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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

I Voted Today…

… and the honest truth is that I feel crappier about it than any other vote I have ever cast (and that’s saying something).

Take a trip with me, back to 2008.  If you’ve known me that long, you may recollect that I was a lifelong registered Republican, but I had bought into “Hope and Change.”  However, on the precipice of casting my vote for Obama, I waited with hopeful, bated breath for his VP pick.  And when it was Joe Biden, I said, “Oh, heck no,” and this voter swayed right back to the party she was registered to support (even though I didn’t have a lot of love for McCain, either). [i] 

Fast forward to the past year…

Much in the same way, I critically viewed all of the democratic debates and felt fairly sure that a candidate I could live with would emerge.  Having voted third party in 2016, and having decided (and declared fairly publicly) that I would never do that again (unless we come to some sort of ranked voting system at which point I will claim it is my prerogative to change my mind, given new parameters and information), I had essentially already decided that I would vote for whoever’s name graced the ballot for the democratic party this time around.  There were a few candidates I didn’t like, but I was fairly sure they would drop off in the early dropping off days (most did), and there were a few candidates I liked a great deal.  None of them were perfect.  I hold some positions that are apparently mutually exclusive with actually becoming a democrat (although, in full disclosure, that is how I am currently registered).  But looking at the wide field of possibilities, I felt pretty good about where things were headed.  At some point, I told my kids that it would be alright, because the only candidate left that I just couldn’t vote for was Biden, and it was never going to be him…

And then I found myself in an impossible situation, because I am 100%, without a doubt, a “nevertrumper” for life (please note, the very definition of never means never), I had made a really big deal about never voting third party again (see: definition of never), and I had also proclaimed that I would not vote for Biden and had backed that decision with my voting record, in the past.  Because I disdain lying and/or going back on my word; for the first time ever, I seriously considered not voting, but it didn’t sit well with me. I’m not a real fan of letting other people make decisions for me and living with the consequences.

There are many things I would like to say about politics.  There are many things I would like to say about my positions and how I justify the decisions I make.  I could go on for pages and pages, but I suspect this wouldn’t make much of a difference, because the vast majority of us are reading and listening to the biased sources that we think are most legitimate, and one more liberal leaning, pro-life, doctoral student, pastor, mama of many[ii] isn’t going to sway anyone in a blog post.  However, if you legitimately want to engage in a dialogue, I am always willing to do so.[iii]

I recognize that no one has to disclose who they voted for, but my MO is to do just that, with transparency, in hopes that we can have that charitable discourse and also in hopes that we might recognize that voting doesn’t always fit neatly into some predetermined box and it’s OK to cast a vote for someone who doesn’t meet all of your expectations or for someone whose ideals and policies don’t align perfectly with your own.  Just keeping it real, how many people are there out there who would meet these standards?  If I made this my baseline, I could probably vote for something like two people on the face of the planet, and neither of them is running for anything!

I voted today.

I voted Biden/Harris, because it was the best I could do.

I feel kinda crappy.

I still hope you go do the best you can do, too.   


PS  I have a whole roll of "I Voted Today" stickers for those of you who are voting by mail, like me!  Just send me a message and I will get one out to you!

[i] Actually, these were probably not my exact words 12 years ago, although they would be close, today…

[ii] Oh wait, just me?

[iii] By this, I do not mean if you want to make attempts to trip me up or change my mind.  What I mean is that I am willing to share my reasons for my decision, and I will listen to yours, if we can talk charitably with one another.

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