The Real Issue in the 2020 Presidential Election: Do You Want Limited, Decentralized Government or the Opposite?


If you haven’t voted already, then on Tuesday you will vote for either Joe Biden or Donald Trump.  Or, more simply, whether or not Trump has four more years.  Even though I haven’t said explicitly who I will be voting for, it should be obvious to the readers of this blog.

I am in favor of limited, decentralized government.  Here are some pertinent examples:

  • The pandemic. Our country’s strategy to combat the pandemic is decentralized.  No national mask mandate.  The governors are in charge of policy for their own states.  Especially the governors must decide how quickly they can reopen their economies.  The red-state governors are doing a much better job of this than the blue-state governors.
  • The Electoral College. The U.S. was founded as a republic, i.e. a collection of states, with many governmental responsibilities of their own.  It would dilute state authority to elect presidents by the national popular vote, rather than by electoral college vote, as we do now.
  • The Supreme Court. Newly sworn-in Justice Barrett is of high moral character with an outstanding record of constitutional originalism and textualism on the federal bench.  She is the type of person we need on the Supreme Court.

  • Global warming is real and California has a severe forest fire problem. But no amount of more renewable energy or more electric cars in California will stop the drought.  Worldwide, carbon emissions are still increasing, due especially to China and India.  What California can do to reduce forest fires is to adopt better forest management procedures (i.e. cleaning out underbrush and dead trees).  Such action is directly under the control of state officials.
  • National issues. Even in a republic like the U.S. with a decentralized government, there are many responsibilities that only the national government can fulfill, such as foreign affairs, military strength, administering welfare and entitlement programs, and much more.  Congress and the President should focus on purely national issues and let the states do the rest.

Conclusion.  It is a relief that the presidential election campaign is almost over and that the country will make a decision, one way or the other.  Even though big issues are at stake, our country is very strong and democracy will survive and flourish for many years to come.

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