Ready, Set, Vote
What I have to say here doesn't represent the congregation I serve. I write this post as a citizen of the United States and not as a pastor of a congregation. I want to make that clear so that everyone understands what I'm about to say.
Let me first say that electing a President is, in itself an important act, but every office is important, from school board to President. On our ballots, you may find candidates for state legislatures, county offices, local officials, judges, congressional representatives, senators, and of course presidential candidates. There may also be important bond and tax measures as well (we have a library millage in our community). Some of these offices will be partisan and some will be nonpartisan. While there will be third party candidates, they rarely win elections. People are welcome to choose those third-party candidates, but they need to understand the challenges posed by the form of representative democracy (republic) that the founders set up. That means it's difficult to elect third-party candidates. I know that some would like to change things, but for now, that's the way it is. This is especially true when it comes to the presidential election, which features the electoral college.
That leads me to my point regarding the choices that lie before us with the presidential election. Remember that in 2016, Donald Trump won Michigan by a little more than 10,000 votes. Both Gary Johnson and Jill Stein surpassed that number. I also understand that there were approximately 100,000 ballots cast in that election in which no presidential choice was made. Would it have made a difference if a majority of those 100,000 had voted for Hillary Clinton? This goes to show you that every vote counts. These votes must be informed votes.
Now, when it comes to the presidential race, the choices are stark. We have Donald Trump, the incumbent. He has his fans, but many of us believe he's an existential threat to the nation and perhaps the world. Then there's Joe Biden. Joe served as Vice President under Barack Obama. He was a Senator for decades. Here's the thing, Joe has his faults. He's known to make a gaffe or two, but he has demonstrated that he has the qualities necessary to be President. He can lead. he's shown that. He understands the world and the nation, having served as Vice President. Most importantly, however, is his compassion for others.
The current President is a narcissist who cares only for himself, and perhaps members of his family. Every relationship is transactional. Not only that, but he is the first candidate or incumbent in the history of the nation to refuse to agree to a peaceful transfer of power if the election doesn't go their way.
Vice President Biden is relational, not transactional. He understands people and their needs. He's not a perfect candidate and the current pandemic has limited his ability to get out and speak to the people. Nevertheless, I think he can bring back a sense of calm demeanor that the country needs.
What a contrast between the two.
So, as for me, and my household (we're all in agreement on this), we're ridin' with Biden. We're also supporting Gary Peters, Haley Stevens, and my good friend Padma Kuppa. When our ballots arrive, we'll fill them out and drop them off, so they can be counted!