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My Unusual Vote

I voted in my first presidential election in 1968.  I have voted in every presidential and off-year election since. I have voted for Democrats; I have voted for Republicans; I have voted for Independents. 

Not this year. Not this election.

In previous elections, I have asked myself a few key questions that determined my vote. Is this candidate a basically decent individual? Does this candidate seen to care about me and my fellow Americans? Will this individual do the right thing at the right time as best as they can determine the right thing to do? I have not always agreed with every policy stance of the candidate I voted for. But I always cared about their character.

For me, Trump fails my character test as does every Republican in the House and Senate.  So, for the first time in my voting history, I am voting for every Democrat on my ballot.  I am rejecting every Republican.

For me, there is no longer a Republican Party. There is only the Cult of Trump. The Cult of Trump has presented no campaign platform, articulated no guiding principles, defined no coherent policies. There is only homage to a narcissistic demagogue.   There are no longer any Republicans in Congress. There are only Trumpers, a collection of sycophants, hangers-on and yes-men and yes-women. For me, Trumpers in the House and Senate are enablers who have assisted a corrupt president in undermining our most basic democratic institutions, in promoting white supremacy and racism, and in using fear mongering to sow division and discord. 

I actually don't like voting a straight party ticket. I believe in the concept of checks and balances that the Founders established. I worry about one party controlling both houses of Congress as well as the White House. So I have liked having a division of power that permits one branch of our government to help modulate the other two.

Not this year. Not this election.

For me, Republicans in Congress, through their deafening silence and willful compliance, have violated their oaths and abdicated their responsibilities to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution.

I know that only a third of the Senate is up for reelection, and that some Republican Senators are secure in their states. But I hope a few get tossed out. Perhaps if the Republican Party is overwhelmingly defeated and loses all three branches of government, the party may experience a shock wave that might clear the way for a few new leaders to emerge who can articulate a more thoughtful and principled agenda.  Only then, will we have a viable two-party system that restores a genuine system of checks and balances to our governing process.

I wish that I could approach this election and my vote as I have in the past. 

Not this year. Not this election.

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