Stuart Wesbury

Stuart Wesbury

I am a conservative Republican and many of my conversations and email exchanges have specific political context. These communications, especially with liberals, socialists and Democrats, are becoming more and more of a concern to me. In fact, I am becoming worried for several reasons.

These conversations too often collapse into a focus on President Donald Trump and not on national issues. The president’s tweets, “lies,” “phobias” and personality traits are front and center. I am amazed by the pseudo-psychological diagnoses offered about the president.

The list of speculative diagnoses is too long to recite, but it is easy to conclude that we have no shortage of self-proclaimed mental health practitioners ready to relieve any shortage of actual mental health professionals. Perhaps after the presidential election, these “skills” will become more broadly available in nonpolitical situations. “Trump Anxiety Disorder” may actually produce some long-term good after all.

More seriously, I believe this kind of speculation reveals a dreadful upsetting of the normal process that produces an informed electorate. As an observer, participant and past candidate in the political process, I am aware of the benefit of reading, listening and discussing political issues. Based upon my teaching experience, I understand the educational processes by which individuals are prepared with the skills to partake in knowledgeable discussions and then to have the ability to arrive at informed decisions.

When it comes to national elections, this means addressing the issues. National defense, the economy, the justice system, immigration, law and order and health care represent only the beginning of a long list. Each issue deserves our attention and analysis. When we go to the polls, it is then expected that we will cast an informed vote.

From my discussions and observations, this process is being ignored by a large portion of our citizens who unfortunately will show up at the voting booth totally unprepared to cast a vote. Oh, their minds will be made up, but they will not have considered the issues. They will have come to one conclusion: “Dump Trump.”

How sad for our nation, its future and the future of our children and grandchildren.

Those who fail to consider the issues will not understand this but the Nov. 3 presidential election is critical for several reasons. This is not a “normal” presidential election. On a liberal-to-conservative continuum, the Democrats and Republicans are farther apart than ever in my lifetime. The socialist contingent in the Democratic Party has pulled the party and its platform far to the liberal left. If the Democrats were to win the presidency and control of Congress, the relevance of our Constitution and our free market system will be in danger.

What are some of the issues that should concern us?

Let’s start with the rule of law and government’s responsibility to preserve law and order in cities such as Chicago, Portland, Oregon, and Kenosha, Wisconsin.

We are seeing alarming numbers of shootings, homicides and other crimes, including destruction of property, in many Democratic-led cities. The years of single-party domination of U.S. cities measures in the decades. This national disaster and embarrassment did not even receive attention during the Democratic National Convention. Should this lack of leadership continue? What do you think? Study and then cast your vote.

What about our right and responsibility to secure our borders? Are you concerned about Democrats’ lax policies with regard to immigration? Are you comfortable with the fact that many cities, counties and states have declared themselves to be “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants? Where do you stand? Study the problem, decide and then cast your vote.

What are your thoughts about international issues? Are you pleased that Trump is reducing the U.S. military presence in many countries and at the same time is brokering treaties and advancing diplomatic relations between countries such as Israel and the United Arab Emirates? And we have become engaged in no new wars under Trump. Are you happy with this? Study world problems, decide on your solutions and then cast your vote.

A final issue for this short list of issues is our nation’s economy. Trump has already successfully demonstrated his skills in creating a national economy second to none. Before COVID-19, we were enjoying a booming economy with employment for nearly everyone interested in working. Trump has ended restrictive regulations, high taxes and constant control threats that slow economic growth.

The Democrats have not learned. Their political platform promises more of the same with enormous amounts of new spending (see the Green New Deal, for instance). Contrast this with Trump’s plan to move us from COVID-19 back to a booming economy. Where do you stand? Study and then cast your vote.

While these are only a few of our nation’s issues that we should be concerned about, Trump has demonstrated success on every one. The Democrats, in my view, have not shown the ability to address any of these issues. Neither the Democratic National Convention nor utterances from challenger Joe Biden’s basement provides confidence that these issues are even understood.

The challenge for all American voters is to understand issues, seek information and then cast an informed vote. Are you up to the challenge?

Stuart Wesbury, a professor emeritus in Arizona State University’s School of Health Administration and Policy, is a resident of Willow Street. He has a Ph.D. in economics and business administration. He is a former community member of the LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board.