Hello all, I know this may reach you too late for it to really convince you of anything, but for those whom this may help, I’ve compiled a short primer of the impact of either the Republican or Democratic candidate’s victory in general on top of mind issues according to the Pew Polls. Please understand that while this certainly does not come from an unbiased perspective, it is well-researched and I am game for any challenges to any part of it in the comments below.
When Democrats are in power in Congress, the economy improves and government spending decreases. This is a trend throughout history and shows no sign of reversing. Yes, inflation is up under the current Congress, but that has a lot to do with external factors and long term impacts from low FED rates with high volume loans; no Democratic policies are specifically hurting the economy, certainly not regarding gas prices which are set on an international futures market. The best argument for why this is not a Democratic thing is that the entire world is facing high inflation, and higher than our own in most cases. Meanwhile, Democrats have passed (almost completely party-line) votes that have helped lower drug and insurance prices, invest in infrastructure projects, and help our veterans, all while significantly reducing government spending and growing the GDP at its highest rates since the 1990s.
The GOP, while not in power, has also not proposed or supported any measure that reduces inflation or helps people bear the impact of it. Instead they have lied about gas prices being under presidential control, supported the nations destabilizing the global economy, and refuse to invest in infrastructure. They also refused to help veterans dealing with health issues until being publicly shamed into it, despite it not costing much to help them.
The Democratic Party have blown the horn on the danger many GOP candidates pose to democracy in the USA. Democrats have worked to overturn overly burdensome voter restrictions and make it simpler for people to exercise their right to vote. They have pushed for fully funding national IDs for any citizen, secure vote by mail systems, and have a demonstrated history of conceding even if they find irregularities and interferences in the election process.
The GOP has lost claim to democracy in general. Almost half of their candidates tacitly or strongly support Trump’s unsupported claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him, and a good amount of them have outright claimed they will overturn results they don’t agree with. They have passed multiple voter restriction laws that make it harder to vote in general, under the lie of fighting non-existent voter fraud (most of the actually documented voter fraud is, ironically, done by Republicans). They are pushing for states to be able to overturn the will of the voters if they want to, and they have replaced multiple Republicans who stopped Trump’s coup attempt with die hard supporters.
The Democratic Party have consistently supported school funding, overhauled failing programs like NCLB, and pushed for making higher education more accessible. They have gone after predatory lenders, both for education and private loans, and have passed the largest student debt relief program in US history (outside of the GI bill), helping to get a large part of the population out of hopeless debt. They push for inclusive admissions policies, addressing still ongoing racial discrimination where needed.
The GOP is literally burning and banning books they don’t like. While some of the concerns seem genuine (keeping sexually explicit content out of grade schools, while incredibly rare to find anyway, is still an important goal), most of it is homophobic or transphobic nonsense. They oppose inclusivity policies that make transgender children feel less threatened, openly ban them from playing children’s sports, and push for dismantling any affirmative action programs. They consistently underfund schools and defund schools that need help to perform better, funneling money to private institutions (usually religious) that demonstrably don’t need it, all while claiming vouchers would allow any student to join these high price schools. Lastly, they want to ban teaching the history of slavery, of native American abuse, and the modern-day impact of past events all under the guise of “not hating America,” as if knowing our history means we hate our nation today.
The Democratic Party supports increased access to affordable healthcare, managed by a collective government program rather than for-profit insurance corporations. They’ve passed the ACA, which insured over 30 million Americans who previously didn’t have easy access to healthcare, have reduced prescription costs, have expanded MediCaid coverage to those in poverty, and have pushed to allow government programs to negotiate for lower drug prices, in order to address American prices being unseemly high compared to the rest of the world. They also support medical care for mental illnesses, pushing for reforms in how insurance covers them, and supported transgender individuals in their transition care. They’ve also pushed hard to hold pharmaceutical companies to account for pushing unnecessary or dangerously strong and addictive drugs, like opioids. They support the right of a woman to choose to have an abortion, within limits, along the lines of the overturned Roe v Wade decision (open first trimester, limited to medical intervention for the already rare 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions).
The GOP has tried repeatedly to repeal the ACA with no replacement in line, stripping 30 millions Americans of their insurance with no fallback. They’ve voted against lowering drug prices, both directly and in terms of not letting government programs negotiate. They have fought against accountability measures for the instigators of the opioid epidemic and are against transgender healthcare. They also, as noted above, have voted mostly against healthcare for veterans negatively impacted by dangerous military policies like burn pits, and against funding healthcare for 9-11 first responders. Republicans are also against the right of women to choose to have an abortion, many supporting complete bans including in cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the woman. They overturned 50 years of legal precedent and push to even bar women from going to a different state that still supports women’s rights, criminally charging them and the doctor for the procedure.
Democratic Policies on violent crime often get mixed in with Democratic policies on non-violent crime. Cashless bail, early release and reformation programs are mostly targeted to non-violent offenders, but are often used by the GOP to attack Democrats on violent crime. While a few Democrats support the poorly worded “defund the police” movement, most do not an no policy currently exists to defund the police, only to move resources to other first responders and reform the way certain situations are addressed, especially when dealing with the mentally ill. Democrats are largely suspicious of police, seeing a lot of corruption and easy violence in their actions, and thus get a reputation for being anti-police.
GOP policies focus on punishing criminals, and as such are considered stronger against violent crime as well. They push for more intense punishments for violent crime, including the death penalty, and work together with (private) prisons to keep violent criminals in jail. They do not focus on reform, simply isolation. Whether this causes more recidivism is still under study, but a trend has been found linking less reformation policies with higher rates of recidivism.
US cities are by and large run by Democrats, and as cities tend to hold many people, most crime nominally occurs there. However, the rates of crime are not particularly higher in urban areas versus rural areas; conversely, incredibly rural Alaska is by rate the most bloody state in the Union. Based on ratios, there is no indication that Democratic-run cities fare any worse than Republican-run cities in terms of violent crime (though Republican run cities are over-represented in the top 100 list of high violent crime cities, it’s not much and can be a statistical aberration). With rising crime however in general, Democratic policies are not seen as helping to stem it, while Republican policies feel more direct, though the impact is not shown as positive.
A last note is that while violent crime is up from the early 2010s, it is not overall much higher and it is going down again. Some places are sufferings more than others, and those should be looked at, but it is not a national spike as some may have you believe.
I cannot understand why anyone looking at the top issues would think the GOP is the better option. They have a dismal track record on these topics, whether in votes or impact, and they have practically no policy proposals to compare to the Democratic ones. They seems to oppose helping every-day Americans deal with negative global impacts or soaring healthcare costs, while supporting restrictions on personal autonomy rights and voting access, and they seem very regressive in education and crime policies. Aside from culture war nonsense, I cannot fathom the appeal.
Please vote today like your values depend on it, because they do.