Happy Tuesday morning to all. Yesterday, Bill, who has been feeling under the weather, finally took a COVID test to see if he was infected with the virus. Some people who were TDY with him in Bavaria had gotten positive results. Sure enough, he’s got the bug, so he’s working from home today. I told him days ago that he shouldn’t go in to work, because he’d be spreading his germs. Did he listen to me? Naw. Oh well… guess my MPH degree didn’t help this time. 😉 Fortunately, he’s not very sick. He just has the pesky head cold version of COVID. So far, I’m not feeling sick, either, but then I had COVID a few months ago. Maybe my immune system is working. I’m glad we didn’t go out and do anything over the weekend.
I keep watching the news about the upcoming elections. There are some truly vile candidates running for office, which is worrisome for those of us who long for leaders who are respectable. However, even though I don’t like the MAGA candidates at all, I still firmly believe that people should be allowed to vote for whomever they wish. That’s part of being in a free society. I don’t like it when people try to tell me who I should vote for, so I try not to do it to anyone else. Yes, I express disdain people like Donald Trump, and I don’t understand the appeal of having him, or people who “lead” like him, back in office. But I still believe that people should be allowed to vote freely, even if I disagree with their choices. I feel that way because I want the same privilege for myself.
I was dismayed to hear about people in Arizona lurking around drop boxes, watching people dropping off ballots, taking pictures of them and their license plates, and in some cases, actually confronting them. This morning, Bill told me about an video on CNN about a woman in Arizona who was hanging out near a drop box and confronted two armed men. The woman in the story appeared to be on the liberal side of the divide, but there have also been some from the more conservative side, some of whom are bringing their guns with them. I said, “Eventually, someone is going to get hurt or killed for meddling in other people’s attempts to cast ballots.”
As I’ve mentioned more than once, things have changed a lot in my lifetime. I’ve been around for 50 years now, and I’ve never seen or heard of this kind of foolishness surrounding elections prior to the Trump era. People have lost faith in the voting system, and some of them are taking it upon themselves to interfere with the process. There’s actually a significant population that believes our elections are fraudulent, simply because Trump didn’t win in 2020. They can’t fathom why he wasn’t chosen over Joe Biden. I just don’t get it, though. To me, it’s very EASY to see why Trump didn’t win. I may not think Joe Biden is the most exciting or dynamic person to lead the country, but it’s least he’s a basically decent person.
Donald Trump has a history of corruption that runs for miles, and he’s a proponent for violence and disorder. He’s flat out expressed admiration for autocrats; he’s had many failed businesses and marriages; and he refuses to play fairly, even with our allies. Moreover, he doesn’t care about other people; he only cares about money and power, and he says and does embarrassing things that make the United States look like a Banana Republic. To me, this is very obvious. In my opinion, Trump doesn’t have any traits that good leaders possess. All he has is superficial charisma, which he uses to wind up people who are motivated by the same things that motivate him. But they don’t seem to understand that he doesn’t give a shit about them, and neither do his acolytes. Once those people get in power, they will proceed in screwing over everyone.
Still… I realize that these are just my opinions. I understand that other people feel differently. They think Trump is awesome, and they will vote for candidates who support him, like Kari Lake, who has said that she will only accept the results of her run for governor if she is declared the winner. I say, it is certainly their right, as Americans, to vote as they see fit without interference. All I want is the same opportunity. Fortunately, I voted absentee, which is still okay if you live abroad. I doubt the candidates I voted for will win, but at least I tried. And no one brandished a gun in my presence when I voted, because I did it in the privacy of my own home, in a country where far fewer people own weapons.
I still like to hope that there are still reasonable people in the United States. Even if they don’t like liberal policies, I would hope they would make a choice for sanity. I, for one, am not a big fan of extreme liberalism. Politically, I would describe myself as deep purple. But I am NOT ever voting for MAGA Republican extremists. They are dangerous, and they are turning my homeland into a place I don’t recognize. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. I long for the day when it seemed like the government was run by adults with a sense of decorum. Maybe those days are gone forever. Once again, I find myself glad that I never had kids.
The drop boxes are a good thing for people who can’t make it to polling locations. These are folks who don’t have access to transportation, sick, elderly, or disabled people, or maybe those who have to work when the polls are open. They are Americans, too, and they deserve the right to vote, just as much as someone more privileged does. For all of the complaining conservatives do about people getting “free stuff” and grifting taxpayer dollars, they don’t seem to understand that their “dear leader” is the biggest grifter of all. And people who are stuck in poverty are not inherently criminals or “stupid”. It’s not a crime to be poor, and someone who has the misfortune of being impoverished doesn’t necessarily “deserve” that fate. Drop boxes help make elections more fair, because they allow more people access. But conservatives are afraid that people who make less money– some of whom are non-whites– won’t vote for their candidates. They’re afraid that straight, white people will be less powerful, and less relevant. So they bring their guns to the drop boxes and meddle in other people’s voting.
When I read about these people with their guns, voluntarily taking it upon themselves to “oversee” the drop boxes, all I can think is that eventually, someone is going to get hurt. Someone is going to end up in prison because they have been misguided into believing in conspiracy theories. Some families are going to be forever changed, in a multitude of negative ways, because of that misguided belief.
I like to hope that some of the people who believe that the elections are rigged are, overall, decent folks. But then someone gets hurt or killed or even just psychologically traumatized, and it ends up in the news. It’s just ludicrous.
Anyway, our votes are on their way to Texas. I wish us all luck.