Voting alone isn’t enough to save our democracy

Voting alone isn’t enough to save our democracy

The value of this year’s comical-if-the-stakes-weren’t-so-high campaigns is the wake-up calls they sound for a slumbering electorate that voting, precious as that right is, is not sufficient to ensure government of, by and for the people. Constant vigilance, fact checking, honest critiques and clearly stated expectations of our political leadership are equally important to actively preserving our nation. Slavishly voting a party ticket won’t do it.

American politics long have been held hostage by political parties. Their purpose is to raise money and use it to finance campaigns by those willing to do the bidding of party ideologues who may have little interest in the welfare of the majority of citizens and every interest in the dictates of relatively small numbers of major donors.

These parties, through a less than publicly scrutinized and consistent primary process, determine who will run for office. As humorist Will Rogers noted decades ago, “We have the best government money can buy.” True, but not funny.

As a result, a minimum-wage worker needs to hold a job for every member of their family just to put food on the table. People with illnesses that make it impossible to work or whose treatment is so expensive as to bankrupt even the wealthy, may lose their lives as well as their fortunes. The children of college-educated parents must assume crushing debt, likely to last a lifetime, to secure their own educations. Anyone hard at work to provide for their future and that of their family is forced to hurdle complex regulation and taxation laws created by a Congress directed by political parties influenced by money.

None of that is funny.

So, if you’re tempted to laugh at a candidate, whether the blowhard bully who promises to make America great by off-shoring all his work, or the consummate insider claiming to be fighting for you, maybe to be as wealthy as she is, they aren’t funny.

They are the top of two political parties who determine what the policies of your government will be. It’s a corrupt system that preys on your fears, pride and prejudices even as it needs your vigilance, fact checking, honest critiques and clear expectations, loudly voiced, to become the government once envisioned by revolutionaries.

Jim Cartwright, Canfield

Mudslinging unbecoming of presidential candidates

I have never seen a more shameful presidential campaign than the ones conducted by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

I don’t know if their qualifications for the presidency are for the candidate who has the most mud to sling at their opponent or their ideas, issues, proposals or suggestions for repairing our country’s problems.

I’ll never cease to be amazed by educated people who haven’t learned the way a person acts also reflects not only their character, but also determines their class.

I strongly believe anyone seeking public office should have rules to abide by. Leave the dirt digging to those whose job is to investigate the wrongdoing of others, and for candidates to expand their efforts with ideas and issues to find the things that need fixing.

Hopefully the American way will not be reduced to shame. Those seeking to obtain the highest office in our country should do it with dignity, respect, and love.

Mary Lou Jurina, Youngstown

Stupidity placed on grand display this election year

You hear it from the politicians all the time – “The people aren’t stupid.” Really?

Webster defines stupid as “lacking ordinary activity and keenness of mind; mentally slow.”

In the recent presidential nominating season, of 52-plus million votes cast:

1) An acknowledged Socialist received 12-plus million votes.

2) The former secretary of state, who per the FBI, was “… extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” got 16-plus million votes.

3) A narcissist, who highlighted reasonable concerns but couldn’t talk without alienating or scaring entire groups, received 13-plus million votes.

Additionally, less than 30 percent of eligible voters participated in the primary.

As a result, come November, we’ll be electing a president who’s not worthy of the office.

Why? Because we’re stupid.

Joe Parsons, Youngstown

Government leadership is not for political amateurs

What the nomina- tion of Donald Trump has been showing us is how easy it is for a complete blowhard to take over a weak party and get close to the presidency. People have talked themselves into believing that politics and politicians are bad. This country was started by politicians and has been administered to by politicians for the last 240 years.

To say that we should take politicians out of the government makes no sense. It would be like throwing all doctors out of the hospitals. We need experienced politicians to keep the wheels of government turning.

The group of non politicians that were elected in the last few years show that government is not for amateurs. What we need is the tea-party adherents out of the Republican Party and our government.

They are the ones who have pushed the Republican Party to nominating the most unqualified person ever to run for president. Donald Trump is dangerous.

Paul Shanabarger, New Springfield

Trump presidency likely would invite Armageddon

Donald Trump as president? That thought should strike fear into the hearts of every American. This is a person who is nothing but an arrogant bully. Trump would be in control of our nuclear weapons. Remember, this is someone who would rather get even than negotiate.

Many times he makes a decision and then walks back on it five minutes later. What if Iran, North Korea, or other countries upset him? He’ll just fire off a nuke. A few minutes later he’ll say, “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that.”

A little late, Donald, you just started Armageddon.

What will isolationism do for us? Ask the experts. Moody’s says we will lose at least 3.5 million jobs with Trump as president. Housing market analysts said a Trump presidency is seen as a negative, a Clinton presidency as a positive. But don’t believe them.

As soon as Trump is in office all American billionaire industrialists will immediately relocate their foreign industry to America. They’re going to spend billions rebuilding closed factories and will hire all of us for $20 an hour. You people must still believe in the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.

Trump promises you the world; the only problem is he doesn’t tell you how he is going to deliver it. That’s because he has no clue. Remember, the president and his family are safely put away in the case of any nuclear attack. You and your family are not. Before you vote, think about that one.

Robert W. McKay, Grove City, Pa.

Trump doesn’t deserve a vote, nor a Purple Heart

Unbelievable! It’s unbelievable that anyone would give Donald Trump the Purple Heart. He has said he “always wanted one.” So why didn’t he go to Vietnam and earn one?

To me, this diminishes the meaning and purpose of the Purple Heart. It’s awarded to our young men and women who are wounded or killed in action serving our country.

Donald Trump’s demeaning behavior doesn’t even deserve our vote, let alone the Purple Heart.

We’ll need more than God’s help if he is elected.

Alice Dyce, Youngstown

Alice Dyce is a Gold Star Mother.