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July 22, 2016

A Series of Election Questions

Some things to ponder as voters consider their options.

The 2016 Republican National Convention is now in the books, and the Democrats’ version begins Monday. With that in mind, here are some considerations for Republicans of all stripes — elected officials, party poohbahs and voters, whether registered GOP or merely considering their votes — in this tumultuous election year.

The most remarkable thing about the 2016 cycle is how disliked both parties’ nominees are. And, particularly on the Republican side, how bitterly divided some folks remain. Yet notwithstanding a few third-party options, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be the president come Jan. 20, 2017. So what’s a voter to do?

The Patriot Post has for 20 years been on the front lines of the fight for Liberty and Rule of Law. We regularly (and vigorously) advocate for the Constitution and First Principles. That includes often asking, how do we best advance our principles?

Conservatives are far more likely than leftists to stand for principle, which sometimes puts them at odds with “the team.” There may be a few disgruntled Bernie Sanders voters out there, but the fact is Democrats always come together when it counts. That means they often achieve more of their objectives than Republicans do. And even when Republicans do accomplish their goals — slowing the advance of Barack Obama’s agenda, for example — many on the team complain that a near-sack and incomplete pass on Obama’s part wasn’t a pick-six by Team Red. Of course, no team scores on every play.

“This isn’t just a team sport,” Ted Cruz insisted the day after his pointed refusal to endorse Trump in his Wednesday convention speech. “This is about standing for what we believe in.”

It’s true that Cruz isn’t much of a team player. But that didn’t get him anywhere beyond advancing his own ambitions when it came to shutting down the government over ObamaCare in 2013. Does virtually every Republican want ObamaCare repealed? Yes. Is Obama going to sign its repeal? Not on your life.

Here, then, are some questions to ponder:

Will Hillary Clinton sign a repeal of ObamaCare? Will Trump?

Will Clinton seek to raise taxes? Will Trump?

Who will put forth a better foreign policy vision? Will either candidate restore America’s standing in the world?

What will each one do about the Islamic State and the global terrorism threat?

What will the two candidates do with immigration policy?

What would a Republican Congress be able to do with Trump?

What would a Democrat Congress be able to do with Clinton?

Will Clinton appoint judges and justices who will uphold the Constitution? Will Trump?

Does either candidate have the character of a president? If not, does that matter any more?

Perhaps the biggest questions are these: Does party trump principle? Or is it the other way around? Do the two ever work together? Is principle advanced when the team loses?

We suppose if you asked 100 people those questions, you’d get a variety of thoughtful answers. But that’s what faces voters when they head to the polls.

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