In the first week of October, knowing that Postmaster Louis DeJoy, a wealthy Republican and Trump supporter, was doing everything he could – including cutting U.S. Post Office employees’ work hours, removing mailboxes for “replacement,” and dismantling sorting machines and other equipment – to hinder voting by mail efforts made necessary by the global COVID-19 pandemic, I cast my vote (by mail, of course) for former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA).
Why did I do so?
Well, it wasn’t, as Trump supporters love to say in their inane comments on Facebook, to “get freebies from the government,” “take people’s guns away,” or (perhaps the most ridiculous charge levied at Democratic Party voters) “turn America into another Communist country like Cuba or Venezuela.”
No, my friends, I had more valid reasons to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and most of them involve, in one way or another, a repudiation of a certain Donald J. Trump, his public behavior, and his policies.
When I cast my vote (by mail) back in early October for the Biden-Harris ticket, I knew that it would be, at best, a symbolic vote. I live in a neighborhood where Democrats are a minority and in a state (Florida) where one party (the GOP) controls the state legislature and the governor’s mansion. Barring a miracle, there simply was no way that Florida would flip, especially with South Florida being dominated by the reliably Republican Cuban-American bloc.
I still voted “blue’ to add to the popular vote, though. I did so because I knew that many Americans from all parties are tired of the name-calling and rudeness from the man in the White House, embarrassed about our diminished reputation among our friends and allies, and frustrated that instead of making America great again, he emboldened Russia, North Korea, and other hostile countries into making themselves more aggressive and dangerous.
I also voted for Biden-Harris because as President of the United States, Trump’s reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic was erratic, chaotic, and he made decisions that were based not on scientific or medical facts but primarily on the possible effects of the pandemic (which, contrary to his prediction, did not vanish on November 3) and his chances for re-election. He even admitted this to journalist Bob Woodward in an interview earlier this year that he “downplayed” the dangers from the coronavirus to not create a “panic,” even though internal emails from the various agencies charged to deal with the crisis show that Trump knew how dangerous the virus is.
So, yes. When I cast my vote for the Biden-Harris Ticket, I dedicated my action to the 237,127 Americans, regardless of their political or religious beliefs, who have died because of Trump’s self-centeredness, arrogance, and incompetence.
And, of course, I voted against Trump in memory of my mother, who was a proud Democratic Party voter since she became a U.S. citizen in 1996 and cast her first ballot for Bill Clinton and was able, though just barely, to help re-elect Barack Obama to the White House in 2012. (She died in July of 2015, so she didn’t have to live through the four-year-long Trump Circus.)