Republicans need voters to focus on issues, not personalities
By Tollef Currell, guest writer
The presidential election is certainly the most widely discussed top- ic on this upcoming ballot. It’s arguably the most important, too, but not for the reason most people suspect. We are about to have a fight over personalities, but what matters most right now is policy. Also, until November we will be focused on the presidency, when Congress matters just as much.
The President represents our nation and that is important — but the President himself is relatively unimportant for most policy purposes. How many campaign promises has Trump kept? How many did Obama keep? How many could Biden (or Bernie or Warren) keep?
The more important factor than the candidate is the policies and people a President brings along. Trump is perhaps the most polarizing president in US history. But whether you hate Trump or you love him, this election is about policies, not any candidate’s personal agenda. All presidents talk of the many things they will do during their presidency, but these unique promises are rarely fulfilled.
Once a president reaches the White House, he quickly realizes that he is not in control. This is partly because of our system of checks and balances, but also because White House and agency staff do most of the formulation of ideas and writing of regulations.
George Bush once said, “I am the decider.” This sums up the president’s job. Staff come up with options based on party policy and
the president decides. Even Trump fills this decider role in spite of Twitter tirades that might suggest otherwise. Whether you like Trump or not, vote on party values and try to ignore the personal agendas.
In the past 22 presidential elections, Minnesota voted Republican only in 1972, 1956 and 1952. You might think the act of going to the polls with conservative candidates in mind is almost laughable. If your vote will have no impact on the presidential election, it could nevertheless have an impact on the local race for the U.S. House of Representatives. Minnesota has eight Representatives — five Democrats and three Republicans. Whoever the president ends up being, the makeup of the House and Senate are crucial. If the president is Biden, a super-majority Democratic House would allow him to push far more liberal bills through with ease. If it was very close between parties, or a conservative majority, it would be much harder to make extreme or sweeping policy. The same goes for Trump.
In the upcoming election, I encourage you to go to the polls (or the mailbox!) and vote if you are of age. If you aren’t of age, pay close attention to an election that deeply impacts our nation.
And no matter what your opinions are, stay civil and respectful. Our country will struggle with civility this summer … Be a good example!