Editor’s Note: The Lake Geneva Regional News presents “Party Lines,” a monthly discussion of political issues featuring side-by-side guest columnists from the local Democratic and Republican parties. The column below represents one side of this month’s discussion. Click here for the other side.
The most important issue facing the voters in the 2020 election will be the selection of a spokesperson for the free and democratic world; we will select the next president of these United States.
The 2020 presidential election will focus on the “tone” this country will project for the next several years. The type of leadership style we want for 2020 and beyond is the most important issue facing the voters in next year’s election.
The nation will decide who we want to serve as a model for our children and the future generations. It will also be a referendum on the job performance of the current occupant of the White House.
The current president will be up for re-election and will have the luxury of incumbency. History favors the incumbent. If the president is perceived as doing a good job, the voters will give the incumbent another four years.
The current president had the luxury of a booming economy when he took office. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was shooting upward, unemployment was dropping like a rock, interest rates were low, people had healthcare insurance, and our wars were winding down. In other words, he inherited a great economy.
Incumbents generally win if the economy is humming. President Clinton said it well with his campaign slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Was this booming economy the result of the policies of the current administration? The next four years will answer that question, no matter who wins in 2020.
But there are a few facts that get neglected in our “booming” economy label. The 2020 federal budget deficit is $1.10 trillion. Deficit spending stimulates the economy, but at some point, we will have to pay our bills.
Income equality is at an all-time high. Student debt is stifling economic growth in the younger generation. For the first time in our history, most of our young people will not be better off than their parents.
The current occupant of the White House should represent all of us and fight for inclusion. Our president should not be dividing us and labeling groups of people.
The Statue of Liberty beckons with these words: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.”
Are these hollow words, or is this who we are as a nation? The 2020 presidential election will give us an opportunity to demonstrate who we really are as Americans.
Not always perfect and having a history of sins, our country still serves as a beacon of freedom for the rest of the world. Our idea of democracy draws people from all over the world, and the “melting pot” gives us strength and power.
People would not cross hot deserts or rough oceans to get here if we weren’t a place of hope and dreams. We shouldn’t be talking about walls, but building bridges. We should be using our “war dollars” to aid countries in improving the lives of their people.
We should be sharing our dreams and hopes. It is who we are.
The question of the illegitimacy of the current president will also be determined in the 2020 election. Winning the Electoral College but not the popular vote was a black cloud hanging over him. The extent of Russian election interference was also a thorn in the side of the president’s past election.
The Mueller Report clearly states that Russia interfered in the last election and that there was obstruction of justice. The 2020 election allows our current president a chance for a do-over so he can prove that he was a legitimate president.
Since no action has been taken to thwart foreign intervention into the 2020 election by this administration or the Republican-controlled Senate, that issue may not be resolved even after another election.
The 2020 presidential election gives us a choice. The Democrats offer solutions that are win-win. No matter which Democratic candidate opposes the current president, they will be fighting for everyone. Our belief system is based on our ideal democracy, and gives hope to all people.
The current administration and the Republicans operate under a zero-sum game — there are winners and losers. The wealthy and “haves” are the clear winners under Republican rule. This election is not only about policies and laws. It is about who we are as a nation. It will confirm or deny our belief in a democratic system that believes no one is above the law.
Steven Doelder of the village of Bloomfield is a member of the Walworth County Democratic Party.