Pundits will invariably describe mid-term elections as pivotal but this time they really are. About three-fourths of Americans believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction according to an NBC News poll in August. That would call for an immediate course correction before things get much worse. Historically, the party controlling the White House loses seats in Congress in the mid-term elections, as many as 129 in 1894 and as recently as 2010, when Democrats lost 60 seats.

Currently, the Democrat majority in the House of Representatives is a mere eight seats and, thanks to Donald Trump’s clumsy meddling in Georgia’s runoff election for its two Senate seats, Democrats control the Senate by virtue of Vice-president Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote in the evenly-divided Senate. Republicans are favored in most polls to gain the majority in the House but the Senate is considered by many to be a toss-up after reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. At least three Trump-endorsed candidates are behind in the polls. They won Trump’s support primarily because they supported his false claims of having won the 2020 election.

Most Republicans appear confident that soaring inflation, rising violent crime, chaos on the southern border, a serious drug and human trafficking epidemic and a public education system that is failing our children as evidenced by reading and math scores significantly below grade level will matter more to voters than restrictions on abortion. The effect of the Supreme Court decision appears to have waned as it becomes clear that there will still be access to abortions and that it’s up to the individual states, not the federal government, to decide on limitations.

The state of the union midway through President Joe Biden’s term is a matter that should concern every American of voting age. Government spending during these two years has caused the gross national debt to balloon to $31 trillion. The interest on that debt will soon become the largest line item on the budget, surpassing Social Security and shrinking what remains for discretionary items like defense. Rising interest rates will make matters worse. Meanwhile Xi Jinping, who will soon claim an unprecedented third term as Chinese Communist Party Secretary, has reportedly doubled defense spending and clearly aims to surpass us as the world’s dominant superpower. This will not be a friendly competition. We are running out of time to increase the size of our military and especially our navy and air force and to develop the military industrial infrastructure required to build and support it in order to deter Chinese aggression.

Violent crime and disrespect for law enforcement is making our cities unsafe to live in, thanks to misguided efforts to defund and repurpose police departments and the policies of liberal Democrat attorneys-general. Democrat mayors and local officials have failed utterly in their most important responsibility: to provide for the safety of their citizens. They need to be voted out of office and replaced by candidates who will show more concern for the victims of violent crime, mostly minorities, than for the perpetrators. This will take more than just increased funding. It will take restoring respect for the law and those who risk their lives to enforce it and it begins with proper parenting at home.

The southern border is a disgrace. It is essentially out of control and the Biden Administration, including border czar Kamala Harris, is clueless on what to do about it. As a result, drug and human trafficking is costing lives daily. The Biden Administration blames Congress for failing to reform immigration policy but the federal government can’t even enforce the laws currently in effect. The first order of business is to get control of the border and stop, not just reduce, illegal immigration. Unfortunately, a veto-proof, GOP majority in Congress would be required to make meaningful progress in cleaning up the chaos at the border. The hypocrisy of Democrat governors and mayors of sanctuary cities was revealed by their reactions to immigrants being transported from border states to their so-called sanctuaries.

Finally, the senseless war on fossil fuels is hurting American families and the economy badly while accomplishing nothing whatever to reduce global harmful emissions so long as China, India and the developing nations burn coal and oil as they must for decades to grow their economies and survive. As the world’s largest producer of clean natural gas, we could be doing more to improve the economy, create jobs, ensure energy independence, lower fuel prices and alleviate suffering this winter by providing needed pipelines and other necessary energy infrastructure. Democrat governors whose policies restrict fracking and pipeline, refinery and export facility permitting and construction should be removed from office.

If, as most Americans believe, we are headed in the wrong direction, then change is needed to avert disaster. The first step is to change the balance of power in Washington. A GOP-controlled Congress will act as a restraint on an administration that is clearly floundering. When Democrats lost control of Congress during Bill Clinton’s administration, Mr. Clinton wisely executed a course correction toward the comfortable center of the political spectrum. Mr. Biden would be wise to follow his example. If you are uncomfortable with the direction your country is heading, don’t sit out this pivotal mid-term election.

Vol. 38, No. 42 - Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022

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