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Opinion | 2018 Mid-Term Elections: Red, White or Blue

November 6, 2018, is the date of the Mid-Term elections across the country. The makeup of congress, many state legislatures, governors, constitutional offices, and county courthouse elections are all on the ballot. In Alabama, all seven congressional districts, constitutional offices, the state legislature, county commissions, sheriffs, and four statewide ballot measures (constitutional amendments) will be on our ballot. Someone once coined the phrase; “there is not a dimes worth of difference between a Democrat and Republican. I submit to you there is an immeasurable gulf of difference in the two adopted majority party platforms, which will be our focal point of this article.

Every four years, Americans go to the polls and elect their Commander and Chief. We all recall watching the Democrat and Republican National Conventions on television, as the party nominees for president and vice president are consummated. For both parties over this weeklong event, there are meetings, many speeches, and then there are the platform committees. A seat on the platform committee is a coveted post, because the core values and makeup of the parties are etched in stone for the next four years. In both conventions, there is always a conflict between the liberal and conservative views to be adopted in writing, voted on, and published in full view for the world. Generally speaking, the platforms are mirrored by campaign positions of the presumed presidential nominee within each party. It seems we have adopted the color red for Republican, white for Independent, and blue for Democrat. There are clearly a defined difference in the platform positions on key issues, which makes it easy for one’s core beliefs to be matched up to a political party.

With the internet so accessible, it is very easy to research your candidate and political party positions, so you can make an informed decision beyond a sixty second commercial on TV. Most candidates have websites and the Democrat and Republican Party platforms are online and easy to download and read. The Alabama Republican Party has adopted a statewide platform, but the Alabama Democrat Party does not have a similar platform. Some feel as though they should vote for the person rather than the party, and that is fine; but it is still recommended to look closely behind the party and positions of a candidate. There are even online political party quizzes that can be taken based on your personal tailored beliefs, which best align you with a specific political party. Here are a few examples of online political party quizzes: Pew Research, ISideWith, ProProfs, and there are many more.

On a personal note, I have voted Republican since 1980. I do not vote for Democrats, even though I might like the person, because of the core beliefs enshrined behind the candidate in their national platform. While I may be guilty of not fulfilling my moral and civic duty, there are some Republicans I simply cannot vote for either, which means I may skip over a race, but this is very seldom. I consider my vote sacred and do not lend it recklessly. My wife Deborah and I are Republicans because the RNC National Platform aligns perfectly with our personal belief system. We pay close attention to the Platform Committee every four years and make sure our State GOP Party elects economic, social, moral, and constitutional conservatives to represent Alabama on the GOP Platform Committee in the national convention.

While it is no secret my wife and I are voting Republican on November 6th, I have put together a voter guide on key issues and the commensurate Democrat and Republican Party positions on those issues.

I must admit to you in the strongest yet humbling terms that I have been involved in many policy debates in my tenure in the public square, and the facts have always been on my side. I never had to spin or twist any issue to look like something else or waive a shining object, getting my opponent off center. I could deal straight up on every issue with hard data and supportive facts. I could sleep well at night, every night, knowing that truth and facts were on my side.

If Republican office holders across the country will wake up every day and salute the Republican Platform, govern accordingly, while remaining humble, honest, ethical and moral; we could be in control of all three branches of government for decades to come. On the other hand, the Democrat Party is suffering an unprecedented hemorrhaging (Blexit and #Walkaway) due to a lack of meaningful issues, message, direction, violence, obstruction and no delivery. Their audience is shrinking so opening borders, getting them on entitlements, registering illegals to vote and restoring felons voting rights is the newest strategy to grow the party. Maybe it is time to revisit your own values and see if the Republican Party might be a fit.

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I would like to appeal to my liberal friends; if you could tap the brakes and pause for just a moment, remove personalities from the fray, and look close at any of these or other issues that have found their way center stage in the discourse of modern-day politics. I challenge you to look at the facts and not the talking points of your favorite side. My wife and I can tell you we are not about personalities. However, we embrace from the Republican Platform, because of truth, proven science, and core facts behind these issues. It is in our DNA.

Adding to this appeal, is that we return to civility of debating issues based on facts, not emotions. As we have seen these actions have now escalated to gunning down members of congress on a ball field, beating up people at rallies, senseless killings in schools and houses of worship, using the f-bomb over megaphones on the street corner, and destroying the lives of good folks at all cost with fabrications leveraged by agenda driven media moguls.

Let’s get back to a vigorous healthy debate based on facts. Today we may be Red, White, or Blue, but let’s not forget we are ALL Red, White and Blue.

God Bless America.

John W. Giles is former President of the Christian Coalition of Alabama. He served as Small Business Advocate for the State of Alabama during Governor Guy Hunt's Administration. He was also a member of Governor Fob James Cabinet.

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