Forget all the partisan noise around you. Forget peer pressure and herd behavior. Think for yourself and vote on November 3. Make your choice like your future depends on it, because it does, not in this election only, but in every election.
To make good electoral choices, a citizen has to be as informed as possible. Knowledge is power. One of the main illnesses of the American republic is the mental laziness of its citizens, and their dependence on social media and soundbites to form their opinions. But a good republic needs informed citizenry, and information requires reading and researching.
America’s political culture, and its political parties, are the mirror image of the citizenry. Had citizens done their due diligence in educating themselves on national issues, they would have demanded deeper discussions that result in better policies. But when citizens start yawning whenever a topic requires more focus than the attention span of a goldfish, policies suffer and the republic becomes at risk.
Impatience forces policy makers to come up with catchy — even if untrue — statements. Untrue statements, from both Democrats and Republicans, start piling up, and before you know it, everyone is misinformed. American politics have shifted from public debate to dog whistles and personal diatribes.
Now let’s take two examples, one from each party, to show how good policies have given way to “feel good” policies. Democrats now champion saving the planet, which they think is possible by replacing fossil fuel with renewable one. This would stop the planet from melting and Californian forests from burning. But that’s only part of the story.
While switching to clean energy is good, there are other carbon emitters that the Democrats ignore. America houses 120 million pets, whose food industry alone emits 1.5 percent of the annual US carbon emissions. Add pet breathing and plastic bags used to scoop after dogs, and you will see that the planet is better off without pets, half a billion of which live around the world. But neither Democrats nor Republicans will endorse a good policy that comes with bad politics — telling Americans to give up their pets — and costs them at the ballot box.
Second, America contributes 15 percent to global emissions, which means that even if all Americans drop dead (because breathing emits carbon), the decline in emissions will not be substantial enough to alter the course of climate change. Saving the planet requires a collective global effort, including giving up pets and applying some social engineering in overpopulated countries, like India and Egypt.
Now let’s pick on a Republican policy. It has long been Republican Party orthodoxy to advocate for small government and free market. This means that when government shuts down the border to stop the influx of cheap labor, supply decreases and wages increase. If government is willing to protect American labor from alien competition and low wages, at higher cost for businesses, why not protect their health too by offering them universal healthcare, even if it increases cost for businesses?
Another contradiction in Republican policies is related to social issues. For a party that puts a high premium on liberty, it is inexplicable why Republicans want to regulate against same sex marriage. Republicans seem to want a government small enough not to give a helping hand to low income Americans, but big enough to implement social engineering.
The Democratic platform is riddled with contradictions and “feel good,” but not necessarily good, policies. The Republican platform, too, is contradictory and does not add up. This means that a good citizen should pick and choose from the platform of both parties, while keeping in mind the limitation of presidential power.
So how to pick a president on November 3? The president has much less power than candidates promise. Signature achievements, like Obama Healthcare, took months of coalition-building. Presidential Executive Orders are temporary legislations that make partisans feel good, but that are reversed by the next president.
Neither President Donald Trump, nor Joe Biden, if elected president, will be able to deliver a fraction of what they promise. Obama left office with frustration over his inability to do anything about arms. He signed on a nuclear deal with Iran that barely outlasted him. So, without building alliances, passing legislations and approving international treaties in Congress, presidential “achievements” will fade by the time he/she leaves office.
This leaves us with the character of the president, and this is where Biden beats Trump by a mile. Not only Trump suffers from moral lapses, he seems unfamiliar with basic tenets of government, and unaware of global trends. His sees life as a zero sum game, with only winners and losers, where Trump is always the winner, even at the expense of the republic. Trump is one of those who convinces his cult members that his success is good for them, even if it is at their expense, just like how Joe the Plumber of 2008, who needed government healthcare more than other Americans, was opposed to Obama Care.
Trump also suffers from an obsession with his image, which he wants to always look neat, shiny, youthful and strong, suggesting that Trump has no understanding of humility, empathy and compassion, all of which are characteristics of a good Christian. That Trump’s Christian followers think of themselves as striking a pragmatic deal with the devil, Trump, is not Christian.
Biden, on the other hand, has a long experience in government and legislation. He might lack charisma, stutter, or utter his usual gaffes. But unlike Trump, Biden is a classic politician who practices humility and behaves as the servant of the American people, not their king.
For his civility, basic understanding of government, and normalcy, I will vote for Biden. I don’t agree with all his policies, especially his terrible policy on Iran. But to me, America and the health of our republic come first. To me it is a no brainer to choose a low profile president, who minimizes divisions between Americans rather than inflaming them.
If you have read this far, it means you are independent minded and looking for a good debate, not a shouting match. If so, then I hope you agree with me and vote for Biden, for the sake of the of the republic, normalcy and our sanity.