EDITOR’S NOTE: For another view, see “McGarrigle: Why Voters Should Vote for Republicans.”
On Tuesday, November 8, Americans will once again head to the polls to exercise one of our most important rights – the right to vote. This year, however, the stakes are higher than they have ever been before as the differences between candidates go beyond policy.
Rather, we are choosing between those who believe in truth, democracy, and freedom and those who embrace dangerous election lies, hateful rhetoric, and political violence. The best way to protect our democracy, keep the government out of our bedrooms and doctors’ offices, and stop the spread of MAGA extremism is to vote for Democrats up and down the ballot.
It should come as no surprise that in normal election cycles, I also strongly believe that voting for Democrats is the best decision. Ordinarily, that is for policy reasons. But there is nothing ordinary about this year. We have one party – the Republican Party – that has been taken over by far-right extremists, including some calling for violence against our elected officials and institutions.
The Republicans are not even pretending to appeal to moderates anymore. Their platform calls for, among other things, a national ban on abortion; support for total and absolute gun rights; rejection of sound climate science and backward-looking energy policies that prop up the fossil fuel industry; drastic cuts and changes to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid relied on by millions of citizens; elimination of the Affordable Care Act which would lead to loss of insurance and coverage for pre-existing conditions for millions of Americans; and, of course, more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and corporations, forcing the tax burden down onto middle-class Americans and shockingly, even the poorest among us.
Moreover, we have the continued assault on our electoral system based on the “big lie” created by former President Donald Trump and his allies. We are learning every day just how deep and terrifying this assault really is. Across the country, Republicans are trying to take over election boards, county commissions, city councils, and school boards to force their dangerous view of the world on the rest of us.
We are seeing these forces at work right here in Pennsylvania where the Republican candidate for governor, Doug Mastriano, has made controlling elections, through his power to appoint the secretary of state and certify voting machines, a central tenet of his campaign. He supports a complete ban on abortion, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or even the health of the mother, and even supports charging a woman who had an abortion with murder.
His historically extreme education policy would cut public education funding by half and he has vowed to turn Pennsylvania into the Florida of the North. No, thank you. Beyond Harrisburg, our U.S. Senate and House races are also vital for protecting our democracy. If Republicans take control of the U.S. House and Senate all progress stops in terms of fighting inflation, global warming, women’s rights, common-sense gun control, civil rights, and protecting our elections.
That’s why we here in Chester County need to throw our support behind Democratic candidates at all levels, from our state legislature, to governor, to the House of Representatives, to the U.S. Senate. Our very democracy is on the ballot in November and there is only one party intent on preserving it, for everyone.