Now we come to it. I’ve known I’d have to write about this, and I’ve dreaded it. Normally, I’d say that who we vote for is personal, and nobody else needs to know. But I’ve been blogging about politics for the better part of a year now, and I felt it would be inauthentic to keep this decision to myself.
You all know, I’m sure, that my voting for Trump was never going to happen. In 2016, I voted for an independent candidate because neither Clinton nor Trump were acceptable choices. I rejected the “lesser of two evils” argument, partly because I found them both equally unacceptable, and partly because I wanted to cast my vote for a candidate, not just against another.
In the three and a half years since, Trump has continually shown me that I was right not to vote for him. I was convinced his performance as president would be bad, but I could never have predicted how abysmal, how shockingly, insanely bad it has turned out to be. His few conservative policy wins have not outweighed his many anti-conservative ones, and certainly not his erratic, counterproductive, self-serving mode of “leadership.”
I worried back then that a man like Trump would reflect poorly on the GOP, that his vices and low character would become synonymous with “Republican”—or worse, with “conservative” (even though he is nearly the polar opposite of a conservative.) I should have worried harder. Not only have his vices and low character continued and expanded, they’ve been excused, defended, and in many cases adopted by virtually the entire party.
By the time the impeachment trial was wrapping up, I was questioning whether I had been proven wrong in not voting for Hillary. Hear me out, conservatives. I don’t believe she would have been a good president. I share your visceral dislike and distrust of her. But if she had won, the party wouldn’t be in this mess. The Republican president wouldn’t bear the shame of impeachment. We wouldn’t have watched Republicans debase themselves by defending him with claims that were proven false over and over. We wouldn’t have seen a slew of Republican Senators admit that their leader had abused his power, and then vote to acquit him anyway. The entire Republican party would not now carry the stain of excusing Donald Trump’s inexcusable behavior over the course of this presidency. I’m convinced the party would be in infinitely better shape today if Hillary Clinton had won.
In early 2020, though I knew I wouldn’t vote for Trump, I still wasn’t sure who I’d vote for.
Then came the virus.
I watched the denial and dysfunction in Washington, watched the disease spread, watched the death toll rise, and suddenly, everything became very simple.
There has to be an adult in charge.
Before the virus, it was just politics. It was weighing principles against policies, and judges against moral judgments. Now, it’s life and death.
The pandemic made evident how very influential the President of the United States is, and how cataclysmic the results can be if the person in office is unfit to lead. We can’t keep a tantrum-throwing mantoddler at the wheel. Lives are at stake.
I keep hearing from Republicans and evangelicals that this is the most important election of our lifetimes. I’ve been hearing that about every election since 2000, but for once, I think they’re right. We can’t take four more years of this. The damage has already been too great, both to the GOP and to the nation.
I have never voted for a Democrat in my life.
I’m voting for Joe Biden.
I know this will strike my conservative readers as a betrayal. Please know I have agonized over this decision. Please allow me to explain my position.
The Republican Party has aggressive, stage four cancer. It has metastasized throughout the party. From the local level on up, the GOP is riddled with it. It will be fatal to the party unless something drastic changes.
Chemotherapy sucks. Nobody enjoys it. It makes you feel sick—often sicker than the cancer did. It’s basically poison, and it does some collateral damage to healthy parts of the body while it’s killing the cancer. But doctors prescribe it and patients take it because it’s better than dying.
Trumpism is the cancer. Biden is the chemo.
More accurately: an unequivocal electoral rejection of Trumpism is the chemo. Trump and his enablers need to be annihilated at the polls. The Republican party must pay so dearly for having embraced Trumpism that it never dares to do so again. That’s the only way for it to survive in any useful form.
Please understand this: I want the GOP to survive. We need (at least) two healthy, functioning political parties in this country to balance one another and represent Americans on both the left and right. We need a party that will hold back government overreach and keep taxes reasonable and vigorously defend the Bill of Rights.
But that party must have integrity. It must be trustworthy. It has to put the Constitution above any individual. The GOP has utterly abandoned truth, justice, and common sense in service to Donald Trump.
The party is full of cancer, and it needs chemo.
I disagree with Joe Biden on almost everything, policywise. Just one example: he supports California’s AB 5 law, which is ruining the livelihoods of a lot of freelancers, and which, if adopted federally, could probably bankrupt my family. But he is an adult. He is experienced. He has consistently displayed humanity and empathy—no one can make a compelling argument that he’s a malignant narcissist or a sociopath—and this alone makes him a far better choice than Donald Trump.
There are legitimate reasons to question my decision. I can hear many of you already. Let me address some of your rebuttals right now:
“But socialism!” Yes, the left is leaning more and more toward Marxism, and many don’t even hide it anymore. I’ll be honest: if Bernie had won the nomination, I wouldn’t be writing this article. I could not have brought myself to vote for a self-proclaimed socialist. Biden is not a Marxist. He may be left of us, friends, but he’s not a Marxist. Heck, just ask a Bernie bro how they feel about Biden. They hate his guts; he’s too centrist.
“What about Tara Reade?” I looked into her claims that Biden sexually assaulted her. If her accusations were believable, they would have been disqualifying. I don’t believe her.
“What about the hair-sniffing?”
Joe Biden does have a long habit of apparently invading the personal space of women and girls, and a Nevada assemblywoman says he made her feel uncomfortable when he smelled her hair and kissed the back of her head. I won’t offer a defense of this behavior. He ought to knock it off. I will say that if you believe this makes him unfit to be president, then I have some very bad news for you about Donald Trump. (Also, for the record, the woman in this photo calls Joe Biden a “close friend” and defends him.)
“What about Hunter Biden?” Biden’s son, Hunter, got kicked out of the Navy for using cocaine, divorced his wife to date his own brother’s widow, only to knock up another woman. He’s taken lucrative positions that were apparently bestowed on him solely due to his father’s prominence in the US government. Hunter Biden sounds like a real dirtbag. I’m definitely not voting for him.
“Isn’t he going senile?” Joe Biden has dropped some head-scratchers. And at 77, he’s no spring chicken. But he has struggled with a stutter since childhood, which can make some of his verbal blunders appear worse than they really are. And he has admitted he is a “gaffe machine.” I’m not going to ascribe to dementia what can be adequately explained by age and a stutter.
“What about abortion?” This one gave me more pause than all the rest combined. One of the reasons I’ve never voted for a Democrat is that I couldn’t justify giving my vote to someone who would advance abortion. (Many on the left believe conservatives oppose abortion because of a perverse desire to control women’s bodies. They are wrong. We believe abortion kills a unique and innocent human being, and therefore we oppose it.) I didn’t want to support any candidate who would hurt the pro-life cause. But I’ve come to believe that abortion is a spiritual and cultural issue more than a political issue. I didn’t learn until earlier this year that the number of abortions in the US has dropped every year since the Carter administration. It didn’t matter whether a Republican or Democrat was in office. Pro-life groups can make a much bigger difference by continuing to provide support for moms and babies than by voting for or against politicians.
(Also, I’ll note that under Trump, Republicans held the White House, the Senate, and the House for two years, and Planned Parenthood is still getting our tax dollars.)
Some of my pro-life friends will vehemently disagree. I understand. Unborn lives matter. But they are not the only lives that matter, and other lives are on the line, too; and as I noted, abortions are steadily decreasing regardless of who occupies the White House.
“Aren’t you flip-flopping by choosing the lesser of two evils now, after refusing to do that in 2016?” I suppose someone could make a pretty strong argument for that, yes. My defense is this: Joe Biden is not Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump has proven to be the most corrupt, incompetent, and unfit president in modern history. He has to go.
“Why not vote third party?” I wish I could—really, I do. The two party system is failing us. I hope I live to see it change. The Libertarian Party is running Jo Jorgensen, and honestly, most of her platform makes me feel all warm and tingly inside. If I thought she had any chance, this might be a very different article. In 2016 I did vote third party. But remember, my sole goal this year is to stop America’s bleeding and save the GOP by curb-stomping Trumpism. A third party vote won’t run up the score against Trump and his enablers. The cancer has spread too widely for me to adopt a “wait and see” strategy. We need chemo, stat. Also, if I were to vote third party and then Trump won reelection, I would feel guilty about it forever.
“Won’t he wreck the economy?” Conservatives rightfully fear Democrat rule due to their insatiable hunger for bigger federal programs requiring government expansion and massive tax hikes. Friends, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but the economy is already wrecked. The good news is he’ll have his hands full trying to get it up and running smoothly again, and his more progressive goals will likely take a back seat. Don’t take my word for it: that’s what JPMorgan thinks.
“If Biden wins, America will be destroyed.” People keep telling me that if Joe Biden wins, America will be destroyed. (I’m not exaggerating; word for word, this sentiment is everywhere on the right.) It sounds really scary. How will he end America, I wonder? By running up the deficit past a trillion dollars? By growing the national debt by trillions and trillions of dollars? Maybe he’ll start a costly trade war with China. Or use the power of his office to threaten private companies and attack individual Americans. Will there be mass unemployment? Citizens rioting in the streets? Ruthless government crackdowns on peaceful protestors? Will he throw gasoline on the flames of racial tensions by defending the Confederate flag? Will he accomplish America’s destruction by alienating and abandoning our allies? Or by heaping praise on the world’s worst tyrants? Will he convince millions of citizens that the free press is their enemy, so that they become incapable of distinguishing facts from lies and conspiracy theories? Perhaps he’ll mismanage things so epically that most of the countries in the world will see the US as a disease-ridden pariah and ban Americans from entering. Will he focus more on his reelection prospects than Americans dying by the tens of thousands? Perhaps he’ll destroy America by arguing that a president is above the law, and abusing his office. Maybe he’ll even have the audacity to claim that his authority as president is total. I’ll bet his party will fall in line as he does all of these things and more, and refuse to hold him accountable.
Truly, this is a horrifying thought. Can you even imagine such an America?
We should definitely do whatever it takes to stop this.
Give me the chemo.