Democracy on the Ballot This November
Democracy. The very ideal this country was founded upon, is, ironically, on the ballot this Nov. 8. Putting it simply: In order to protect your right to vote, you must vote!
And, in this time in history, and since this is an opinion piece, I am entitled to say that it must be for Democrats.
Here’s my proof.
Across the country, state legislatures that hold a Republican majority are poised to reverse elections if they keep/gain power.
The Republican, Mastriano, who is running for governor in our state of Pennsylvania has stated exactly that: “As governor…I could decertify every (voting) machine in the state with the stroke of a pen…” He was at the capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, so you should believe him.
Since Roe v. Wade was enacted in January, 1973, Republicans have threatened to reverse the decision, preventing a woman’s right to an abortion. Because of a totally unorthodox strategy by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Mr. Trump secured the Supreme Court justices to attain that goal.
When the decision came down, ultimately overturning 50 years of precedent, Republican state legislatures across the country allowed laws, sometimes dating back a century, to take effect.
These decisions resulted in horrific circumstances due to denial of abortion and medical care.
A 10-year-old rape victim was denied an abortion, a 16-year-old was told she was “not mature enough to make the decision to have an abortion,” a woman whose baby was dying inside her was denied a medical procedure because it was perceived as an abortion, and a young woman suffering from rheumatoid arthritis was refused her medication because it can also be used during abortions.
What these cruel, uneducated legislators don’t understand (or maybe don’t care to understand); abortion is not just about abortion; it is very often medical care.
But, dear readers, do not be distracted by the overturning of Roe.
Republican state legislators are threatening to take away your legitimate vote based on a lie. Once they do that, they can – and will – do anything. Maya Angelou said: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
The Republicans in power, should they regain the majority in the U.S. Senate, are headed straight for our benefits.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-NC), have been talking openly about the ‘entitlements’ that the Republican Party has also wanted to rescind and/or destroy since they were enacted: Social Security www.ssa.gov and Medicare/Medicaid https://www.archives.gov/milestone-documents/medicare-and-medicaid-act. If Social Security goes, so goes Workmen’s Compensation and Unemployment Insurance. Medicare negotiations for medicine? No Medicare; no negotiations. The Affordable Care Act gone as well.
But, tax cuts for the wealthiest; tax breaks for corporations; deregulation on food, water, the air we breathe?
When everything is taken away from any of us, it is taken away from all of us.
In the United States of America, when Democracy is taken away it will be because we, the people, forfeited it.
Barbara Stakes, Oakford
Register and Vote
This year’s elections are crucial. Democracy itself is on the ballot.
Pennsylvania tops the list for consequential races. You can register and vote in Pennsylvania if you attend college here, no matter where your family lives.
There are elections for Governor, U.S. Senate, and PA State Representative – and the Democratic and Republican candidates could not be more different!
Democratic candidates are committed to preserving our rights and adhering to the U.S. Constitution. This includes Josh Shapiro for Governor, John Fetterman for Senate, and Democratic State Representatives.
MAGA Republicans seek to make Pennsylvania a Christian state where voters have no say and human rights are in jeopardy. Their candidate for Governor, Doug Mastriano, is particularly dangerous. Mastriano has promised that, as governor, he will use executive power to overturn election outcomes he doesn’t like—and Republican candidates for State Representative are equally committed to doing just that. Together, they will ban abortion, outlaw LGBTQ+ rights and deny gender-affirming medical care. They will make Christianity the foundation for government policy. They will harm the country by continuing to insist that climate change is fake science.
If you care about these issues — and who doesn’t?— vote for Democrats.
Act now to ensure your vote counts. You must register to vote by October 24. Election Day is Nov. 8. To vote by mail, apply by Nov. 1, and return your ballot before Election Day. For more information, visit vote.pa.gov.
Nicole Ramsey, Birdsboro
A Stark Choice This November
The election season is upon us. We have a stark choice. On the one hand we have a political party that has worked tirelessly to reduce inflation, address needless wars, reduce drug prices for average citizens, work to help women exercise control over their own bodies, and ensure that American democracy endures. That party takes action.
On the other hand we have a political party that has complained bitterly about inflation without offering solutions, has complained about immigration issues without taking steps in Congress to solve those problems, has complained about crime without offering ideas on how to address it, has sided with those who complain (without any evidence) that the last election was rigged, and has agreed with the irresponsible actions of a former President who absconded with top secret documents.
Vote your conscience. But do not be fooled by false promises, fake news, conmen or chronic complainers who offer no solutions.
Carol Gall, Jim Thorpe
Democracy is on the line in Pennsylvania
As you decide your vote for governor, consider how the candidates match your values.
Should government officials discard your vote if they don’t like it?
Should a woman be forced to have a baby?
Should someone else’s religion – or any religion – be the basis for government policy?
If you answered “no,” there’s only one candidate who shares your values – and that’s Josh Shapiro.
Republicans used to agree with you, but the GOP has been taken over by MAGA acolytes like Doug Mastriano, who endorses anti-democratic positions.
He pledges to change the results of the 2024 presidential election if he doesn’t like the outcome. He will decertify voting machines in counties where he decides the result is rigged. He claims that the state legislature should determine presidential electors. He denies that Biden is the elected President. He aims to prevent mail-in voting and have every voter re-register to vote.
He prioritizes abortion bans, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or women’s health. He declares women’s control over their own bodies “ridiculous nonsense.”
He calls the separation of church and state a “myth.” His campaign includes Christian prophets promoting conspiracy theories and the claim that the Women’s March on Washington was a manifestation of “the spirit of Jezebel.”
Mastriano and his MAGA Republican allies will make Pennsylvania a Christian state where voters have no say and human rights are denied.
Prevent that nightmare. Vote for Josh Shapiro. He defends our rights and the US constitution.
Kathleen Fitzgerald, Philadelphia
Vote to Protect Reproductive Rights
Attacks on reproductive rights reflect disdain and disregard for women. If men could get pregnant, the right to abortion would not be at risk. Men would not accept government takeover of their bodies, being forced to endure the medical risks and financial costs of pregnancy and parenthood.
Many politicians who claimed mask mandates were government overreach are now legislating government control over women’s reproductive lives. The coronavirus pandemic is a public health crisis where our behavior affects other people; abortion is a personal, medical decision.
The only way to ensure that women are treated as full human beings with autonomy and full constitutional rights is to elect candidates who support reproductive rights. In Pennsylvania, that means voting for Democrats.
As Governor, Josh Shapiro will veto extreme abortion restrictions and support laws to codify reproductive rights; Doug Mastriano supports abortion bans, declaring women’s control over their own bodies “ridiculous nonsense.” As Senator, John Fetterman will vote to support abortion rights nationally; Mehmet Oz says that abortion is murder at any stage of pregnancy.
Electing state legislators who support abortion rights will prevent state bans from ever reaching the governor’s desk or being proposed as constitutional amendments. Across the state, that’s Democrats. Their MAGA Republican opponents have made clear in words and actions that they will outlaw abortion with minimal, if any, exceptions. Voting has never been more important for women’s lives.
Exercise your power – vote Democrat!
Sheri Berenbaum, State College