Hi there, Dear Reader. It’s early morning here in my small corner of Florida, and outside it’s beginning to feel a lot like autumn. As I write this it’s not even 6 AM and the temperature is 64˚F (18˚C) under mostly cloudy skies. The wind is blowing from the north at 11 MPH/18 KPH and humidity is at 91%, but the feels-like temperature is the same as the official one. Today we should see partly sunny skies and a high of 80˚F (27˚C), morphing in the evening hours to mostly cloudy and a low of 64˚F (18˚C).
Well, yesterday morning I mailed my mail-in ballot for the 2020 elections (Presidential, Congressional, state, and local) to the supervisor of elections in my county. We received a ballot for each registered voter this weekend and I had hoped to fill in my ballot on Sunday so it would go out with Monday’s mail, but I didn’t have a black ink pen. I could have borrowed one, but the head of household is a Trump supporter and wasn’t feeling cooperative enough to loan me a pen with black ink. I should have asked one of her young adult kids, but two are always busy with college or work, and one games all night and sleeps all day, so I had to order some black-ink pens from Amazon.
As soon as the pens arrived on Monday, I carefully filled in the bubbles in the proper places and voted mostly for Democratic Party candidates. I voted for a couple of “local office” Republican candidates at the county level, but I voted for the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris Presidential ticket and for the Democratic Party candidate for my Congressional district.
Although the county where I live has a Democratic Party majority, my precinct is dominated by Republican Party voters, so I think Donald Trump and the incumbent Republican Congressman will probably carry this section of the county. However, I believe that most of my fellow Democrats are motivated and eager to vote against Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, even if some are less than enthusiastic about Biden. In the Democratic primary here in Florida, I voted for Elizabeth Warren, so Biden wasn’t my first choice. Be that as it may, I prefer the Biden-Harris ticket to the Trump-Pence one; I can’t stand “that man in the White House.”
Because I had already sent in my ballot – I can track it online; it will take about a week to get from my mailbox to the supervisor of elections’ office, but I can track the darned thing – I skipped the first Presidential debate. The owner of the house left the TV on tuned in to ABC, which carried the debate, but she didn’t watch it. I ate a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder and French fries for dinner, and though I spent much of my time with my eyes on my smartphone’s Facebook app, I could see glimpses of the two candidates on the big screen TV we have in the Florida room. Ugh. Trump looked pretty much like he did in the 2016 debate – pugnacious, abrasive, even derisive. Biden has been in politics a long time, so he looked very much like an elder statesman. Not quite Presidential, mind you, but more presentable than the current occupant of the White House.
The sound, mercifully, was turned down, so I didn’t hear any of the exchanges between the two men. That was a good thing, because I probably would have seen a spike in my blood pressure due to Trump’s usual mix of braggadocio, hostility, dishonesty, and barely disguised bigotry and support for white supremacists.
According to an article in The Hill published last night – Trump refuses to denounce white supremacy, says ‘stand back and stand by’ on Proud Boys movement – I probably spared myself from a heart attack by skipping the debate:
Per the article by J. Edward Moreno:
“Almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing,” Trump said when directly asked to denounce white supremacists and militia groups who have aligned themselves with him.
Trump asked moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News to “give me a name,” then Biden chimed in and noted the Proud Boys, a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a hate group.
“Proud Boys — stand back and stand by,” Trump said Tuesday night.
Trump then moved attention to the left-wing anti-fascist movement known as antifa.
“Somebody has got to do something about antifa and the left because this isn’t a right-wing problem, this is a left-wing problem,” Trump said.
Biden then noted that FBI Director Christopher Wray has said antifa is not a formal organization, but an ideology.
“Well then, you know what, he’s wrong,” Trump said of Wray.
I’m so glad I didn’t watch.
From what I saw last night on my Facebook timeline, many Americans watched at least part of the debate, then changed the channel to watch something else. Most of the comments I saw regarding the Biden-Trump face-off reflected a mix of disgust and dismay at Trump’s usual brusque manner and his refusal to answer questions from moderator Chris Wallace. The only positive comment regarded Biden’s attempts to keep the debate focused on issues and his “shut up, man” utterance when Trump made one of his off-the-wall conspiracy theory claims.
I ended up watching two episodes of Ken Burns’ 1990 documentary The Civil War instead.