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The votes you cast Tuesday will arguably be the most important of your life — yes, more so even than the 2016 presidential election.

One might claim they didn’t know how bad it would be when they voted for Donald J. Trump. Maybe it was a protest vote — not so much for the huckster reality TV star, but rather against the Democrat or the status quo or the powers that be.

Maybe it was a frustrated shout in the wind.

Two years later, there’s no denying the tragic consequences of that decision. Trump has proven himself to be nothing short of an existential threat to our democracy — a national embarrassment who has humiliated us on the global stage.

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Our nation’s founders anticipated an abusive chief executive and established a system of checks and balances. But that system assumes a legislative branch willing and able to counter an attack on our nation’s principles — men and women who will put personal and party politics aside for the good of the country.

Today’s Republican party has not shown that moral fortitude. It is cowed and silent, either too cowardly to incur the wrath of our mercurial narcissist or more than happy to trade its soul for a tax cut or Supreme Court appointment.

It’s up to us to decide what kind of country we will be moving forward.

No, Trump is not up for re-election, but in York County two of his enablers are on the ballot.

Lloyd Smucker, the Lancaster Republican representing the 11th District, is a one-term congressman and former state senator who rarely raises his head but almost always votes in line with the president.

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Rep. Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township, is the three-term 10th District incumbent, a member of the far-right Freedom Caucus who seems intent on racing Trump to extreme positions.

It would be easy to say anyone is better than Perry and Smucker, but their Democratic challengers would deserve our votes even if the alternatives weren’t so lacking.

Jess King, a Lancaster native running in the 11th, attended Lancaster Mennonite High School, the same high school as Smucker. She currently serves as a local economy fellow with the National Business Alliance for Local Living Economies and works with the Coalition to Combat Poverty’s Private Sector Working Group.

King’s philosophy involves working across common partisan divides that are "plaguing" the political world today.

"We don't think we're on the spectrum of left to right," she said. "So many people feel like both parties have failed in a lot of ways, and there are a lot of opportunities to talk about bottom to top."

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George Scott, who is challenging Perry in the 10th, majored in international politics at Georgetown University and spent 20 years serving as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army.

He retired as a lieutenant colonel with a long military resume, including deployment for both Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, and he promptly shifted his service to a local church.

In 2009, Scott entered the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, and now he serves as a pastor for Trinity Lutheran Church in East Berlin, Adams County. 

"By watching how the 2016 elections unfolded and how that played out at the national and local level, I saw a lot of people who had strong existing relationships being fractured," he said. "It was a divisive race, and I saw the effects in both my community and my congregation."

The Democrats share our basic values and will stand up to Trump’s abuses.

Vote for King and Scott and make America decent again.

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