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May 22, 2024

As Election Approaches, Policy and Party as Important as Personalities

Let’s not lose perspective that party is what draws the dividing line in Washington.

Although the focus in the upcoming elections is on the presidential candidates, it’s worth keeping in mind that of at least equal importance is which party has the controlling hand on policy in Washington.

Because the country is becoming increasingly polarized, which party controls will lead in dramatically different directions. This has profound implications for the country’s future.

Consider the judicial branch.

The conservative majority on the Supreme Court has changed the course of the nation’s history. Overturning Roe v. Wade was a major game changer.

But not so many years earlier, in a court less conservative, same sex marriage became law of the land. The chances that that decision would have occurred in the current court are minimal.

But now the two oldest justices are part of the conservative majority — Clarence Thomas is almost 76, and Samuel Alito is 74.

That their replacements will be conservative will depend more on which party controls rather than which particular Republican sits in the White House.

Regarding the appointment of judges, the values defining the two parties are worlds apart.

Republicans want faithfulness to the Constitution. Democrats want diversity.

Of the 197 judges appointed by President Joe Biden, as reported by The Washington Post, 125 are not white, and 72 are white. Regarding gender, 63% of Biden appointees are women and 37% men.

Per The Washington Post, “Just 13% of Biden’s Senate-confirmed appointments so far are white men.”

Regarding this record, Biden noted “I’m particularly proud that these judges reflect the diversity that is our country’s strength.”

In contrast, of 237 judges appointed by Trump, 200 were white and 37 not white. Seventy-six percent of Trump appointments were men and 24% women.

Inevitably, those on the left will say Trump’s appointment criterion was white male supremacy.

But the difference between Trump and Biden appointments is putting the Constitution front and center as opposed to ethnicity.

Of course, there is more to the picture than the judiciary.

The fiscal situation of the nation is frightening and dangerous.

Our only hope for turning this around is Republican control on Capitol Hill.

For the first seven months of fiscal year 2024, expenditures of interest payments on our massive national debt exceeded both spending on Defense and on Medicare.

The Senate is on a razor’s edge, with Democrats controlling 51-49. Estimates are that retiring Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin will be replaced by a Republican. In a 50-50 Senate, with a Republican in the White House, a Republican vice president will cast the deciding vote.

Of the 34 Senate seats up this year, estimates are the most vulnerable are Manchin and four other Democrats.

Certainly, on the social issues of great concern to the country — abortion, our dangerously declining birth rates and marriage rates — Republicans bring a pro-life, pro-family agenda to Washington.

And then, of course, is the position of our nation in an increasingly dangerous world.

Per the American Enterprise Institute, “China also now boasts the largest navy in the world, alongside the biggest coast guard and maritime militia.”

This while U.S. Defense spending flirts with a historic low, at half as a percentage of GDP where it stood in the 1980s.

Hudson Institute scholar Walter Russell Mead writes in The Wall Street Journal, speaking about the aggressive advancement globally of Iran, Russia and China, “Many Americans still don’t fully grasp how serious the international situation has become. … Team Biden, unfortunately, would rather starve the military and embrace the diplomacy of retreat.”

So, yes, every presidential contest is a battle of personalities. But let’s not lose perspective that party is what draws the dividing line in Washington. And perhaps there has never been a time where the gap between the worldviews of Republicans and Democrats has been this gaping.

So, the mindset going into this election season should be about policy as well as about individual candidates.

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