Three days ago, I finished watching the last of four days of the Republican National Convention. I have made a habit out of watching the Democratic and Republican conventions as the two groups have gathered every four years since about 1964—including the messy 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago.
I must say, however, that this year’s GOP convention was the most irregular convention I have seen from beginning to end.
I honest to God don’t know for sure who I am going to vote for, although I would admit I am not overly enthusiastic about either candidate.
I have said repeatedly that I have been an Independent voter since I registered to vote at the age of 18 in 1971. I hope to write this column without an inkling of favoritism.
I aim to touch on several topics mentioned last week by the Republicans and offer praise, concerns, criticism over the GOP outlook. Some will be good comments, some will be praises and a lot will be concerns.
These all add up to my not being sure which way to vote.
Donald Trump said he is going to take care of the U.S. and its citizens first and that we were going to take an isolationist outlook at the rest of world.
It is tough to argue with Trump’s argument of putting U.S. people, problems, welfare and education first. I would say hooray for that.
Not so much for the isolationism. We need the rest of the world for trade, food and other tangible and not-so-tanglible items. The economy of the world these days is so closely tied internationally that isolationism would be an outright foolish destiny.
Trump reiterated his plan to build a wall along the nearly 2,000-mile border of the United States with Mexico.
Knowing that it would have cost $5,000 to put a brick wall up around my Arizona back yard, which measured 80 feet by 40 feet by 40 feet by about five feet tall, I can’t imagine the billions of dollars it would cost to double or triple the height and make it wider than six inches.
And while the idea of a wall does kind of sound like a unique way to keep people out—if it was manned with military every hundred or so yards—it really isn’t very unique. I believe it was done once before by the Soviet Union through Germany and many other countries—and it was called the Iron Curtain. If I remember correctly, it wasn’t the most popular structure on earth and that folks in the United States got pretty excited when it came down.
I guess I also have to ask here if Trump will build the wall with the millions of illegal aliens inside or outside the wall? And what will he do with the children of these illegals who gave birth to their children while inside the U.S. After all, now, they are American citizens by birth.
Trump said he wants to make neighborhoods safe again and to make them vibrant and vital again. My God. What a great idea. What an accomplishment. How is he going to do this and who is going to pay for it?
Trump says he will cut income taxes and make “the weathiest folks in the nation pay more.”
By golly, that is a wonderful idea. We can all use more of our tax money returned to us. But wait, didn’t the Democrats propose raising the taxes on the wealthiest Americans just a few years ago, and wasn’t it the Republicans who defeated that proposal?
Trump says he wants to open up oil and gas exploration and put many thousands of people back to work and raise many millions again in tax dollars.
I hear Rio Blanco County giving the man a standing ovation, and the folks here are joined by folks all over the West in cheering for both. We all want that.
Well, except for that well-funded group of liberals called the conservationists, or the environmentalists? Won’t they fight it and won’t the members of Congress and the judges stand up and back the environmentalists as they have for the past 30 yaers?
Trump says he wants to stop immigration from terrorist countries.
Not a bad idea at first glance. But doesn’t this kind of shoot in the rear end everything the United States has stood for…something about “send me your poor and huddling masses?”
One thing no one can find wrong with Trump’s words is his desire to stop the murder of police and to stop the senseless killing of black people by white and black officers. This may be the best wish of all that he has because the race-linked murders are out of hand and on their way to splitting this nation in half.
Only problem is, he hasn’t said how he is going to attempt to do this or who is going to pay the bill for the added cops when there is going to be a tax cut to the medium income folks in the country.
He wants to put an end to mass killings.
So does everyone else. But how will it be possible when most of these entail one or two persons to discern which nutcase in this entire nation is going to erupt next. We all know if someone wants to get a gun or two, they can get ahold of one in this country.
Trump wants to build a strong military and return it to its strongest level ever.
What a wonderful idea. After all, when Trump finishes angering the rest of the free world with his insults and isolationist actions, it is quite possible that he may need the world’s strongest military. And let’s not forget that he “loves” war and that nukes are a “useable” weapon.
Also, just who is going to pay the bill for all this? The billionaires who didn’t like the last time their money was threatened over taxes.
Trump wants parents to pick the schools of choice for their children.
Another winner idea. There’s no better way to get a top-notch education than to send all of our children to the best schools…
What? They won’t fit? There aren’t enough of them? Not enough teachers to go around?
Trump wants to fix all the roads and highways in the United States. As he said, it will increase the speed of transportation, make our roads and thousands of bridges safer, encourage travel and spread money through tourism all around the United States.
Only problem I can think of with this great idea is where are all the billions of dollars going to come from to accomplish this? From Trump’s billionaire friends? I am not quite sure; he hasn’t said.
Trump says he is going to stop illegal drugs from entering the United States. That would truly be a relief. While truly there are people who will miss the drugs, I think it is safe to say that the vast majority of Americans would be dancing in the streets if Trump were to stop the flood of drugs into this country.
But, how is he going to do this? And who is going to pay for him to do this? His friends? Again?
And lastly for this column, Trump says he is going to enhance international trade. With the Mexicans? The English? The Germans? The Russians? These are all people he has insulted in the past six months.
And when you take on a mode of isolationism, it really could be tough to convince the other free nations of the world that you also have their best interests at heart when courting them.
It looks to me that Mr. Trump has some wonderful ideas. If everything he wants to do ever gets done, that this could truly be that Utopia we only read about in fictional novels. He truly would be a miracle worker.
However, without knowing where the money is going to come from and without knowing any of the specifics of his domestic or international policies, it is just tough to take that money out of the old squeaky wallet and buy a ticket on the Trump train.
Don’t get me wrong. As I said, I am not a Democrat either, and the Donkey show wraps up today in Philadelphia.
Mrs. Clinton and her fellow Democrats have another week until we go to press again, and I guarantee you that she and the Democratic platform will have issues that bring about praise, concern, doubts and criticism, like her energy outlook.
But that will all be addressed next week.
There are good and bad things about both candidates and their platforms and anyone who thinks otherwise is a blind fool.
Best thing to do is think about the concerns raised here and raised next week.
Just forget for a few minutes which party you belong to and figure out who has the ability to lead this country in the right direction, and there is the answer about who to vote for. Forget the Donkey and the Elephant; think about the future of the United States of America with a touch of reality in mind.
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Just a quick reminder that the Rio Blanco County Fair gets underway this weekend with the horse show and then moves into full swing next week with all the 4-H exhibits, FFA livestock classes, rodeos and a variety of other events.
There are a few new events; a bunch of the old stand-bys and a plethora of fun, cute, cuddly animals.
Have fun. It only comes once a year and can’t be beaten for the overall appeal of the barnyard and the Old West.