I am a proud progressive Democrat who voted for Ronald Reagan and George Bush The Far, Far Smarter One twice. And right now you are blinking your eyes.
With a nod to the proud people of one of my many home states, Maine: You really can get they’yuh from he’yuh.
For the next three minutes I am going to take aim and point my keyboard at fellow progressives who are talking about sitting out the 2020 Presidential race, throwing their support for some third-party candidate or worse yet, voting for Trump.
I am going to try this one time, and one time only. If you still won’t listen to reason I’ll make a special point at the end of the third minute to let you know what you can do to make yourselves feel better.
So how did I get he’yuh from they’yuh …?
I threw down with Reagan in 1980 because after serving my country in the Navy, I had one of those days while on the hunt for a job — any job.
I answered an ad and hitchhiked to a full-service gas station the next town over — the only kind they have in Jersey (another of my home states) — figuring I could draw a check pumping gas, changing tires and flirting with girls who owned cars, while I figured out how to get on with my life post-Navy.
When I showed up full of hope sporting my high-and-tight, crisply ironed duds, and my DD-214, the station boss waved me away, saying he already had 75 applications sitting on his desk. He was also into the third year of a gas shortage that jacked prices up and production (and profits) down. The guy had a lot on his mind.
Disillusioned but undaunted, I spent the next three weeks just like that, showing up for jobs and being shown the door until I was literally down to my last penny. That’s when I swallowed my pride with my Wheaties and grudgingly started collecting an unemployment check.
When November showed up, I bounced into the voting booth and proudly pulled the lever for Ronny. Reason? Survival. I wasn’t a Republican or a Democrat, I was just a dude looking for better. And while I liked Jimmy Carter then, and I do abundantly now, that dark cloud just had to go, so I did what little I could to remove it.
Say? Have you seen any dark clouds around lately?
Things got a little better for me after that election and worse for others. America …
I figure up until 2003, I was as close to an Independent as any American could be. Oh, I was a party guy alright. Just not a political one.
I had also long since become a journalist and knew for a fact that 98.6 percent of politicians were full of shit. Some just a little full of shit, others a lot. I didn’t talk much about who I was voting for back then, because it had no place in my job, and besides, who really cared? That’s what life looked like before social media, by the way …
Then 2003 happened.
I watched in shock and awe as one of these politicians did the most awful thing I had ever seen: Bomb the living shit out of innocent children for no other reason than to support some god-awful lie. I sat in disbelief in some newsroom while this made-for-TV mass-murder took place. And I said right then and there to myself, “Self? I will NEVER vote for a Republican again.”
Now 17 years later, I am re-committing my vow.
I still think 98.6 percent of politicians are full of shit on some level, but I know for a fact one party’s politicians get off on hurting people, animals and our planet.
After twice voting proudly for the very best president of my lifetime, Barack Obama, I voted for Bernie Sanders in the Wisconsin primary in 2016, before going with Hillary in the General. Then I watched in shock and awe again as Good was torpedoed on the morning of Nov. 9, 2016.
Like millions of you, shortly after I picked myself up off the floor, I committed to doing whatever I could to make sure that never happened again. (Note: I have not been a practicing journalist since 2012.)
Having already lost so much, we now literally had everything to lose.
So after passing the test in 2018, we were on to 2020 and the most consequential year of our lifetimes.
While I was doing my part to help elect Democrats, I was becoming quite certain that a woman should be our candidate to flush Trump. I liked all our female candidates, but decided on Elizabeth Warren because she was the smartest politician I had ever seen. She had a plan.
So I worked for her, spent treasure and shed what tears I had left when she bowed out.
Then I endorsed Joe Biden with the speed of a rocket, because on Super Tuesday America made a super statement: She was ridin’ with Biden. Now Joe wasn’t my first, second or third choice but he was the first choice for most, and more important he was the choice of the vast majority of black voters who have been carrying the Democratic Party on their sore backs for decades. Good enough for them? You’re damn right he’s good enough for me. Sign me up.
And Biden WILL beat Trump like a drum, but …
BUT some Progressives want their pound of flesh even after their candidates, Warren and Sanders, have supported Biden.
I am suspicious how many of these spoiled-rotten toss pots are really out there so willingly holding a gun to their own heads, but to those who are, be honest and ask yourselves right now who — Trump or Biden — would be a better steward of the issues you purportedly care about:
Russian Interference in our Elections
Pandemic Response …
If after considering this you still won’t at the very least hold your nose and vote for Joe Biden, as promised, here’s what you can do to feel better:
Go fuck yourself.