You can almost feel my excitement jumping right off the page can’t you? Yippee. Yahoo. Whee.
Barring mishap, I’ll once again make the trek to the polls on Election Day, and while you may have guessed (correctly) that I’m less than overjoyed about it, a few thoughts seemed appropriate.
Oddly, for as imperfect a field as we have at the top of the ballot this time, I’m actually more enthusiastic than I was four years ago. That is indeed damning with faint praise, but still. If you’d have told a younger me that I’d ever see a ballot where I could not in good conscience cast a vote for a Presidential candidate I’d have figured you for nuts but that’s what 2012 brought me. My lingering regret over voting for McCain as the lesser of two evils four years prior was still fresh in my mind, I vowed not to regret a vote I knew was wrong for me again.
8 years later, I still regret that ballot for a lightweight like McCain.
4 years later I have no regrets about passing on Malleable Mitt.
And that brings me to this year’s ballot topper, and the odd journey to my vote/non-vote this year.
Without rehashing too much of the over-long primary season, half the clowns in the GOP clown car were non-starters with me from Day Zero. It took very little for the rest to eliminate themselves from contention one by one. Throughout the primary season I kept waiting for the last man standing with me to foul up, to step on any of several political third-rails that would eliminate him from consideration but he never did. Came close once at least, but I managed to forgive that slip under the great Southron tradition of “bless his heart, he just doesn’t known any better”.
And so on March 1st, with a middle finger thrust quite gladly toward the party establishment, I cast a pretty willing ballot for Donald Trump. Maybe it propelled him toward his eventual victory, though he never did thank me from stage or anything.
Have you ever heard me mention the notion that “nothing is ever simple”? Sure enough, DT decided to prove it.
It took him less than two months to find one of those third-rails with me that he’d somehow avoided. An ill-advised interview remark in late April in opposition to North Carolina’s HB2 effectively rendered the only candidate I’d seen any reason for hope from moot, a dead issue. Simply put, if you can’t manage to get something that obvious right then how in the heck can I expect you to accomplish anything meaningful? And from there, I basically spent the remainder of the year politically detached. I kept up of course (how could you miss the basics after all?) but it was with roughly the same detached feeling I have for the results of Dancing With The Stars or some other crap I don’t watch. It exists, I’m aware of, I’m just not worried about it.
It’s actually a fairly relaxing state of mind, that detachment. There’s a certain peace in a state of being where all hope is lost, so you just ride the whirlpool down the drain. I found amusement with it all wherever I could, mostly in the sad apoplexy that afflicted some of his detractors. At least there was comedic value there.
Then over the past few weeks I started to waver. The more handwringing I saw about Trump’s lack of political correctness, well, the appeal of tweaking that in the nose took on a new light. Maybe there is some purpose to be found in that particular vote. Trump is, after all, kind of a very lightweight version of me on my better days. He’s too lenient, he lacks a necessary amount of common sense, he isn’t remotely reliable on much (if anything) I care about … but there’s a comedy value at least. And, hey, he might accidentally stumble onto doing something right somehow.
I’ve wrestled with it for these past few weeks,and finally reached a conclusion. He’s woefully inadequate to the task of saving a country that’s been spiraling down the drain for so long that I don’t actually believe anything can stop the momentum, much less reverse it. Why not at least take advantage of an opportunity to extend that middle finger one more time, for not only myself but for all those who have known the right paths for America but strayed from them. The ones that know, deep down, he’s right more often than he’s wrong but they’ve lost the nerve to stand by that knowledge. He’s probably no more than an aspirin for a patient suffering multiple traumatic injuries, but that at least fractionally better than nothing. VERY fractionally, but still.
Plus, hell, literally NOTHING would be better than the other choices. You’d have needed to include the likes of certifiable idiot Sanders to have come up with a field worse than what Trump faces. I’d have happily moved to Illinois and died just so I could vote for Clinton twice against a nutjob like Bernie, if they were somehow matched head to head in November .. and I wouldn’t piss on her if she spontaneously combusted before my eyes. Luckily, it didn’t come to that, but I did at least have a plan in case it somehow came to pass.
So barring mishap or misadventure, I’ll stand in a long line with the rest of the overjoyed masses and vote Trump on Tuesday. If nothing else, one more rude gesture before what’s left of America disintegrates.
Otherwise, a very light ballot for me with no local contested races & few statewide. I’ll vote with great disdain for Isaakson for U.S. Senate, vote enthusiastically, though with no hope of it passing, for Amendment 1 (state takeover of failing schools), vote against a poorly and too broadly worded Amendment 2 (ostensibly assesses criminal penalties to go toward sexually exploited children but included an unwarranted ‘assessment’ (i.e. new tax) on legitimate businesses), vote strongly in favor of replacing the Judicial Qualifications Commission,and cast a blase vote in favor of directing existing taxes on fireworks toward trauma care & public safety.
There ya go. There’s my endorsements, such as they are.