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  • Writer's picturePeter Dayton

10.29.20 Vote for survival

Dear Friends,

No particular updates on the music front, except I encourage you to explore the music of composer and harpist Amy Nam. She is a brilliant musician and I have been consulting her regarding harp idioms as I continue to write this latest song cycle. No, this is a blog post urging you to VOTE, either early in-person or in-person on election day (by drop-box if not early, in-person, and, if no other option is available, by mail) for Joe Biden. The other night I read a news story that encapsulated, in a single event, the entirety of the sham that is the Trump Presidency.

It is important to also include the follow-up.

Could there be a simpler way to illustrate exactly the betrayal that Donald Trump and the sycophantic Republican party have perpetrated, even against so many of those who misguidedly support that party? He has left so many of his supporters in the cold, and over 100,000 more citizens dead from COVID-19 than projected.

While we have lived through each and every one of the indignities, incredulities, injustices, crimes, and atrocities of the Trump administration, McSweeney's has diligently catalogued Trump's ignominious political career, so, in case you need a refresher, it has a comprehensive list.

Is there such thing as an undecided voter? Maybe all the ballots have been cast in Americans' hearts, if not at the polls (and even though Republicans from the state level to the Supreme Court are trying to stop these ballots from being counted, as many and as soon as possible.), but if not, I feel compelled to make my case, in the hopes that even one vote might be swung.

To be clear, I'm hardly starry-eyed for Biden. A pro-corporate, centrist, old white man with a history of harsh carceral legislation does not look like the leadership we need, even though Biden's standards of interpersonal decency now appear exceptional in the face of the boorishness and playground bully antics by the Republican party's leader and standard-bearer (such standards). But, unlike the nepotism, corruption, and incompetence that oozes out of every pore of the current administration, Biden seems bound to appoint actually qualified people to important cabinet and departmental positions (or even appoint anyone, as Trump has neglected to do during his 4 nightmarish years). Can you imagine having an Education Secretary who actually knows anything about education? Can you imagine having an EPA director who wants to protect the environment rather than enrich oil and natural gas interests? Can you imagine having a leader who will actually listen to scientists when there is a global pandemic? The deficits in basic competence are staggering, all in the service of getting America's wealthiest another tax cut, and reducing the Supreme Court to a circus amid the bid to throw millions of Americans off of their healthcare (with no plan to account for this), curtail women's bodily autonomy, and strip queer Americans of their rights in the service of the goal of Christian theocratic discrimination. What a bargain.

Voting for Biden/Harris is voting for basic survival - from there, the hard work begins of clawing back up out of the mess that Trumpist 'governance' has made out of the country for a start. Beyond that, even beginning to have meaningful policy conversations about poverty, systemic racism, gun violence, climate change, voter disenfranchisement, without a chronically insecure manchild in the highest office responding with a flood of shit. Voting for Trump endorses the selfish, omnivorously exploitative, racist, ignorant, institutionally-destructive chaos of his administration. He is evil and to vote for him to continue to hold this kind of power is endorsement and complicity in that evil. He has proven through his handling of COVID-19 that he literally does not care if the people who support him die because of his actions. His Omaha rally is just another example. He will kill you with his egotism, if not his own very microbes, if it gives him one more chance to smile for a camera and hear applause.

I, for one, would rather not see more people die of this horrific pandemic that has destroyed some many lives, hopes, dreams (and which a Republican-majority Senate cannot be bothered to take any action on). I would rather not see more people suffering. I would rather feel safe about being able to see my family on more occasions than a death in the family; maybe feel truly secure about the national response in a way that makes attending my younger sister's wedding seem like more than an optimistic fantasy; maybe look forward to actually traveling sometime after fall 2021. What is so shocking about the entirety of these last 4 years is how predictable are the outcomes of empowering the worst people possible. Through every terrible moment of this administration - the west coast wildfires, Hurricane Maria (and the subsequent earthquakes), the obvious snake-oil sale that was "The Wall," Charlottesville, the terrorist plot to kidnap Michigan's governor, tear-gassing protestors to get a photo-op, hundreds of thousands dead. All this for a one-percenter tax cut and some partisan hack judges? Sad.

Vote for Joe Biden. Vote blue down the whole ballot. The red of the Republican party for this electoral cycle is the stain of blood. Goddamnit, I want to live and I can only hope you do, too.


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