Since 2015, I have often written to warn about the dangers inherent in a Trump Presidency. I will not repeat all my previous arguments here today. We are past that.
Some people have criticized Democrats like me for being against Trump so fiercely and so early. In my case, the reason for that was simple: I looked at the same data that was available to everyone and I decided that given his history and character, his presidency would be a disaster. If anything, he has been even more destructive than I imagined. His GOP sidekicks have been far worse in terms of keeping him in check than I could have dreamed. My resistance to Trump was not a result of “kneejerk liberalism.” It was simply an informed prediction. Isn’t that what we should expect from informed voters?
On September 4th, early voting began in North Carolina. Many other states will begin in the coming days. It is time for people to take a stand. That is why I want to make this final plea.
In the weeks prior to the start of early voting, Trump took steps and made statements about the coming elections that every citizen who truly cares about their country should stop and consider closely. To me, they were totally disqualifying, but voters will be the final judge of that.
The right to vote is the single most important right conferred by US citizenship. It transcends every other right. It is fundamental. To take that right away, or to cheapen it, is an attack on Democracy—pure and simple. It just doesn’t matter what issues you care about, what party you belong to, what policies you believe in, or what judges you prefer: without the right to vote you have no voice. If people don’t have a voice, then democracy dies.
First, Trump attacked the validity of “vote by mail.” These systems have been proven to be safe and secure and functional in many states for many years. I have personally watched our system in Lincoln County. As far as I could see, no invalid vote was counted AND no serious attempt to vote was thrown out on a mere technicality. Second, his administration challenged the legality of early voting in Nevada (trending blue) but said they were fine in Florida (his home state where he votes by mail himself). Third, his new postmaster general (unqualified for the job except for being a big Trump donor) started a general attack on the postal system—intentionally slowing down mail delivery and calling into question whether ballots would be received on time. Fourth, on the day before voting began in North Carolina he openly advised his supporters to vote twice (that is, to commit voter fraud). Then, AG Barr (who has been supporting Trump’s false claims about the dangers of voting by mail) said this fraud was OK (even though his own DOJ immediately said he was wrong).
Please be clear about this. Voting is not a partisan issue. A vote for Trump is a vote for someone who wants to take legitimate votes away from US citizens. In doing so, he is violating our most basic and sacred right. He is attacking the very foundation of our democracy. Without going into any other “political” issue, there are two ways to look at this.
First, we probably all have neighbors, friends, and family whom we like and respect, but with whom we don’t agree on politics. Fine. We sit together at Thanksgiving and don’t talk politics. But do you really want to look at these people and know that by voting for Trump, you were basically voting to take THEIR right to vote away—while you kept yours? Second, lots of folks who don’t like politics love sports. For every game there are rules. It doesn’t matter what team you like more; the game only matters if there are rules. When the rules are corrupted, when the referee is bought, when the game is thrown, all the fun goes out of it. It is just a dirty, rotten spectacle. It stinks.
This is where four years of Trump has brought us. It’s pretty clear that another four years of Trump would just get worse. A vote for Trump is a vote to end democracy. So, if you ever want to vote again, and feel your friends, family and neighbors should have that right too, then you owe it to yourself and them to vote- and not for Trump!