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A May 22 letter writer challenges supporters of Donald Trump to explain why they favor someone who has been criminally indicted and found responsible for sexual abuse. I'd like to explain. I don't like Donald Trump. He is a person of low moral character, who frequently lies and has made many ignorant statements. I also don't like that he appeals to people's emotions rather than their reason.

The reason I may vote for Trump despite his many flaws is that I prefer Republican policies and values to Democratic ones. His policies during his presidential administration were largely typical Republican policies. He cut taxes, clamped down on illegal immigration and appointed conservative judges. He mediated the Abraham Accords among Israel, the UAE and Bahrain. The economy did well during his term, with unemployment at 3.5% in February 2020 just before the pandemic. He pushed for rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines through Operation Warp Speed.

During his term, Trump put policies in place to limit illegal immigration. President Joe Biden reversed those policies as soon as he came into office, and the number of people entering the U.S. illegally increased right away. According to the Washington Post, illegal border crossings have averaged over 2 million per year since 2021, which is the highest level ever. Democratic politicians have recently supported bipartisan legislation to reduce illegal immigration, but this comes after years of doing nothing. And many Democratic politicians support sanctuary cities, which make it easier for those who are breaking the law to continue to get away with it. Voting for a Democratic president increases the overall support for Democratic priorities, and keeping the borders open is a Democratic priority.

Trump worked to overturn Roe v. Wade, allowing states to put restrictions on abortion. Republicans see that as a good thing, since it allows abortion to be appropriately regulated rather than treated as an individual right. Some states have gone too far and effectively eliminated abortions, but there is a need for restrictions after fetal viability. Joe Biden, like almost all Democratic politicians, talks only about his support for abortion and not about any restrictions. Most Republicans want reasonable restrictions on abortion. I'm in agreement with that and hope that, in a second Trump administration, the states will move toward the center and reach reasonable compromises on abortion.

Biden has forgiven $167 billion in student loans. He's giving away taxpayer money when the U.S. is $34.7 trillion in debt. That is outrageous and unnecessary. The average college graduate incurs about $30,000 in debt by graduation. And college graduates earn 86% more than high school graduates, so they can afford to repay their debt and still come out better than if they had not gone to college.

The Biden administration recently updated Title IX to allow transgender women, also known as biological males, to compete in women's sports. This is unfair to women and against common sense. Republicans are in favor of keeping biological men out of women's sports.

Inflation averaged about 2% during Trump's term in office. It was 7% in 2021, 6.5% in 2022 and 3.4% in 2023. This inflation has several causes, but among them is excessive government spending by the Biden administration as the pandemic was coming to an end. That included the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco estimated that U.S. government spending during the pandemic may have increased the inflation rate by about 3 percentage points in 2021. By 2021, the pandemic was waning, as was the need for government support payments. The Republicans proposed an alternative to the American Rescue Plan Act that would have cost $600 billion instead of $1.9 trillion and would have resulted in less inflation.

Biden initially strongly supported our ally Israel in its response to the atrocities committed by Hamas on Oct. 7, but his support wavered in the face of student protests and threats by Michigan's progressives to vote uncommitted in that state's primary. Republicans support Israel in its quest to eliminate Hamas. Trump will continue to support Israel in his second term as he did during his first one.

Although policing is a local function, not a national one, the president sets the tone for the nation. Republicans believe that law and order is critical, and that most police officers are doing a great job. There are some bad actors among the good ones and these need to be eliminated. Democrats, on the other hand, have bought into the idea that police departments are systemically racist and that radical changes are necessary. I don't believe radical changes are necessary, and I believe they would have the effect of hampering the police in their ability to catch criminals. Republicans support targeted law-enforcement reform, not radical changes.

The choice of whom to vote for in 2024 is a difficult one, as it was in 2016 and 2020. Neither candidate is an attractive choice. Neither candidate is someone I would strongly endorse. It is a choice of the lesser of two evils. Although I don't like or respect Trump, I want a candidate who will support Republican policies and values. I expect Trump to do that in his next term as he did during his first.

James Brandt lives in New Brighton.