This morning – after having breakfast that consisted of two cups of coffee and a leftover breadstick from last night’s ordered-from-Pizza Hut dinner – I fulfilled my obligation as an American citizen and completed my vote-by-mail ballot for the upcoming midterm election in November.
I’ve had my ballot from the Hillsborough County Elections Department in my possession since September, and I kept on reminding myself to carve out a few minutes from my “daily routine” to vote. But I procrastinated, partly because I tend to lose motivation when I’m depressed, and partly because I forgot that the Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, is a Trump appointee who mucked around with the Postal Service in 2020 – by removing mailboxes from certain neighborhoods and finding ways to subtly but surely slow the pace of sending “snail mail” – in an effort to forestall former President Donald Trump’s defeat in that year’s Presidential elections.
Since the Republican Party has not been subtle about its intention to take control of the United States’ political system and never relinquish it, I voted “straight ticket” for every Democratic Party candidate on the ballot. I know that this is probably not going to go the way I hope: Florida has become a Republican-controlled bastion over the past 50 years, so even though I voted against Governor Ron DeSantis, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (who, like me, is from Miami and attended South Miami Senior High) and Congressman Vern Buchanan, I will not be shocked if they win re-election. I voted against them the last time the Terrible Trio was on the ballot, and they still won.
Not surprisingly, I’ve seen several reports – especially from legal and political commentator Ferron Cousins – that warn of the Republican Party’s Trump-inspired tactic of “election denialism.” Many GOP candidates, especially those with close ties to the former President or have his “blessing” via endorsements, are on record as saying the 2020 elections were stolen and that Joe Biden only got in the White House by way of “massive” election fraud.
Worse still, there are candidates – Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, a former (and apparently once respectable) TV reporter, is one of the most prominent – who refuse to say if they’ll accept election results if they lose at the polls. Many of these candidates, including JD Vance in Ohio, Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, and Herschel Walker in Georgia, are purveyors of Trump’s Big Lie, and they’re even calling for restrictions on voting by mail in the name of “preserving election integrity.”
I’m not a big fan of “straight-ticket” voting, and when I voted in Florida as an independent – NPA for “No Party Affiliation” – I avoided doing it. I used to think that there were tenets of Republicanism that I agreed with, and that there were planks of the Democratic Party’s platform I went along with. Blind partisanship is never a good thing, and I tried to keep an open mind when it came to choosing elected officials, especially at the state and federal level.
Not anymore. Ever since the more radical wing of the GOP embraced Trump and his Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement during the 2016 elections, I’ve adopted a “never Trump, never Republican” political stance. Put simply, I cannot in good conscience vote for a man or woman who expresses such thoughts as
China is increasing its coal production by 300 million tons to avoid a repeat of last year’s power shortages.
Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to virtue signal, buying their solar materials and minerals from Chinese-controlled mines where 40,000 kids dig with their bare hands.
THE BORDER IS NOT SECURE!
Millions have invaded our southern border on Biden’s watch!
We must strip funds from the DOJ hypocrites being used for political persecution of J6 but ignoring BLM riots.
Republicans can not allow another political witch hunt to carry on like the Russia hoax.
Our voters will not tolerate it & nor should they.
Looking forward to NEVER having a democrat President AGAIN after Joe Biden…
Do these “conservative” politicians and shapers of public opinion sound rational and respectful of America’s democratic traditions?
Do they sound like they want to replace the current system of checks and balances, plurality of views, and mutual respect for all?
Do they sound like 21st Century fascists who want to destroy America’s democratic institutions – including a multi-party representative system, with equal rights for all – and create a one-party system that blends fundamentalist Christian theology, fascism, and autocratic rule?
That’s why I am breaking with my long-standing “Give Republican candidates at least a chance of getting a vote” position and “voting Blue” in 2022.
The United States of America is at a crossroads. We Americans must choose between saving our democracy and its institutions or sitting back and watching as fascism takes over and we become, for all intents and purposes, a one-party fascist authoritarian regime.
 Rubio, who is in the South Miami Senior High Hall of Fame, along with Univision reporter Sandra Peebles, is a Cobra alumnus from the Class of 1989. I graduated six years before Rubio with the Class of 1983.)