Publisher: Pick a side on the issues

Politics is more polarized than ever. Moderates that tried to see both sides of an issue have been replaced with radicals.

President Donald Trump calls protesters against his policies a “mob,” and then holds campaign rallies that are pretty much the same thing. Each side energizes the base of the other.

I hate what politics have become. Now we just are for or against a political party or a president. I’m not sure most people who identify as a Republican or a Democrat, a conservative or a liberal, even know the issues.

If President Trump or Nancy Pelosi said, “The sky is falling.” I’m sure many people would go along with it.

What about the issues? Do all Democrats agree with their party on every single issue? Do all Republicans?

Is there no gray area anymore? Is everything cut and dry?

I found a site that list political issues and polls readers opinions — isidewith.com. Wow, there are a lot of issues — social (17), immigration (16), domestic policy (19), healthcare (11), economic (28), environmental (7), electoral (10), foreign policy (21), criminal (6), science (4), education (3), national security (2) and transportation (1).

Obviously, that’s not all inclusive, but it gives a good range of what’s being talked about — you know, other than “Trump good” or “Trump bad,” which dominates the headlines.

Now everybody has a right to their opinion and can vote how they wish when the curtain is drawn.

I identify as a conservative or traditionalist. At one-time, I was more dogmatic. I’ve grown a little and lived a little, and now see the world differently. I’d like to think that I now have empathy for the other side of an argument, I guess that makes me a moderate.

Still, we all have to make a choice when it comes election time. And people need to know what they are voting for and against.

I went through the issues on isidewith.com to see just how conservative I am.

These are my opinions on a few issues. Don’t worry, I will never tell you how to vote, just that you should. And this paper will always be fair. We even have conservative and liberal columns on our opinion page.

Social

Abortion: I’m against abortion and believe adoption is a beautiful alternative. Every life is precious. Yes, there are gray areas that are tough to legislate, but in most cases adoption is the best answer, as many couples struggling with infertility want to be parents.

Gay marriage: It really doesn’t matter how the government defines marriage. It is a holy union ordained and defined by God.

Gender identity: The fact that gender is confusing to people, confuses me.

Immigration

Border Wall: A wall may not be the answer, but I believe a nation without borders is not a nation.

Domestic

Gun Control: Everybody has a right to own firearms, but you shouldn’t be able to walk into Wal-Mart and buy a bazooka. I guess that makes me a moderate (that’s a joke).

Armed teachers: No. But I do like having trained SROs in each school.

Raise retirement age: No. I’m looking forward to retiring at 62 and then working full- time at Wal-Mart.

Healthcare

Legalize marijuana: Outside of medical necessity, no. It’s a gateway drug. We’ve got enough drug problems in this country.

Increase funding for mental health research and treatment: Yes.

Pre-existing condition: No health insurer should deny coverage for a pre-existing condition.

Economic

Welfare: The system is being abused. More restrictions will be needed.

Environment

Alternative energy: The government should give tax credits and subsides.

Electoral

Electoral College: Works just fine, unless you want New York and California to decide every election.

Foreign

Support Israel: Yes.

United Nations: Cooperate with the nations of the world, but what the United States says goes.

Criminal

Body cameras: Yes. For everyone’s protection, including the police.

Science

Vaccinations: Yes.

Education

Common Core: No.

National Security

Congressional approval: The President can order a military action without congressional approval.

Transportation

Public transportation: What public transportation? I live in the country.

Now I’m sure I didn’t have a perfect score as a conservative, but I’m sure I passed.

I hope you’ll take the issues test and not just blindly follow anyone. Vote your side on the issues.

———

Brian Whitmore is publisher of The Clinton Chronicle.

My Clinton News

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