Good morning. I’m Paul Thornton, and it is Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. All that’s left to do now is vote, so with that in mind, let’s take a look back at the week in Opinion.
Regular readers of this newsletter have gathered by now that I do not support much of what President Trump has done over his nearly two years in office (an opinion shared by my colleagues on the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board). But that doesn’t matter now; in fact, disagree as much as I might with fans of this president, I wouldn’t hesitate to share a line at the polls with a MAGA-capped citizen wielding his marked-up sample ballot.
My point: Vote, please — everyone of you who’s eligible. Do it. In this polarized environment, one of the few things we have in common politically is our ability to cast a single ballot making our opinions official government business. It neatly equalizes the power of the loudest Trump rally-goer, the pink-capped Women’s Marchers with the pithiest protest sign, and the quiet citizen who cares just enough about policymaking to vote.
In this election, it’s more important than ever for voters to cast their ballots. The Times Editorial Board explains why:
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this is one of the most important elections in modern times. Hate-filled rhetoric and incendiary language are energizing violent extremists. An untrustworthy and reckless president blithely tweets while important democratic institutions are undermined on his watch, international treaties are abrogated and trade deals tossed out. Congress, controlled by Republicans, is so consumed by partisanship and enmity that it can no longer function as a reasonable check on executive power.
Things are bad. Although this page ordinarily urges voters to consider the merits of candidates individually without regard to party, this is an extraordinary situation. The president is a dangerous demagogue; Congress, under GOP rule, has repeatedly failed to challenge him or call him out for his misbehavior.
The Times has not endorsed in any congressional races this year, so we cannot say for certain that one candidate is more worthy than another in your district. But we can say that Trump’s ability to carry out the most dangerous parts of his platform may turn on which party controls Congress. For that reason, voters as they go to the polls should think not just about the individuals running to represent them, but also about the country as a whole. As you vote, think about the dangers of a Congress that is in the pocket of Trump, and the benefits of a Congress that stands up to demagoguery and speaks out for democracy and the rule of law.
If you still haven’t voted, here are The Times Editorial Board’s recommendations (and yes, we included judges, and no, we didn’t forget Proposition 9 — because there is no Proposition 9):
Governor: Gavin Newsom
U.S. Senator: Dianne Feinstein
Lieutenant governor: Ed Hernandez
Attorney general: Xavier Becerra
Secretary of state: Alex Padilla
Controller: Betty Yee
Treasurer: Fiona Ma
Insurance commissioner: Steve Poizner
Proposition 1 (affordable housing): Yes
Proposition 2 (mentally ill housing): Yes
Proposition 3 (water bond): No
Proposition 4 (children’s hospitals): Yes
Proposition 5 (property taxes): No
Proposition 6 (motorist taxes): No
Proposition 7 (daylight saving time): Yes
Proposition 8 (dialysis centers): No
Proposition 10 (rent control): Yes
Proposition 11 (EMT pay): Yes
Proposition 12 (chicken cages): Yes
California Supreme Court and 2nd District Court of Appeal: Yes to all judges
L.A. County Superior Court: Alfred A. Coletta, Sydne Jane Michel, Holly L. Hancock, Michael Ribons
L.A. Charter Amendment B (public bank): No
L.A. County sheriff: Jim McDonnell