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    Another Milestone Election Day is on the Horizon

    As we enter the midpoint of Trump’s first term, it is important to note the significance of the upcoming midterm elections.  All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for election.  Presently, Republicans hold 236 seats, Democrats hold 193 seats, and six seats are vacant.   On the Senate side, 23 Democrats, 8 Republicans, and 2 independents up for reelection.  Depending on where you live, elections for some Governors and state legislators are on the ballots as well.  We also cannot forget elections at the municipal level, like mayors and local officials.

    A major problem during midterm elections is voter turnout is generally very low.  According to a report by the United States Election Project, approximately 40% of registered voters actually participate in midterms.  The same report found that voter turnout varies from state-to-state, but it is still low overall.  In fact, the voter turnout in the United States for all elections is among the lowest in the world.

    My advice is simple and one of the few views shared by both Democrats and Republicans: vote. Register to vote if you haven’t already. Check your own state but, generally, the deadline to register for the midterm elections is October 12th, 2018 and Election Day is November 6th, 2018.  If you are not going to be near your district on voting day, cast your absentee ballot and send it in by mail.  Deadlines for absentee voting vary from state to state, so be sure to check here.  If you’re unsure of where to go to vote, type in the address you used to register to find the nearest polling place.

    Every vote matters. This country prides itself on providing all citizens with the right to vote and exercise their civic duty.  Most other countries in the world do not.  As a democracy, we value the freedom to choose who we want to be put into office so that everyone has a say. Let’s all take advantage of that opportunity and get to the polls on November 6th.

     

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    Evaluate the News and Your Leaders from 360 Degrees

    It comes as no surprise that the news of Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual assault allegations have taken over newsstands and mainstream media nationwide. From a political perspective, it is very difficult to express any opinion on the matter without offending one side or the other.  Sexual harassment and sexual assault are serious crimes.  In a perfect world, we would never have to address either issue.  However, the world is far from perfect so here we are with today’s headlines.

    Let me be clear that what is happening on Capitol Hill is not about protecting women or holding someone responsible for his actions.

    Sadly, today’s politics and leadership revolve around denigrating and destroying reputations in an effort to show that one side is a lesser alternative than the other is.   Neither Dr. Ford’s nor Judge Kavanaugh’s lives will ever be the same.  Not because of the allegations and defenses, but because Washington has politicized the entire process through a public circus.  No intelligent person can question the allegations by Dr. Ford and the denials by Judge Kavanaugh as sincere.  Nevertheless, if those in Washington are after the truth, they should have started with a private investigation during the confirmation process, not as a last minute revelation.   I see no reason to parade the two of them before the world on live television.

    I imagine from a voter perspective on both sides of the issue, the entire spectacle is disgusting—not only for the issues that are being discussed, but also because it makes the leaders in Washington appear petty and irresponsible to many.  Yet even saying that is controversial since each side of the argument is blindly convinced they are reasonable and the other side is misguided.  Compromise and bipartisan discussions are no longer possible in Washington.  Moreover, let us please not start blaming Republicans or Democrats or the White House or Congress as the cause of today’s partisan polarity.  They are all to blame.

    Sen. Flake says the country is torn apart and there is no longer a reason for Congress to reach across the aisle to find solutions.  He’s right.  Citizens are being provoked to anger, distracting all of us from other important issues—national security and foreign policy; the economy; infrastructure; education.

    Does anyone recall that last week was the U.N. General Assembly where all world leaders came together to discuss how we are all getting along on the planet?  The United States held its position on Iran, but the difference between how Trump talked about North Korea versus last year was a tremendous, positive shift.

    It is very important to understand that there are many things happening in government at any given time. It is our duty as citizens to pay attention, and not let the media and closed-minded politicians on both sides of the aisle spoon-feed us perspectives and opinions that are a product of “spin” that is primarily intended to stir up both sides of an issue for the sake of ratings and votes.