Pay at­ten­tion to par­ties’ clos­ing ar­gu­ments

The Sun Herald (Sunday) - - Opinion - BY HUGH HE­WITT

The “clos­ing ar­gu­ment” is a cliche of cam­paign sea­son. But there is truth at its core. Many vot­ers tune in just for the last few days be­fore Elec­tion Day. They look up from lives pressed by the needs of fam­i­lies and friends, ag­ing par­ents, strug­gling stu­dents and high school foot­ball to ask: For whom should I vote? Can­di­dates and cam­paigns have to make clos­ing ap­peals to those newly opened ears.

Re­ally at­ten­tive vot­ers chose long ago, of course, be­cause al­most every race is be­tween vastly dif­fer­ent can­di­dates. Take the Ari­zona Se­nate race: There is hardly a starker choice than the one be­tween Repub­li­can Rep. Martha McSally, a re­tired Air Force colonel and first fe­male fighter pi­lot to fly in com­bat for the United States, and Demo­cratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, the hard-left, anti-war, stay-at-home­mom-in­sult­ing, con­de­scend­ing rad­i­cal who has spent nearly six years in Congress pre­tend­ing to be a mod­er­ate.

But still, some Ari­zona vot­ers will have missed the can­di­dates’ bi­ogra­phies and a thou­sand TV and so­cial me­dia ads. Their choice will de­pend not on ei­ther can­di­dates’ per­sonal qual­i­ties but on the na­tional po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment. So too it will be for thou­sands of vot­ers in key Se­nate races in In­di­ana and Florida. In the Hoosier State, Repub­li­can Mike Braun looks to be ahead of in­cum­bent Demo­crat Joe Don­nelly, partly thanks to the lat­ter’s op­po­si­tion to Jus­tice Brett Ka­vanaugh. In Florida, Rick Scott seems to be a whis­per be­hind Demo­crat Bill Nel­son. “Late de­ciders” may make the dif­fer­ence in both races. Repub­li­cans look as if they have put away pick­ups in North Dakota and Mis­souri, but Ne­vada is a Repub­li­can vul­ner­a­bil­ity as Sen. Dean Heller, R, bat­tles Rep. Jacky Rosen, D, to the wire. In Ten­nessee, Rep. Mar­sha Black­burn, R, looks to have se­cured the seat left va­cant by the re­tir­ing Bob Corker.

So how are the par­ties try­ing to per­suade those vot­ers?

Democrats are ar­gu­ing the fol­low­ing: Pres­i­dent Trump is a dan­ger­ous dem­a­gogue who daily sows divi­sion and hate. He is wrongly try­ing to marginal­ize the free press by re­sort­ing to a term straight out of Stal­in­ism: “enemy of the peo­ple.” He needs a ma­jor check im­posed on his reck­less­ness and con­flicts of in­ter­est. His ad­min­is­tra­tion needs over­sight. And we Democrats will pro­tect what is left of Oba­macare, while sav­ing So­cial Se­cu­rity and Medi­care. Vote Demo­crat for a di­vided gov­ern­ment to save a di­vided coun­try.

Mean­while, Repub­li­cans are clos­ing this way: Don’t you like 4 per­cent gross do­mes­tic prod­uct growth and near-full em­ploy­ment? Do you think it’s a co­in­ci­dence that the mar­ket has dropped as busi­nesses pre­pare for the pos­si­bil­ity of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., re­turn­ing to the speak­er­ship? Our mil­i­tary is be­ing re­built af­ter be­ing hol­lowed out un­der Pres­i­dent Barack Obama. We have rene­go­ti­ated NAFTA, got­ten clar­ity on China and re­aligned the Mid­dle East into an ef­fec­tive an­tiIran coali­tion. Thanks to dereg­u­la­tion, your chil­dren fi­nally will have the jobs of the fu­ture here wait­ing for them. You may not like

Trump, but his wreck­ing-ball pol­i­tics was the only way to smash the scle­rotic su­per­struc­ture of blue-bub­ble elites in­side the Belt­way, Man­hat­tan, Hol­ly­wood and Sil­i­con Val­ley. And if you don’t like him, 2020 is when you fire him, not now. Vote Repub­li­can to keep the econ­omy hum­ming.

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