11/06/2018 - It’s hard to imagine that today is already Election Day 2018. I remember less than 3 years ago when a friend invited me to attend a ‘Make America Great’ rally for Donald Trump at the Fox Theatre in Downtown, Atlanta. I wasn’t sure what to expect and left the rally speechless.
I didn’t think politicians were allowed to be so vulgar, throwing red meat talking points out to a pack of hungry wolves. Sure, I had seen many Trump rallies on television and heard them on the radio, he was running for President, but to actually witness such a circus was eye-opening. I was genuinely worried about Trump’s rhetoric and thought that his tone wouldn’t help fellow Republican Party candidates running alongside him in the heated 2016 political race. I didn’t think he was ready to lead the United States.
With that being said, I was ready for change. At the time we had heard for 8 years that the U.S. was no longer a world power and that we needed to level the global playing field. I didn’t understand these viewpoints. I continued advancing in my career and distanced myself from my college years. I began to realize that hard work is the one thing that will help you prevail in this world, no matter where you came from in life. For years, we were told that the best days of America were behind us and the days of America leading the world were numbered. I disagreed.
The Democrats quickly transformed from the party in power to the party of self-entitled victims. There were some exceptions, but let’s not forget that they also believed that Hillary Clinton deserved the presidency without a single vote being cast. Middle America didn’t agree and the rest is history.
I proudly vote in every election and in 2016, I threw my vote away to Libertarian, Gary Johnson and voted for all parties on my ballot. I have zero party loyalty.
Fast-forward 3 years and Donald Trump is now President Trump and some of the polices that concerned me as a voter are being accomplished at the executive level. I still hate his rhetoric but can honestly say that my original assumption was incorrect. Trump has done a better job than most expected and few will admit it. The economy is booming, and unemployment is at a record low. You can’t give him all the credit, but he certainly deserves some of it. Trump has many weaknesses, but I vote for the individual and encourage others to do the same. Just because you don’t agree on everything a politician stands for doesn’t mean that the person is a bad candidate. If Donald Trump were on my 2018 midterm ballot today, I’d take a deep breath and probably vote for him. Why?
I hoped that the Democratic Party would have learned their lesson of going too far to the left in 2016, but to my dismay, the party of ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’ in 08’ and 12’ quickly became the resist party and party of whiners. Instead of shifting to the political center they decided to shift further to the left. Don’t forget that in 2016 the Democrats rigged their primary debates to give Hillary Clinton an edge over Bernie Sanders for their presidential nomination. Today, the party is not much different. We have a party whose main goal, if elected, will be to impeach and obstruct Trump.
I’m not saying Republicans are better. I think we all remember the gridlock between John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and President Obama. We also can’t leave out the current immigration fiasco, lack of vision for healthcare, and the 2nd tax cut bluff that many Americans sniffed out weeks ago. Generic Democrats have polled better than generic Republicans for months now.
Nationally, Democrats and Republicans are fighting for both chambers of Congress. I predict that the Democrats will narrowly retake the House of Representatives and Republicans will hold the Senate. We’ll find out tonight.
What I’m most concerned about is the poor explanations of the candidates. I watch a good amount of television and I cannot point to a single political advertisement that changed my opinion. Perhaps it’s a good thing? This election has devolved into a battle where each side is throwing out the most outrageous advertisements to sway voters to vote straight down party lines. Don’t fall for them!
I watch these pitiful advertisements and wonder who these parties are targeting. The Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are quick to bark out that they’re targeting Millennials. Again, don’t fall for them!
Before you vote later today, look up your ballot and take some time to read about your candidates. Your city government has more of a direct impact on your daily life than the national election or even the governorship. Don’t be a pawn for one party and vote for the individual that you think will do the best job.
Here in Georgia we have a gubernatorial race that’s become the contest to see which candidate says the least. Republicans use their typical attack ads suggesting that (Insert Generic Democrat Name Here) is a socialist and that he or she wants to take your guns, raise taxes, and fund abortions while Democrats paint (Insert Generic Republican Name Here) as gun-toting irresponsible rednecks that give money to the wealthy. Both assumptions are untrue.
It’s a heated battle between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp. I would throw in Libertarian Ted Metz, but he is consistently polling around 2% and may pull just enough votes to create a runoff scenario, but that’s it. I had the privilege of meeting Abrams and Kemp earlier this year and both are good people. I happen to agree more with one than the other, but I don’t hate either of them. Take some time and read about these candidates before casting your vote. No matter what happens or if your candidate loses, the wonderful thing about America is that another election is always near.
Jared Yamamoto is a Doctrinaire and Producer of The Von Haessler Doctrine radio show heard daily from 9-Noon on News 95.5 and AM 750 in Atlanta, Georgia.