By Tom Quiner
I will vote for a president for the 13th time in my life in November.
I have voted for the Republican candidate a dozen times. My candidate has won six times in this 44 year span.
As I consider the state of America after nearly eight years of a president who dislikes his country, I find myself focusing on several key issues which will influence my vote.
At the top of the list are judges.
I will vote for the candidate most likely to nominate judges who judge the law, not make it. Most of the breathtaking reforms in our country over my adult lifetime have been imposed by judges, not democratically passed into law by the legislature.
Human abortion was imposed by the Court. So was so-called gay marriage.
Hillary Clinton will continue the longstanding trend of Democratic presidents to appoint jurists who see the Constitution as a “living, breathing document” that can be twisted at their will to say whatever they want and advance their leftist agenda.
Nothing could be worse for a democracy.
Who knows what type of judges a Donald Trump would nominate? I give the edge to Trump on judges.
I’m also concerned about the state of the world and international security. We can judge Hillary Clinton’s record, since she was Secretary of State for four years.
During her watch, she undid the gains made in Iraq, turning the fledgling democracy into a cesspool of Isis mass murderers.
She emboldened Putin with her infamous “reset button.”
She emboldened Iran, putting them on the path toward a nuclear weapon.
She emboldened the looney running North Korea.
She allowed the so-called “Arab Spring” to devolve into a smorgasbord of seething Islamic hatred toward all things non-Muslim. She negotiated with terrorists, guided by the liberal philosophy of “trying to understand and empathize with their perspective.”
She lied about Benghazi. Again. And again. And again.
She contributed to Yemen’s failure.
She disrespected Israel, the single democracy in the Middle East and our long-standing ally.
There’s more. But you get the idea.
So could Trump be any worse? Yes, he could be worse.
His positions change, sometimes in the next breath. Uncertainty is dangerous in the foreign arena. Allies need to know the U.S. is stalwart and consistent. Enemies need to know we’re formidable. Strength nurtures security.
Trump is inconsistent and feckless. One example: he has stated on more than one occasion that the presence of American troops in South Korea is a ‘bad investment’, suggesting that a president Trump may not be inclined to keep our guys there. Conservative icon, Thomas Sowell was aghast:
“Whatever the merits or demerits of that as a policy, announcing it to the whole world in advance risks encouraging North Korea to invade South Korea — as it did back in 1950, after careless words by a high American official left the impression that South Korea was not included in the American defense perimeter against the Communists in the Pacific.”
Trump is not just feckless, he is reckless with his loose lips. While Ms. Clinton has been loose with her e-mails, he may actually give Hillary an edge in foreign policy.
The world is a far more dangerous place than it was eight years ago. Foreign policy is ‘yuge’ this election cycle. Hillary’s ineptness still gains an edge over Trump’s recklessness.
The health and well-being of the Constitution is a major concern of mine, especially the condition of the First, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
Freedom of speech and religious liberty are getting hammered by the Obama administration. Ms. Clinton can’t be much worse, but she won’t be any better.
Sadly, I’m not sure Donald Trump will be any better. He wants to make it easier for blowhards (like him) to sue media outlets that say stuff he doesn’t like it. If he gets his way, it will be a dream come true for trial lawyers who are already in the tank for Democrats. A Trump presidency would accelerate the erosion of First Amendment free speech rights.
Regarding the Tenth Amendment, Hillary would continue the imbalance between federal and state government, with the feds sticking their noses into areas the Constitution says belongs to the states.
Again, I’m not sure Trump would be any better.
He has been quoted as saying he likes the idea of a single payer healthcare system. (Keep in mind, he has been on both sides of most issues, except immigration reform and free trade.) He likes eminent domain. He seems content with our sprawling welfare state. Leadership on downsizing the sweep of government on our lives is going to come from a Republican Congress, not a President Trump.
However, there is an upside to Trump: he may be more willing to sign into law conservative legislation than a President Clinton. Frankly, either Clinton or Trump would be more willing to work with a Republican Congress (should the GOP maintain Congressional control) than a President Obama.
In the case of Trump, he’s all about the deal. Again, except on immigration and free trade, Trump is not an ideologue. Republicans could score some major legislative victories if they’re willing to wheel and deal, just as Congresses have been doing since the birth of this nation.
In particular, tax simplification could be an economic godsend for our stagnant economy. It is more likely to happen with Trump than Hillary, and is more likely to happen with either of them than Obama.
As always, I am driven by dignity of life issues. Clinton is a disaster. She will do anything to advance the cause of human abortion and fund Planned Parenthood. Trump has been on both sides of the issue. But his campaign just hired a good pro lifer in John Mashburn, suggesting that at least he won’t be knee-jerk against Life issues.
These are the issues that are tugging on me this election cycle. I shall make my final decision on a candidate once the dust settles. A lot can still happen.
For example, will Hillary’s e-mail scandal catch up with her?
For example, will there be a third or fourth party candidate? There is already a Libertarian Party candidate, Gary Johnson, who may come into play. Will there be others who could dilute the vote enough to throw the election into the House of Representatives, which is led by Paul Ryan?
My vote will be intentional, based on some of this criteria.
Will my 13th vote for president be an unlucky one? The way things look right now, I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t.