Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Vote for Joe

While I cast my ballot two weeks ago, today I am voting for Joe Biden in my heart. And I’m voting for him in memory of my father. No, Joe wasn’t my first choice, or my second choice. Gosh, probably not even third. But I do think Joe can be reasoned with and when needed pushed to do the right thing. I think he realizes the critical importance of this moment. And I think he knows that mere moderation alone will not make things better after the unprecedented corruption, blind incompetence and outright evil we’ve all endured. I say this because I believe Joe is a man of character. And my father was a man of character. He was the kind of man who could be reasoned with. A man who also believed in helping other people. A man who believed in education, science and passing along knowledge.

One of the many reasons I’m still so sad about my father’s sudden passing 16 years ago (including that he never got to meet my wife), is that he never got to see Barack Obama become president. My father, a scientist, was of course a life-long Democrat. He voted for so many losing candidates. Carter. Mondale. Dukakis. He loathed Dubya with a passion. But, as a native New Yorker, he naturally loathed Donald Trump more. I guess the smallest of silver linings is he never lived to see That Orange Stain become president. My poor dad would have been apoplectic watching a man he considered the ultimate bullshit artist terrorize America like this.

So, no, Joe wasn’t my first choice. But over time, especially since the primaries, I’ve gone from begrudging to fully resolved in my vote. Today in my heart I have zero reservations about voting for him. I say this because I believe Joe is a decent and kind man. Like, again, my father. Now, it may not seem like saying someone is kind means a lot in the realm of presidential politics. But, to be honest, these days I just long for decency. After four years of our fellow citizens, our neighbors, and all too often even our families rabidly cheering on a man who has hurt countless people – ourselves included – we are all too familiar with the concept of cruelty for cruelty’s sake. I want to believe that people aren’t all bad, despite reality screaming otherwise at me endlessly each day.

From the guy down the street to the politicians in Congress to our Hatemonger in Chief, we are bombarded with the mean, spiteful, bigoted, irrational, greedy and unhinged underbelly of America. On Nov. 3, we will finally start to know whether that ugliness truly represents most Americans, or we can find a soul and the will to make ourselves better and treat one another with actual kindness. Yes, decency is on the ballot. And, yeah, I welcome having a kind man be president. I mean, it worked wonders having a kind father. So go vote for Joe, America. Do it for everyone, because we all deserve the kindness. I know my father would have thanked you for it. Vote Joe.


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