I Voted

I’m currently in line to vote early. I have never experienced a line to vote early before. I don’t know for sure what this means, but my gut tells me it’s not at all good for the incumbent. 

I’m lucky my line is entirely indoors. While it is a crisp, sunny day, standing outside would be uncomfortable for any amount of time. Not unbearable, just uncomfortable. 

The people in line at the early voting location look like a cross-section of Champaign, Illinois. Some older voters, many in their 30s-40s, but not many young people in their 20s. Behind me is an elderly Asian gentleman. I passed an African-American couple walking out when I walked in. They are all here at this early voting location a half an hour after it opened on the first day it opened. 

I’m going to be here for a while. 

To no one’s surprise, I will cast my vote for Joe Biden for President of the United States. I was not very political until I was in graduate school, and then it was because I saw my professors scared to death about the ramifications of the first Gulf War. I liked Bill Clinton’s way of presenting and voted for him twice. I don’t remember voting for Gore, but I do remember the craziness of Florida’s hanging chads. I don’t believe I voted again until Obama in ‘08, and I’ve voted ever since. 

As I’ve gotten older, elections have mattered more. However, this one seems even more critical. The fact that I’m in an early voting line 15 days before November 3 tells me the American electorate feels the same way. The American people are voting and voting early. This feels like a movement. 

I have an affinity for “what if” games. If Joe Biden had run in 2016, I think he would’ve beaten Trump. I understand why he did not. Hindsight being 20/20, we would’ve been so much better off with him or Secretary Clinton as President. 

As it stands now, I’m happy to vote for Joe Biden. I would’ve been just as delighted to vote for Harris, Warren, Sanders, or any of the Democrats who ran. Ultimately, I’m glad it’s Joe Biden. He is an honest, good man whose life has been marked by tragedy and pain, and he’s used it to bring immeasurable empathy to others. He is exactly who we need at this moment to heal this nation. 

He isn’t perfect. He’s a tad bit slower since he ran around the White House as VP. He can be awkward. However, I also see a man ready to take on this job. A man prepared to help champion the next generation of leaders. He’s a bridge. In fact, he might be the absolute perfect personification of a politician we need right now. 

Joe Biden will be a fine president. If he has the full House and Senate, I think he can accomplish a great deal of good and begin the healing process. He was not my first choice or even my second choice. He did, however, pick my first choice to be his Vice President and, honestly, heir apparent. He won’t be a transformational kind of candidate the way Barack Obama was, and whoever becomes the first woman president. He’s an old white guy who rides down the interstate at 69 miles per hour and not a tick over. Still, the bottom line is he understands the President’s role and truly understands it isn’t about him at all. 

It’s going to take forever to pick up the pieces of these last four years. Joe Biden is the right person to be that bridge to the 21st century. With him at the helm, I see a period of transition into a new progressive government. He will gladly take the hand of the next generation and bring them up the ladder. 

A Biden administration will not be a non-stop, runaway train of crisis after crisis. You won’t go to bed wondering what illegal, racist, misogynist, ad infinitum crap he will have pulled overnight. How wonderful it will be to see that haze of melancholy finally burned away.

This country has been ill-served by having Donald Trump as president. We are not better off than four years ago. The world is not better off. And as much as I’d like to not lay the blame solely at the feet of this ignorant, self-serving bully, it’s all his. This moron never wanted to be president. Look at the photos when it was announced he had won. His face says it all: “Oh shit.” He hates every second of being president, and if he could have left somehow without losing face, he would have done it. Not to mention the criminal charges that are just waiting to be unleashed on him on January 20, 2021, at 12:01 EST. 

Donald Trump is a horrible person. I can’t even begin to remember all the awful things he’s done since becoming President. He is venal, corrupt, and quite likely a criminal. He should never have gotten close to the nomination, let alone the Oval Office. He’s going to go down as the worst president in the last 50 years and maybe of all time. I literally cried when it was announced he had won in 2016. I might lose my mind if he wins another four years. 

I have faith that he won’t. 

I have finally finished casting my ballot. The line never got shorter when I was in it and has now grown larger and larger. There is an apparent hunger to make our voices heard. We get to decide between four more years of corruption, criminality, incompetence, maleficence, and white supremacy or four years of the exact opposite. I feel confident in my choice.

I voted for Joe. I hope you do too.