In the Gabriel García Márquez novel “Love in the Time of Cholera,” set during the cholera pandemic of the 1800s, the protagonist Florentino Ariza embarks on a river cruise with his long-lost and recently widowed lover.
In order to evade prying eyes, Ariza orders the captain of the boat to raise the yellow flag, which identified ships that were transporting people afflicted with the highly contagious cholera virus. In so doing, Florentino and his beloved were allowed to float off into new horizons without being disturbed by the outside world.
As we cast our votes in the 2020 presidential election, we face the worst global pandemic of our collective lifetimes.
Seven months into the COVID-19 crisis, hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their lives and millions more have contracted the virus. Jobs have been lost, businesses have closed, and our mental health has been challenged.
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None of us have been left unscathed, affected either directly or indirectly by this horrific disease.
We have a president in Donald Trump whose policies and aggressive approach to foreign trade had the economy operating on all cylinders before the pandemic began. But in dealing with COVID-19, President Trump made some strategic errors early on in the effort to mitigate the virus.
Being the man he is, the president has been slow to admit those errors.
To make matters worse, the COVID-19 crisis comes at a time when America is dealing with the reckoning of people of color dying at the hands of police.
Consequently, this reckoning has led to a new crisis of civil unrest and violence in the streets and unleashed a unified and clarion call for a better America from all corners of our nation.
President Trump has not been up-to-moment in dealing with the emotional strain and pain that comes with times of great transition. Instead of having the steel resolve of President Abraham Lincoln, the sunny optimism of President Ronald Reagan or the deep faith of President George W. Bush, this president has used his powerful platform to make snarky attacks on his rivals more fitting for “Saturday Night Live” than the Oval Office.
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Instead of trying to heal our great nation of its physical and spiritual ills, the president has been more apt to tweet insults.
Frankly, this president has been far from presidential. His sometimes-abhorrent behavior has sullied the office and driven many conservative voters to abandon the party.
Yet it is incumbent upon these very conservative voters to look past President Trump’s antics and analyze this election based upon the different approaches these candidates will take in governing our great nation.
President Trump promised less regulation and lower taxes. He has kept his word. This president has implemented sentencing reform to not only provide equity to those charged with petty drug crimes but also delivers the benefit of a smaller prison budget for taxpayers.
He has appointed 200 conservative judges to the bench, judges who will ensure we have a common-sense judiciary for the next 20 years.
The Democratic challenger, former Senator and Vice President Joe Biden, should be taken at his word—when he says he will repeal the Trump tax cuts, raise the capital gains tax rate to 40 percent and shut down the oil industry in our country.
Conservatives should also expect Biden to make every effort to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, a sum that, honestly, won’t be enough in some large cities, but will be a bridge too far for many rural small businesses. And, Biden also wants to expand Medicaid so that it is available to most anyone who wants it, directly competing with private insurance companies.
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For her part, Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., has promised to end cash bail, thus ensuring we have a criminal justice system much like the one she helped build in California, and eliminating an entire sector of small businesses along the way.
If elected, the Biden/Harris administration–bolstered by a liberal-controlled House of Representatives and Democrat bullies in the Senate—can be expected to tax, regulate and mandate millions of small, family-owned businesses into bankruptcy.
I have plenty of problems with President Trump’s behavior and I admit that Vice President Biden is the more “presidential” candidate in this race. But in this moment, we have to put substance before style.
We must put into the role of president of the United States the candidate who will preserve the free market for our children and grandchildren. That man is Donald J. Trump.
The American electorate, and especially conservatives, cannot set off to sea and raise the yellow flag of indifference in his election.
Our great nation needs us to get into this fight. We must educate our friends and neighbors on what is at stake in this presidential election, particularly for those who have struggled to keep their businesses open during the pandemic.
As bad as it has been, if you are a small business owner, you cannot afford to sit out this election because you cannot afford Joe Biden as your president.
An overused phrase is, “This is a historic election.” All presidential elections are historic by their very definition. But given the challenges and opportunities our country faces over the next four years, there is an added grain of truth there this time around.
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We cannot afford to stall or move backward. We need a president who does more than look the part; we need someone who will do the sometimes-dirty work of leading.
However imperfect he may be personally, President Trump had demonstrated he can do just that.