Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Before I share my thoughts let me say that I voted and dropped my permanent early ballot off on Thursday at the drop box located in the sub-basement of Glendale’s City Hall.  I waited until Saturday and went online to ballotstatus.maricopa.vote to check my ballot status. I filled in a few questions for identity verification and clicked submit. It immediately verified that my ballot had been received and my vote counted. It couldn’t have been simpler. I urge you, if you have a Permanent Early Ballot that you take a moment to fill it out and drop it off at a secure drop box location.

My remarks are directed at those who have not yet voted or will do so in person on Election Day. Let me preface my comments with this. I first registered to vote during my college years at the time of the Presidency of John F. Kennedy. I, like so many, admired this President and so, I registered as a Democrat and remained so for almost 50 years and actually voted for Obama and his first term. Obama’s performance was so disappointing that it was at that time that I began voting Republican and eventually changed my registration from Democrat to Republican. I proudly voted for Donald J. Trump.

In 9 days this nation will make a decision on who will be our President. It’s been said often and although it seems trite this election will most certainly determine if this nation remains a Republic, “if we can keep it.”

We should not be judging these candidates based on personality but that is not reality and so, we do. It is not personality but policy that drives my decision. Trump is a salesman and has always been so – he’s not a career politician in the true sense of the word. He blusters and he exaggerates but those actions should not be confused as lying. He’s not the perfect person but then again, neither is Biden.

Biden is cognitively declining. I’ve seen it occur before in my parents. He exhibits ‘tells’ that I saw in my parents. I believe he is no more than a Trojan Horse filled with Progressives that will be released moving this country into Socialism should Biden win.

Enough with personalities. Policy issues are far more important. Let’s begin with economic policies. It cannot be denied that prior to COVID this economy was roaring. Trump often points to the stock market’s performance. My 401K rose dramatically under Trump’s administration. Before you discount the stock market’s importance, think about this. Are you a teacher? police officer? fire fighter? Where do you think your pension funds are parked? In the stock market. When the stock market does well that bodes well for the futures of many ordinary Americans.

Trump’s policies of tax cuts and reduction regulation led to the prosperity of many while pulling Afro-Americans, Hispanics, women, etc. off the unemployment rolls in historic, record busting numbers. We saw a real wage growth of 6% for blue collar workers. Countless new, small businesses were created and manufacturing came back to America. In nationwide polling more Americans (56%) still believe that Trump will do a better economic recovery job than Biden.

Biden has said repeatedly that he will only raise taxes on those making more than $400,000 annually but he has also said that on his first day he will eliminate Trump’s tax cuts. Independent, neutral tax policy groups have confirmed that Biden’s elimination of those tax cuts will cost 82% of all American families about $6,500 each. Biden would also reinstate the death tax and raise the capital gains tax.  The passing down of small, family farms would once again be in jeopardy and that 401K when you take money out of it will be taxed far more.

Energy policy is another issue with stark differences. Under the Trump administration America is finally energy independent. The consequence of energy independence drives foreign policy and creates a rationale to keep America out of foreign wars, especially in the Middle East.  Trump supports the use of fossil fuels and fracking and the millions of jobs these policies sustain.

Biden has flip flopped all over. He’s for fracking and then he’s against fracking. Remember that the occupants of the Biden Trojan Horse (Progressives) are adamantly opposed to fossil fuels and support the New Green Deal. Biden, in the final Presidential debate, admitted that he would eliminate all federal subsidies for oil production and fracking. In essence, he is willing to sacrifice our energy independence for a model similar to that of California’s. How’s that working out? Today, one million Californians will once again have their power turned off due to wildfire prevention. The problem with that is wind and solar are incapable of making up the difference in electrical power generation. Hence the blackout.

COVID is another issue that provides differences between the candidates. It’s a choice between optimism and pessimism. Biden said in the final debate that America faces its darkest days ahead. Trump believes that the cure should not be worse than the disease. Truthfully whether Biden or Trump had been in the White House today’s current condition would have been the same. Our fatal mistake, now that America is experiencing a 3rd wave of the virus, is that we should have been protecting the old and the vulnerable and kept the country running. This 3rd wave is due to the fact that the country never built up ‘herd immunity’ and now that so many people are sick of wearing masks (BTW I still wear one) and social distancing not enough of the population has immunity to fight the disease. I suspect this 3rd wave will finally result in the population immunity needed.

There are certainly more stark differences between the policies of the two Presidential candidates but I want to focus on one that especially bothers me as a local, elected official and that is the Affirmatively Affordable Fair Housing Act (AAFHA). President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing this act in 2013 and Trump, via Executive Order in 2018, rescinded it. Thankfully, during its 5 years of existence it was a policy that was never aggressively pushed. In essence, it federally mandated local jurisdictions to implement a plan to create more affordable housing within their communities. If they did not do so their Community Development Bloc Grants (CDBG) and Surface Transportation Bloc Grants (STBG) would be denied. Biden has stated that he would reinstate this policy. This policy would eliminate local control over zoning. A vacant parcel near your home zoned for residential development could end up being developed with a low income affordable housing project on it instead. This act, if implemented, would do more to destroy the fabric of many communities than anything in recent memory.

I know that half of my audience is Democrat and obviously, the other half is Republican but there are still many undecided voters, anywhere from 2% to 6% of the electorate. You, the undecided voter, may very well determine who our President will be. I urge you to put aside your like or dislike based on personality. You must decide based upon policy and what kind of future you would like for you, your family and the country. Even more importantly you have the obligation and the right to vote…something citizens in many countries cannot do freely.  It’s up to you. We still have a Republic but can we keep it?

© Joyce Clark, 2020         


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