We have a couple of weeks to go before this unprecedented presidential election is over. With this COVID-19 pandemic, it has made everything more than interesting. With all the mail-in ballots and social distancing, it may take some time before we know who the next president will be.

I’ve been around these elections a while now. That only means I’m getting older, but I remember when politics was more civil. I have never experienced such juvenile behavior these politicians have displayed, and they give a new meaning to dirty politics. But we have a two-party system, so you need to pick a side if you want your vote to count for anything.

I’ve been trying to hold back my thoughts on this national election. It is the most important election of our lives. This election isn’t about the Trump administration or the Biden administration. It’s about socialism and capitalism, two distinctly different ways of government. Being told what to do or having the freedom to do it yourself—or not. To me this is a binary election; it is X’s and O’s—it’s that simple.

The Western Livestock Journal is almost 100 years old. We’ve arrived at this point because we’ve had the freedom to operate. We must deal with the government every week, which is the U.S. Postal Service, and they regulate us and give us poor delivery. They take our postage fees directly out of our checking account. We can complain, but with the Post Office, it doesn’t matter. It’s the only game in town.

Do you want everything to be that way? I know that most folks in ag are conservative. We must be because of the thin margins, and landowners. I know there are Democrats who subscribe to WLJ, and I certainly don’t want to offend you. We have come to a point in this world where civility has left the room. Everybody is offended about one thing or another. And speaking your mind is a dangerous thing to do, especially if you don’t know the audience you’re speaking to. These days, folks are afraid to talk.

In agriculture, we have our own way of doing things. We generally respect each other and get along. But we only represent 2 percent of the population. We’re at a disadvantage when it comes to making our voice heard at the ballot box.

This past week a bunch of cattlemen tried to make a difference and held a Trump fundraiser at an auction market in Nevada. Jack Payne of the Nevada Livestock Marketing in Fallon hosted the event. They sent trucks up and down I-80 and Highway 50 and collected donated cattle for a rollover auction and may gather up over $300,000 by the end of the campaign. Then the next day the new owners could sell those cattle in the regular sale if they really didn’t need them.

The big headliner was Donald Trump, Jr. and yes, there was a detail of secret service agents for protection. He and other dignitaries spoke about an hour, telling folks about all the great things President Donald Trump has done and all the bad things Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are going to do—like make it harder to do business and raise your taxes. I understand that 800 to 1,000 people showed up for the event.

Nevada is one of those swing states and Las Vegas rules the roost simply because that’s where the people are. So, it’s vital for rural voters to get out and vote. In many of these rural counties there aren’t many places to go and vote. But this election every registered Republican voter needs to make the effort, even if it’s a 50-mile drive to town.

This election is about which way America goes. After hearing all the candidates in the Democratic primary talk, they scare me. America is a generous country to a fault. And every immigrant I know is damn glad to be here. They have real opportunity to make a good life for themselves. They can have the American Dream. Sometimes I think folks take American freedom for granted. If you have ever done any foreign travel, even to Mexico, you know what I mean. You’re always glad to come home. We represent real freedom.

Those Democratic candidates are buying votes when they start offering free healthcare to illegal aliens, or free college for all, or the Green New Deal. There isn’t a lick of common sense in the platform. They want more government, and I want less. Isn’t government big enough already? — PETE CROW

What do you think?

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