This presidential administration is no longer just a domestic crisis. It is now an international catastrophe. We would be the laughing stock of the world if the situation was not so dire.

Let’s look at the domestic situation first. The price of gas at the Aspen Park King Soopers was $3.64 on Friday. It was $2.25 when President Biden took office. I’m on a year-round average payment plan with my propane company. They have more than doubled my monthly payment because of what they expect the cost of this energy source to do this winter. I went shopping at the military commissary last week at Buckley, and filled one cart. That cost me $330; I used to come close to filling two carts for that price. The Core Personal Consumption Expenditures index (doesn’t count food or energy) rose at an annual rate of almost 4% last month, the highest since 1991. Food Stamp benefits were increased by 30% because of the rise in the cost of living.

The House has passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a bill that will federalize control of elections even though the constitution explicitly grants control of election policies to each state government. A member of Stacey Abrams’ organization (she was minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives for many years) stated in a 2007 NPR interview that voter fraud is most likely to occur using mail-in ballots, but now the Democrats, including our own Colorado Secretary of State, want to do away with signature verification and chain-of-custody logs for ballot boxes.

Many black politicians (including Ben Carson), business leaders, and parents (including prominent educators) are stating publicly that Critical Race Theory “keeps racism on life support” rather than eliminating it. We can’t tell our children, especially in an educational setting, that you are either good or bad, worthy or not worthy, based on the color of your skin or what your ancestors did three and four generations ago.

Looking at the situation in Afghanistan makes me weep. I was there for a year from 2010 to 2011 and had 12 local men working for me to build a fence around the airport I managed. I can’t imagine what has happened to those men and their families now. It didn’t have to end this way. Afghanistan has an historical and religious culture that does not lend itself to democracy, and I have no problem with us leaving. However, Bagram Air Base was a completely secure USAF base capable of handling the largest aircraft in the world and several hundred flights a day. We could have used helicopters with armed escorts to fly to every village and town in the country and collect the families of our allies and our citizens, taking them back to Bagram. From there, it would have been a very secure operation to fly them out of the country. Instead, we first pulled our own troops out of the country and evacuated the air base without even the courtesy of telling the local Afghan military commander we were leaving. We literally flew out in the middle of the night before evacuating our own friends and citizens.

The United Kingdom, once our strongest ally, called their parliament out of summer recess to a special session to discuss the crisis Biden has created. Many of their politicians have reacted with scorn to this decision. The head of Germany’s majority party calls this the worst debacle in the history of NATO. Biden says America’s allies are not questioning the credibility of the U.S. Despite issuing executive orders to cancel or curtail the energy industry and other Trump policies in his first four hours in office, he claims he was “bound” by an agreement reached 18 months ago under far different circumstances and could not change the planned withdrawal. He has defied our own Supreme Court, but won’t defy the Taliban?

By the way, Republicans are not against masks and vaccinations. We are against government mandates. The role of government is to educate the citizens on what the issue is, what symptoms to watch for, and the various options to deal with it. Then let me decide what is right for me and my family. Republicans are also not against minorities voting. The policies behind many of the “discriminatory” new voting laws actually increase the number of hours and days for early voting. They just require validation of a legal status and signature to cast a ballot. And U.S. carbon emissions have fallen 25% since 2005, the biggest drop of any major country and ahead of the Paris Climate Accord by five years. Our industries are leading the way.

Think before you vote. Individual responsibility, individual freedom, smaller government role in our lives and smaller government price

tag. That’s the Republican platform.

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