At last! The primary election is finally over, at least in Carroll County, and all of the candidates are known. Unfortunately, now we have four months of campaigning ahead of us until the general election in November. What that means is that there will be more and more mud slinging TV and radio ads, endless robo-calls to our phones, more colorful flyers in the mail which go directly into the recycling bin, and the continuing blight of cardboard signs all along the highways and byways.
For me, at least, none of these things will influence for whom I will cast my ballot. To whom my vote goes will be determined by the candidate interviews as published in this newspaper and the statements made by the candidates in open forums and debates. Catchy slogans don’t cut it with me. Concrete ideas and realistic solutions to problems do. Finally, the “R” or “D” next to the candidate’s name is irrelevant to me. What he/she says and the tenor of their campaign means more than a party label. More people should vote that way. We might be better off.
Once again, our not so beloved tweeter-in-chief has let loose with another bunch of 140-character statements which only go to prove that his idea of national leadership is more than a little bit out of focus. His attacks on Harley-Davidson are the most recent example of this. His insistence on imposing high tariffs on steel, aluminum, and certain imported manufactured machine parts, and the resulting retaliatory tariffs from our allies and enemies alike are going to cost many Americans their jobs and may force some companies to shut down completely.
In order to maintain sales in Europe, Harley-Davidson is planning to move some assembly and manufacturing operations out of the country, with an expected reduction in the workforce here at home. This has raised the ire of the President and he threatens that the company “will be taxed like never before”. Like that is going to make H-D toe his line.
As I have commented before, a leader who declares that “only I can fix it” is either an egotist or a fool. In this case I tend to lean toward the latter. Now before you all go screaming, “Another darn democrat columnist,” know that I voted for Ronald Reagan and both Bushes, I’ve also voted for H. Ross Perot and Ralph Nader because I didn’t like the candidate from either major party. I did the same in the past election as well. Neither Hillary nor Donald was worthy of support. Like Trump, Obama didn’t have the experience in government, at any level, to be President but his charisma, unfortunately, carried the day, twice.
Over the next two years, both major parties need to identify and groom a couple of reasonable, viable prospects to return the presidency to sanity. How Mr. Trump is attempting to lead the country is walking us down the garden path to third-world status. Our traditional foes, with whom he is trying to curry favor, are laughing at us, not with us, and our many formerly staunch allies are becoming wary of the direction of our leadership. What does it say to the world when Trump derides the investigation of Russian influence in his election by the FBI and Justice Department all the while blindly accepting Putin’s assurances that they did nothing to affect our electoral process? The U.S. as leader of the free world is deteriorating and may soon be no more influential than any other country in the free world ... maybe less.
Of course this is simply one man’s opinion. What’s yours?