Voting my Conscience

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The primary ballots for this year's election were mailed on Monday from our County Clerk, and so it's time for me to think in earnest about the Presidential election.

Here in Colorado, any registered voter may vote in any one primary. So as a registered independent, I can vote in the Democratic Primary or the Republican Primary. I strongly approve of this law, because in our strongly partisan political system, the Primary is where the real decisions are made. Given their current platform, there's no fucking way I would vote for a Republican for National office, because seriously, racist, bigot, misogynist, asshole much? But I would like the Republican candidate to be someone other than an amoral, narcissistic, stupid, incurious, lying sexual predator. Someone like Romney, for example. I rarely agree on policy issues with the good Senator, but at least   I believe he's a politician of good character.

I've never even heard of the Republican challengers to 47, and Colorado does not permit write-in candidates for President. So really, what's the point of voting in the Republican Primary?

Which leaves us with the Democratic Primary.

Cory Booker dropped out since the ballots were printed, so I have eleven to choose from for this primary, and here are my thoughts:

  • If you're an old, white, rich guy, you're out. This particular category of Boomers have done more than enough to screw up our nation and our world, and they are out of chances. So go home Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, and Bernie Sanders. Your time has come and gone. Accept it, and retreat gracefully. 
  • There are three women still in the race - Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi Gabbard, and Amy Klobuchar.   Having a woman in the White House would make my heart sing, but that's not a good enough reason for me to vote for one of them purely on that basis. 
  • There's one Black candidate, and I like what I've heard from Deval Patrick. He's moderate, and a negotiator who wants to heal the country. Unfortunately, he hasn't made any of the debates, so I doubt his ability to get elected against Trump, especially since a majority of Trump supporters have "issues" with people of color, bless their hearts. 
  • Pete Buttigieg is the youngest candidate, and the first openly gay Democratic Presidential candidate. I have to admit, I loves me some Mayor Pete. He's smart, thoughtful, moderate, and by all accounts a person of good character. I don't worry about his age, but I am concerned about his lack of national political experience, and his electability (see comment regarding bigoted Republicans above). 
  • I like Michael Bennett. I like him as my Senator, and I think he's a good candidate for President. However - electability. He's not very well known outside of Colorado. 
  • Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang are both Ritchy-Rich Rich. This doesn't necessarily eliminate them from contention with me, but it makes me look at them a bit harder. 
In all honesty, I think I'm going to just vote my conscience without regard to electability. The Republican Party has become the Party of Mean, the Party of "Fuck you, I've got mine," the Party of "We Don't Need No Rule of Law," the Party of "Character Doesn't Matter," the Party of "Let's Elect an Amoral, Narcissistic, Stupid, Incurious, Lying Sexual Predator and then Convince the Haters he's the Second Coming." Yeah. Fuck you, Republican Party. At this point in the political cycle, I'd rather have a Libertarian than you, and that's saying something. 

So I will absolutely vote for the Democratic candidate unless they're dead. And even then I might still vote for them. So in this primary election, I will cast my ballot for the candidate who most closely aligns with my values, and let the chips fall where they may. 

My Reasons for Gratitude, 2019

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

This year the Smart Man and I had an opportunity to go to Disney World with my Awesome, Awesome Niece and her staff. It was our first time, but the Smart Niece is an old pro, and spending that time with her and her parents is a gift to be cherished.

For Pride 2019, I joined a group of fellow LGBTQ+ allies at the Denver Pridefest to provide "Free Mom Hugs" to any and all who needed or wanted them. It was my first year doing so, and I found the experience emotionally exhausting, and utterly, utterly necessary and worthwhile. I'm grateful that I've come far enough on my grief journey to have the emotional fortitude to be able to do this work.

Our AFSP Out of the Darkness Walk team, Maureen's Marchers, were the highest fundraising group this year, and I was the #1 individual fundraiser. I'm grateful for the friends, family, and colleagues who donate in Moe's name in an effort to support and defend those who fall into despair. 

I also joined a group called "The Parasol Patrol," who provide escort and shielding services for LGBTQ+ youth who are attending events designed for the LGBTQ+ community. Not only am I grateful to provide support to this marginalized group, I'm proud that I have not yet allowed my anger and rage at the protesters who make my participation in the Parasol Patrol necessary get the better of me.

I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my hip this year, but it could have been in my spine, which is much harder to manage and would affect my mobility more severely. I'm grateful there's a surgical remedy for my decrepitude when it's required.

The Smart Man and I finally went to see an independent financial advisor. The one I had from Fidelity irked me, and we really like our new guy. We're in much better shape than we assumed, and while we still have some actions to take in order to retire in the style in which we'd prefer, we're absolutely on track to do so. I'm grateful to have the means to be able to plan effectively for my retirement.