Friday, 23 October 2020 11:44

OPINION: Are you better off?

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Growing up, political engagement was very important in my family. 

My father taught me to vote as a child. I remember watching Michael Dukakis losing the first “Kids Vote” on Nickelodeon. I remember, in ’92 watching the news replay George H. W. Bush’s “no new taxes” quote from the ’88 convention. My father would take me with him (often against my will) when he voted; he wanted me to see the booth, touch a ballot, and understand what it was to exercise a right that that was once denied to so many.  

To earn my Eagle Scout award, I was required to earn the Citizenship in the Community, Nation, and World merit badges, which teach the importance of citizen participation in government. As an officer in the military I made sure I voted, by absentee (which was never problematic), in every single election in the district where I was registered. I also helped other service men and women do the same.  

I’m an unaffiliated voter who is an entrepreneur, a small business owner, a veteran, and family man who is at church every Sunday (COVID rules permitting). I understand firsthand the frustration of having to choose between party idealists or the “lesser of two evils.”  It is frustrating and often disappointing to see the options that are often presented to us during elections.

I’ve voted for Republicans, I’ve voted for Democrats, I’ve even voted Libertarian. I try my best to cast my vote for the best person, or at the very least against the worse person. I want to be able to say that I voted for the person that best reflects not only my ideals but can also help better our nation or community.

When I ask myself if Donald Trump reflects my ideals the answer is no. When I ask myself if he can help make the nation better the answer is no.

In the final week of the 1980 presidential campaign, then-Gov. Ronald Reagan asked a simple question: “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?” 

The answer of “No” was reason enough for many voters not to vote for President Jimmy Carter that year.

I think if we ask that question today, the answer would be no. The United States is leading the world in COVID-19 deaths, we have rioting in the streets fueled by unresolved racial tensions, and we have the highest unemployment rate since 2012. This administration has accepted a party platform copied and pasted from four years ago, despite us being worse off now than we were then.  

Additionally, Donald Trump’s misinformation campaigns and flat out lies have been so well documented by fact-checkers, journalists, analysts, other government officials, and even by video and audio footage that there is no need to go into that any further other than to say he lies. His demeanor is far from presidential, his integrity is non-existent, his emotional temperament is lacking, and his narcissism is boundless. I would not want a person like him as my boss, as an employee, or as a client.

I understand that it may be hard to vote for someone with different policy positions, and we can have those policy debates in the future, but voting for a bad person is a bad thing. Under no circumstances should someone who has behaved and performed as badly as Donald Trump be rewarded with a re-election vote. I encourage people to exercise any other available option come Election Day.  

Nathan A. Click is the founder and CEO of Pearl Financing LLC, a financing company which caters to small and medium sized business and real estate investors. He is a former U.S. Air Force officer and a founding member of the N.C. Centrist Coalition, the North Carolina State Leader for Stand Up Republic, and a member of the Institute’s Leadership Counsel.