• Someday I suppose I'll give in and sign up for an absentee ballot, just in case I happen to be out of town on Election Day. But "the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November" is right there in the Constitution, and I much prefer to vote on Election Day itself. I took advantage of Early Voting the first year it was available, and it felt so wrong I've never done it since. Besides, I like the camaraderie of voting at our local polling place. I can walk there. I see neighbors there. It makes me feel part of a community.
  • You'll never know who I'm voting for tomorrow. You may guess all you want, but you are as likely to be wrong as right. I've been a Democrat all my voting life, but was always just as likely to vote for some other party. I've voted for people from parties you've never heard of—and parties I don't remember. (Hmm. Isn't it a bad sign if you don't remember the party after it's over?)  I don't understand voting for a party at all; I belong to one so I can vote in the primary. In any case, I'm a huge believer in the secret ballot. It helps keep the powerful from threatening the weak, and friends from disowning each other on Facebook. Besides, at the moment even I don't know how I'm going to vote.
  • Right now I'm almost wishing I'd voted absentee. Back then I felt freer. I was certain the election would be a romp for Clinton. I agreed with Porter, who insisted that Trump would be the Biggest Loser since McGovern. Thus I thought we had the luxury of voting our consciences—making a statement, telling both parties that we're not going to dance to their music if they keep coming up with tunes that make a toddler crashing pans together sound like Mozart. But now it appears that our votes might actually count, which means we have to be more responsible. The trouble is, that which appears to be the responsible decision changes daily, even hourly.
  • To my shame, I realized that what I'd rather do is vote selfishly. That is, I want to be able to say, It's not my fault; I didn't vote for him/her.
  • Here's a fun little quiz to see how the various candidates align with what's important to you.  I'm not sure I believe it entirely, but it is much more nuanced than most such surveys.
  • Porter came up with an interesting thought experiment: Suppose there were only four candidates: Clinton, Trump, Johnson, and Stein. Suppose further that the only vote that counts is yours. Whomever you pick will be the next President of the United States. For whom would you vote?
  • Much to our surprise, we both picked Jill Stein, with whom each of us disagrees on almost every issue—on the grounds that she would be in a position to do the least harm. Not that her ideas aren't dangerous, but she'd be less likely to be able to implement them. Does that mean I'm voting for her?  Your guess is as good as mine.
  • I think what scares me most about Clinton is not so much her ideas, but that she's likely to be able to put them into action. If I knew for certain that after this election the Republicans would have control of both the House and the Senate, I'd probably vote for her. Likewise, if I knew both houses would be Democratic, I'd probably vote for Trump. Unlike many of my friends, I do not mourn when the "obstructionists" make the president work hard to implement his ideas; I believe that's their job. When all the branches of the government agree too easily, mistakes are more likely to be made. One thing going for Trump is that so many people—especially politicians—hate him that even a Republican-controlled Congress would tend to rein him in.
  • This election is déjà vu all over again, only on a much larger scale. In the 2010 gubernatorial race, Florida voters had to choose between (1) a female, career politician with whom many of us had serious problems (and, I kid you not, who cheated during a debate), and (2) a brash, male, businessman who was a surprise candidate, spent vast quantities of his own money in his campaign, was involved in a business scandal, and was pretty much universally disliked by the political establishment. That was another election in which I made up my mind at the last moment.
  • Which is worse, a loose cannon randomly shooting at friend and enemy, which might even explode and sink the ship, or a powerful cannon aimed unerringly at the city in which our children and grandchildren live?
  • For the first time, I'm tempted to do a write-in vote. I've thought of writing in my true choice: Noneofthe Above. More seriously, I've thought of Ben Carson, who at least shows strength of character, integrity, and the ability to think well in highly stressful situations. But that feels like an abdication of my responsibility, since it is barely more significant that not voting at all.
  • Speaking of Ben Carson: When he was running, where were all the people who told me I was racist if I didn't support Barack Obama?
  • I feel as if we're caught in some twisted variation of the Prisoner's Dilemma, in which following the optimal strategy leads to sub-optimal results. 
  • Fortunately, there is very little correlation between a person's moral rectitude and his ability to do a good job as president. That makes no sense to me, but in my own voting life I've seen good people (Carter, Bush #2) do a terrible job as president, and questionable folk (Reagan, Clinton) do a commendable job. For this reason, I don't worry all that much about the outcome of tomorrow's election. I'm much more concerned about the increasing divisions in our society, stoked by the mainstream media, social media, and self-interested fearmongers everywhere. But that's another post.
  • Most of all, as a Christian, I know that bad times will come, and good times will come, and neither our responsibilities nor God's care are dependent on the results of tomorrow's election.
  • My most consistent prayer, with regard to our political situation, has been that we will get our leaders according to what we need, rather than according to what we deserve.
  • Whatever happens tomorrow, how we treat our neighbors will always be much more important than who wins the election.
Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, November 7, 2016 at 11:16 pm | Edit
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Comments

Yes, I imagine a Republican controlled congress would rein in Trump as you put it. But would Trump rein in a Republican controlled congress?



Posted by Don Sigwalt on Tuesday, November 08, 2016 at 12:17 am

After reading the above, I believe the most important thing you have said is this: "Whatever happens tomorrow, how we treat our neighbors will always be much more important than who wins the election."



Posted by Diane Villafane on Tuesday, November 08, 2016 at 5:33 am

That's what I think, too, Diana, which is why it's at the end.

Don, as I said, I'm suspicious of any situation where one party has too much power. But I have very little fear of the need to rein in Congress, be it Republican or Democratic. The Legislative is the weakest of our three branches; why, they've even all but conceded to the Executive the right and responsibility of declaring war! America's Executive branch has far too much power, as does the Judicial. Maybe someday the Legislative will shake itself, arise, and find itself powerful—that's when I'll worry.



Posted by SursumCorda on Tuesday, November 08, 2016 at 8:25 am

I did it. I voted. Here's the multiple choice question of the day: Did I

(1) step out in front of a train?

(2) step out in front of a semi?

(3) stand tall in the middle of the path, waiting for someone to come along and push me in front of one vehicle or the other?

(4) step out in front of a car on the way home from the polling place?



Posted by SursumCorda on Tuesday, November 08, 2016 at 11:25 am
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