2020 Presidential Voting Guide: Biden v Trump (EP.266)

This voting guide will concentrate on issues, not personalities.


This voting guide will concentrate on issues, not personalities, and help you to understand how the issues influence your vote. There will be no commentary about things like dementia or narcissism. Feel free to contribute your own thoughts on those subjects in the comments. 

That is the subject of today’s 10-minute episode. 


If you believe that the Republic form of government laid out in the Constitution is the right choice, vote for Trump.If you believe that we should abandon the Electoral College, a fundamental part of the Republic format, then vote for Biden. In other words, if you want a national popular vote to replace the College, vote for Biden.

If you believe the New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning work on the 1619 project was correct in saying the year 1619 represents the real founding and legacy of America, vote for Biden.If you believe the view that the real founding occurred in 1776, with documents that Jefferson called, “A silver frame (Constitution), around a document of gold.” (Declaration), vote for Trump. 

If you believe that we should have open borders with amnesty for all, vote for Biden.If you believe that America should have secure borders with a wide, but controlled, gate, then vote for Trump.

If you support school choice, vote for Trump.If you believe that increased funding for traditional public schools is the answer to the issues in K-12 education, vote for Biden.

If you believe that government should be the resource of first choice, then vote for Biden. If you believe the individual should be the resource of first choice, vote for Trump.

I want to expand my caveat; there will be no discussion here over which party is the more or less manipulative. And no discussion of the Republican push to seat a successor to Justice Ginsburg, and no speculation over whether or not the Democrats would do the same thing if given a chance.

I am focusing on the issues, in significant part because I see so little of that discussion elsewhere. There will be no discussion of who is the bigger liar, who is the less well balanced 70-year-old white guy, or who is less articulate than whom. To paraphrase, “It’s the issues, stupid.”

I am working not to favor one side or the other in this discussion, so if my preferences come though I apologize. My attempt here is not to persuade, but to clearly lay out the issues so that voters can align their ballots with their views on the issues. Not whether they simply like or don’t like a candidate. And with almost every news source playing to their own biases, callously presenting them as hard news, talking about issues and who supports what is important.

The Republic form of government is a key part of our founding documents. The Tenth Amendment’s language is simple and straightforward, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The Founders envisioned a national government of limited and enumerated powers. Going further, the Founders instituted the Electoral College, the primary purpose being to protect the smaller states from the power of the larger states. All states have two Senators, in addition to the number of Representatives as determined by population. The total equals the number of Electors. The argument is building that this underrepresents voters in large states, and overrepresents voters in the smaller states. Those who make that argument want a national popular vote. 

The 1619 Project created by Nikole Hannah-Jones, a reporter at the New York Times, is a bold effort to place slavery at the heart of the founding, success and ongoing character of the United States. In other words, America’s founding, success and character are so deeply rooted in slavery that many of its institutions have to be fundamentally torn down, and rebuilt. The counter view is that the union of the 13 original colonies would have been impossible if abolition had been insisted upon by the Northern states, the states that won the Civil War, beginning the process of correcting the evil of slavery.

The immigration issue is the easiest to understand. N. B. As part of my sticking to the issues, there will be no discussion here of who built the cages, and who deported the most illegal immigrants. If you want secure borders as a prerequisite to any immigration or amnesty plan, vote for Trump. If you want anything less than that, vote for Biden.

School choice is equally clear. If you align with the teachers unions and others who argue that increased K-12 funding, with the vast bulk of the funding going to traditional public schools, will correct the concerns with K-12 education, vote for Biden. If you believe that parents should make the decision for their children, and should be given a free choice amongst equally funded traditional public schools, charter schools and private schools via vouchers, vote for Trump.

This brings us to the question of the primacy of personal responsibility, or government responsibility; which is the go-to? If you believe that government is the resource of first choice, then vote for Biden. If you believe that the individual is the go-to, with government in a secondary role, then vote for Trump. 

This list was not intended to be exhaustive; there are other issues to consider prior to voting. I leave it to you to do the in-depth research on where both the candidates and their parties stand on issues, e.g., abortion and COVID, that might be important to you. 

Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know. 

As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty.


As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple, Google, or Stitcher.

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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

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27 Responses

  1. Eric Rodgman Reply

    Well said and well done — the current election process will likely get even more contentious when Trump announces his pick for the Supreme Court on Saturday. It is important to have a ninth jurist on the court. It is the President’s duty to fill that spot. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Eric

  2. charles cabral Reply

    I have a lot of nits to pick on this one.
    First a republic is a government where the people are sovereign, as opposed to a monarchy. (One could argue that the Twit’s methods seem more monarchical) I believe you are referring to federalism, where the individual states are sovereign in all matters not reserved to the national government.
    Many of the issues you stated are put in the polarizing terms that you seemed to be trying to defuse up till now. As I’ve said before, I will vote for neither because neither is suited to be president. BTW, there was a program on PBS last night which pretty much confirmed this view.
    I do hope that the SCOTUS vacancy is filled quickly and before the election. Then, when the Twit is defeated, the baby killer party will have less chance to remake the court.
    I do agree that the 1619 business is foolishness. As you noted, slavery had been abolished in the northern states well before the constitution was written. Yes, there were slaves in the north early on, probably unwillingly torn from their homelands, but the Puritans and other groups quickly won the battle over whether one man should own another and ended that practice.
    On immigration, neither side is taking an acceptable position. The Twit’s supporters are basically driven by not wanting anyone not like them in the country (spoiler alert: That’s already happened), while the liberals want more in to boost their election chances with their chosen demographics. A pox on both their houses!
    In doing some ancestry research, I found that the public school system was established by the early colonists because the Puritans wanted their children to be able to read the Bible themselves. (A far cry from banning prayer in the schools) I recall in grade school, someone gave out KJV Bibles to all the students. I was told by my parents to bring it back because we were Catholic. I’m sensitive to both sides of the issue here and support the many friends who are home schooling. I also see the many issues here in the Peoples’ Republic of Hawai’i where charter schools are mismanaged or downright robbed by those in charge. This is not a black and white issue, and should not be handled at the national level in any case.
    Regarding the electoral college, I do not comprehend how one can say that the smaller states are more empowered by the system as it is. In a close election will candidates try to win over voters in a 40+ state like Texas or New York or campaign heavily for Delaware’s 3 votes? I believe that there should be a requirement that any state with more than 3 electoral votes should allocate them proportionally or by district. I also believe that if the president is elected by popular vote and no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, Congress should pick the president.

    Bottom line: I am disenfranchised.

    • Will Luden Reply

      Hi Charlie, many thanks for all of your thoughtful comments. Let me address two. I used the term Republic because that is what the Founders called it, including Ben Franklin when asked post the Constitutional Conventions what form of government had been created for the people. “A Republic, if you can keep it.” was his reply. One of the arguments against the Electoral College is, for example, Wyoming, with two Senators and one Representative has 3 Electoral College votes with a population of 579K. WY has 1 Electoral Vote per 193K people. California with the same 2 Senators and 53 Representatives has 55 Electoral votes with a population of 39.5M. CA has 1 Electoral Vote per 719K people. Cheers, Will

  3. charles cabral Reply

    I did not mean to imply that The U.S. is not a republic. Since we don’t have a monarch, we are a republic as well as a democracy. There are many republics around the world which are not democracies. The U.K. is a monarchy and a democracy, and maybe, considering Scotland and Northern Ireland, a federal system. The arguments you put forth were about the separate sovereignty of the states, which is federalism.

    My point about the electoral college is that the smaller states, even with a bonus two electoral votes, have a diminished role in presidential elections when every state’s votes are cast unanimously for a single candidate. What would have been the likelihood in the 2000 election that the results hinged on contested ballots in Montana with its 3 votes, instead of Florida?

  4. Terry Tracy Reply

    Another well thought out, thought provoking podcast Will. Voters need to cut to the chase, get to the facts of the issue and quit letting their heart lead them. Put away the rehtoric on both sides then look at the facts and issues at hand and make an informed choice, a choice that will shape the future of America or could quite possibly reshape America itself.

    Thank you Will,

    Terry Tracy

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