“That’s the Ticket” – Part II
There’s been a lot of pushback from hard-core progressives regarding “That’s the Ticket,” my post from last week about why people need to vote Biden/Harris.
As I said in that post, I believe as deeply as I’ve ever believed anything in my life that a second Trump term will spell disaster for our democracy and, more importantly, for our planet. Add to that the facts that he’s causing premature deaths of people through his actions and inactions on coronavirus, reinvigorating white supremacy, defying the Supreme Court….
Trump needs to go. Period.
But there are two more, deeper reasons to vote Biden/Harris. I’ll get to those in a minute.
The negative responses on social media platforms ranged from the succinct to the reasoned, which is to say they were all over the place.
- “Doesn’t matter who you vote for in North Dakota, Trump’s going to win it. I can vote for anyone. Won’t matter.”
- “Unless you live in a swing state, your vote doesn’t count, anyway.”
- “California will definitely go for Biden. I’m voting Green so the party can reach the 5% threshold.”
- “Are you kidding me? Head in the sand close your eyes to the knee on your neck while you grasp for life.”
- “He’s just as bad as Trump.”
- “Kamala Harris is worse than Biden.”
As a progressive I have varying degrees of agreement, sympathy and understanding for each of these statements. To wit:
- As a North Dakotan, my vote has never, ever counted in the Electoral College tally, even when my candidate ultimately won the presidency. This state hasn’t voted blue since 1964, four years prior to my birth, when it went for Lyndon Johnson. The state will go red again this year.
- I’m tempted to vote Green, too. In fact, I want to desperately.
- He’s just as bad as Trump? No. Not even close.
- On the contrary, Harris brings some strengths to the ticket.
But I get it. This is not where progressives like me wanted to be. Nevertheless, here we are, and we have a very stark choice: vote Biden/Harris and staunch the bleeding, or let the chaotic, destructive rule of Trumpism go on.
There Can Be No Doubt
It won’t be enough to vote Trump out of office. We need to turn him out in a historic landslide, for two reasons.
First, we need it crystal clear that Trump lost, no matter what kind of bullshit he comes up with for how the election was “rigged” against him. He’s laying the groundwork for any number of arguments right now, as you read this, and will pull them out as soon as it’s clear he’s lost on November 3. His pattern is clear: repeat the lie over and over and over until the right people believe it.
On Jan. 20, 2021, there can be no doubt that Trump was a one-and-done aberration. The loss needs to be so overwhelming that even Trump’s Republican enablers won’t be able to support his claims to another term.
We need to be able to pry the presidency from his slimy little fingers, under armed guard if necessary.
Overwhelming Repudiation of Trumpism
Second, we need an ass whooping so convincing that it’s an unambiguous and forceful repudiation of everything for which Trumpism stands.
The fact is, a frighteningly sizeable percentage (somewhere within 40-50 percent) of likely U.S. voters say they think Trump is a pretty darn good president.
Even if Trump loses – which is certainly not a given at this point – those people are still going to be around. Perhaps they won’t feel quite as entitled to spout off without their man in the White House, but make no mistake: Trumpism is not going anywhere soon.
It’s the culmination of 40-plus years of the right’s strategy to ensure this is a nation of haves and have-nots, from underfunding and demeaning education to rigging the criminal justice system against minorities to repeatedly passing economic legislation that favors the top 1 percent. Trump’s style simply made it OK to claim the philosophy publicly.
Through this election we need to tell Trumpsters, unequivocally, that our nation as a whole rejects racism, police brutality, sexism, gender and sexual orientation discrimination, anti-immigrant sentiment, nationalistic protectionism, economic, healthcare and housing inequality, denigration of societal and political norms and institutions, and on and on.
Because – mark my words – there’s another Trump waiting in the wings, figuratively if not literally, to step into any foothold that’s left behind.
Be a Patriot
We should have learned in 2016 that elections are unpredictable. You might think your state is going one way or the other, that your vote won’t matter, that it won’t hurt anything to go third party. But what if you’re wrong?
And what if it’s close? Either Trump will simply refuse to leave and have enough enabler support to stay, or we relive Bush-Gore with a Supreme Court stacked for the right.
I chose “C,” neither of the above.
Do the right thing. Cast the anti-Trumpism vote for Biden/Harris. A vote for anyone else is at the least a risk for another four years of Trump, and at the most an enabling action for future Trumpism or fascism by some other name.
To quote Sen. Harris: “Our children and our grandchildren will look in our eyes and ask us: Where were you when the stakes were so high? They will ask us, what was it like? And we will tell them. We will tell them, not just how we felt. We will tell them what we did.”
This is no time for fucking around. It’s time to stomp. Hard.
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Featured image by Johnny Silvercloud via Shutterstock