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Choose wisely on Election Day 2020

As publisher of the Mail Tribune and Ashland Tidings, I assure you our employees have put great effort into offering you a complete view of issues in context and perspective. We talk about our commitment to fairness and unbiased journalism daily, we’ve made it top of mind.

We are a better, more robust news organization for doubling down on our journalism at a time when newspapers and broadcasting outlets give themselves permission to be partisan. We know many media outlets have gone partisan, especially during these past four years. But no matter how good we think we are at practicing the craft of journalism with integrity, you should know my principles so you can judge me with a frame of reference.

In about 60 days we have one of the most important decisions that we can make as citizens. Every four years we decide about the future of our country through the election process.

In the past several election cycles, we have been told the very future of the United States is at risk depending on who’s elected. Chances are we’ll all be around to hear that again four years from now.

For this election, please understand the following. The Democratic Party is not the party of the past. The Republican Party is also not the party of the past. Be sure you understand the principles behind each party and what they stand for when casting your vote, rather than the man that has been fronted to run for president.

Nonetheless, please consider the following when making a decision to cast your vote:

Steer clear of the presidential popularity game that the media love to set up. Trump vs. Biden is from the lineage of Trump vs. Hillary and Obama vs. Romney.

Every four years, the sky is falling and it’s the end of the world as we know it. Hardly.

The truth is that candidates are humans with faults, successes and failures. Trump and Biden are now the heads of their parties, so look at what you expect from those parties and resist the temptation to turn this into a personality contest. I encourage each of us to vote for our principles; hopefully the principles this country has stood for from its inception.

I’ll give you a spoiler here: I genuinely haven’t decided who will get my vote. I certainly want to watch the debates. Not for the theater that television has turned them into, but to size up each party’s platform and plan.

Which party will fulfill the need for a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic without trampling our rights?

We must hold accountable officials at all levels of government, that played political football with our health and economic well being for partisan gain.

The judicial branch is there to rule on and interpret the law. Trump says he agrees with that position, but Biden and Democrats believe the court can interpret the laws in a contemporary way. On this point alone, the Republicans have done a much more consistent job of not trying to legislate from the bench.

Research and understand the purpose of an Electoral College and the value for it to remain. It is key to balancing population centers from dominating or skewing our elections. Democrats want to explore and even change that. On this point think beyond party, because we’ll be living with that change through future elections and it may come back and bite you.

Vote for a government that supports change, fostering racial equality, diversity and opportunity for all people regardless of their sex or sexual orientation. Republicans haven’t done as well on this issue as Democrats.

As an employer, this is a very important issue to me. It also happens to be the right thing.

Vote for the religious freedom our country was founded and your freedom to worship in any way you believe without intimidation. While we are on the topic of the First Amendment, you can be sure I am a strong advocate for freedom of the press and peaceful assembly as well.

Vote for a country with a strong and viable military presence. Not one that would put us at risk from tyranny. Through our lifetime, that’s been a strong suit of the Republican party.

Vote for the right to own and bear arms. Learn from the mistakes of the past, societies disarming and making citizens defenseless. The NRA, tragic mass shootings, and a sincere and urgent desire to control crime and protect children are all complex problems to be dealt with. But the core issue, that the Second Amendment stay strong, is critical to the United States’ survival.

Preserve with your vote the ability for anyone to work unimpeded to achieve financial success.

Make sure you support education for our children and future generations to include where they are educated and by whom and thus have a say for their own mission in life. In your opinion, which party can deliver that better? I’m still deciding.

We all agree that “Borderless” is a wistful concept, one that some far-left Democrats espouse. Vote for a closed border for those who illegally ignore our immigration laws.

Understand the purpose of a welfare system. It’s not to make people beholden to it, but rather as a path to become self-sustaining citizens. Reject any party that does a better job helping people get on the welfare system instead of off it. Before the pandemic, this Administration had brought record low unemployment rates for minority groups.

Vote against Socialism, in any form that would create government control of health, (redistribution of) wealth and freedom of choice. Other countries have tried socialism, it does not work. Take heed to what history has recorded.

Depending on your view of our country and the world it may just be the end of your world as you know it ... two short months ... so pay attention and choose carefully and wisely. This time, support whomever is elected as president. There’s a better than good chance we’ll be having this conversation as a country again every four years. You may not agree with everything the candidates say, how they say it or what they do. You may not even have wanted these two choices. Fair enough.

But we will have one of the two parties sitting in the Oval Office. Let’s all agree to do better at coming together as a country once a winner is declared. I’ll be back in this space again before Election Day and welcome your thoughts about this approach, and about the issues.

Steven Saslow is owner of Rosebud Media and publisher of the Mail Tribune and Ashland Tidings.

Steven Saslow is owner of Rosebud Media and publisher of the Mail Tribune and Ashland Tidings.

From Mail Tribune and Ashland Tidings owner and publisher Steven Saslow.