In weighing candidates, Republican sees Biden as best choice for the country

Posted 21 October 2020 at 8:57 pm


I believe that the majority of those reading this are honest, decent and compassionate; that this majority respects family, the military and government institutions and is financially responsible.

Yet, this majority seems to enthusiastically embrace Donald Trump, who is none of those things. The reasons I most often hear for this support are that he is better than the alternative, and that Biden is a socialist. Beyond that, there are those who love Trump no matter what, and seem remarkably forgiving of, or just blind to, his many faults and poor decisions.

That blindness is dangerous. Our democracy depends on our will to keep an open mind and seek out the facts, and then, with eyes and minds wide open, draw our own conclusions based on those facts.

I believe the first step in this task is to stop watching CNN and Fox News. They provide a 24 hour a daily flow of opinions with a few carefully chosen facts sprinkled in. It is degrading to blindly adopt others’ opinions. What relevance does the opinion of some corporate, infotainment pundit have to anyone? It isn’t difficult to find a better source of news than opinion shows.

Next we have to be willing to remove the labels we attach to ourselves (e.g. liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, etc.) and think things through free of these forms, with honesty and integrity. Then, your opinion, which you worked and struggled for, will be of greater validity and value. Still, never become too comfortable with your opinion. Periodically stop, think and review it all over again. This is the antidote to media manipulation and voter gullibility.

This is a difficult process. In my struggle, I had to think without my own labels. I identified with the traditional values of what used to be conservatism and the Republican Party. I proudly served as a Republican office holder as Orleans County District Attorney and County Judge for 33 years.

It was with great sadness that I came to the realization that I could no longer support the party at the federal level and that I could not vote for Donald Trump. I knew this in 2016, and I hoped that things would change. They did. They got much worse.

I have not given up hope in the party and I am still a Republican. However, looking as best I can at the actual facts, I will never vote for Donald Trump. The choice is clear to me. No credible facts support the conclusion that Joe Biden is a socialist. He will not turn our country into an oppressive politically correct state and he will not spend us to death (any more than Trump has).

He would not be my first choice if Republicans were able to nominate a decent candidate like John Kasich or Jeb Bush. Having nominated a person lacking in  decency, intelligence and character, the Republicans leave me no choice. Thus, I will vote for Joe Biden.

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were rejected by their own party because they were a part of the far left. Biden is not. He is a moderate. People may dismiss him as “middle of the road”. Is this really a bad thing? The trend now is to embrace the extreme right or left. This is a terrible departure from what has made our country among the most successful in the world.

Historically, extremist regimes, both right and left, live a short, tortured existence followed by an agonizing death. I have faith that a vigorous democracy will never suffer that fate. Each voter’s intellectual integrity ensures that vigor. Finding that integrity is the most important duty of every American citizen.

James Punch