flourish under Biden. Not because he’s necessarily in favor of them, but his passion to combat them doesn’t even come close to the energy and zeal of those who want to sustain them, and so it would be a lost cause. The media will continue to be an abomination, and political overcorrectness will drive even Biden out, by the same voices he promised to serve.
Comparing the extreme left to the extreme right is a false equivalency. It is the left that forces professional teams to change their names, that marches into the suburbs, terrorizing homeowners with blowhorns to come out outside and join the cause and spitting on police officers while calling for their defunding. The extreme right has a few hateful lunatics wearing sheets, hoods, and swastikas, but thankfully, they are almost extinct. Sure, there’s still a lot of racism in the United States, but the overwhelming majority of racists are not violent or otherwise lawless.
Simply put, while the extreme right is shrinking, the extreme left is turning into a monster ready to consume the United States with radical anarchy. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, or even next year, but the monster is growing in size.
Again, Joe Biden is not part of the crazy left – he just doesn’t have a particularly strong will to contain them. That’s why I’m voting for Trump, because I don’t want to imagine a world where it’s up to Biden to stop the monster.