Thanks To Trump

Sometimes a little good comes out of a lot of bad. When you are a kid, you break your arm and it is set in a cast. That is bad. You discover friends you never realized you had when your schoolmates sign your cast. That is good. I, like most native-born Americans took democracy for granted; Trump made me appreciate it.

There are a lot of things on the ballot in 2024. The two that are top of mind with me are democracy and a woman’s right to choose. A case is being made that the latter is really just a part of the former and I can see the logic in that position. In any event, I’ll concentrate on democracy today.

I started paying attention to presidential races at a young age with the 1960 contest. (I was way too young to pay attention to the last time we had a rematch in 1956. Although I do remember watching the end of Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. What does that say about me?) In that time, I have only seen two candidates that Americans largely voted for (Kennedy in 1960 and Obama in 2008.) In all other cases Americans primarily voted against a candidate. Perhaps that accounts for the fact that 21st century Republican candidates pretty consistently lose the popular vote.

In the 2020 election Donald Trump went 2 for 2 in losing the popular vote by millions yet attempted to overturn the results. He nearly succeeded which would have ended American democracy as we know it. He is currently the defendant in several trials all of which he is trying to delay in the hope that he is returned to the Oval Office and can use it as not a get out of jail free card, but a not even be tried card. None of that is within the concept of American democracy that I was raised to embrace and sadly took for granted for too long.

Just last Friday Trump summoned another Speaker of the House down to one of the scenes of the crimes, Mar-a-Lago, to “kiss his ring” and hold a lie filled press event proclaiming their joint commitment to free and fair elections. That is like Al Capone holding an event at a speakeasy to proclaim his commitment to obeying the prohibition laws. Oh, and the Mar-a-Lago menu was complete with word salads.

There is an old joke about how you can tell (insert the name of your choice) is lying. The answer/punchline is that their lips are moving. With respect to Trump, I would add that he posted a message, most likely on social media.

My late father was among the millions in the Greatest Generation who fought in World War II to preserve American democracy. Today I have the much easier assignment. My job is to vote against Donald Trump and for the preservation of American democracy by darkening the oval next to Joe Biden’s name which I intend to do on the first day of early in-person voting in North Carolina. Whatever the method in your state I beg you to join me in that effort!

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