Category Archives: Voting

Hot Air: Doing My Duty

A Democrat In A Democracy

I voted today in the Indiana Democratic primary. I swung up to Bloomington’s downtown early voting center at 7th and Madison. A nice lady came out and held the door open for me. She even offered me a wheelchair. (Jeez, do I look that decrepit? I guess so.) I walked in, laid down my ID, signed my name, grabbed a ballot, and started X-ing.

About as simple as swallowing a gulp of water…, er, well, maybe that’s a bad analogy because I still am not swallowing. In fact, I went and voted immediately after going to my first swallow therapy session at the IU Health rehab center. More on that in a separate My Olive Pit™ post later.

Now then, voting. You’d better sit down because here comes a major finger wag. I’m still as weak as a sick kitten. I can’t walk much more than a few feet w/o feeling as though I’m on the upper third of Mt. Everest. I still haven’t had a thing to eat — by mouth — in a month and a half. I still can barely talk. The list of chemoradiation side effects goes on. Yet still, I shagged my sick near-corpse to the polling place and did my duty as a citizen of this great and holy land. So I don’t want to hear anybody’s horseshit about how it’s too hard to vote. If you say that, you’re lying. Period.

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So, who did I vote for? I was most interested in the presidential race between Bernie and Hillary and the 9th Congressional District contest between Shelli Yoder and a trio of guys known primarily to their families and close friends. Some guy named Bill Thomas sounds like he accidentally registered to run as a Dem but would have been more comfortable running as a Tory. Another guy, Bob Kern, has run in previous Dem primaries for two other Indiana Congressional districts and had the bejesus beaten out of him both times. James McClure, Jr. was last seen on a milk carton. He, too, seems oddly out of place in a Democratic primary, ranting against “insane spending” and “big government.” Shelli was my choice, natch.

Truth is, I would have gone for Shelli even if she wasn’t running against that triad of stumblebums. She’s been putting in the long hours, pressing the right flesh, making connections the right way, all while maintaining a fairly progressive agenda. She surprised the Democratic field back in 2012, entering the primary race late but still swamping a crowded field. She lost the general election to Todd Young because, of course, this is Indiana. She’s learned a lot about politics since that defeat and, this being a presidential election year, Democratic voters just may decide to go out and actually, y’know, vote this coming November. She’s got a great chance to go to Washington for my money.

As for governor, mustachioed John Gregg is running unopposed in the primary in his second effort to best Mike Pence. I would have preferred Glenda Ritz as the nominee but she was an early dropout due to lack of dough. Too bad. Here’s hoping she can take the lessons learned and become a real candidate for guv next time. I didn’t even mark my ballot for Gregg because I loathe the idea of people running unopposed for anything. Same with Baron Hill, running unopposed for the Dem nom for US Senator. Democrats of Monroe County and the state of IN: get your act together, savvy?

As for Monroe County Commissioner, I’m going with Amanda Barge because I dig her on the issues and, yeah, because she’s a woman. Geoff McKimm is my choice for Monroe County Council because he’s an overall good guy and, too, we’re sympatico on the issues..

BTW: I did not vote for Mary Ellen Diekhoff for judge of the circuit court. As much as I can’t stand the idea of people running unopposed for office, I’m even more allergic to the wife of the city’s police boss sitting in judgement of cases brought before her by his officers. That’s bad juju, baby.

That leaves us with Bernie and Hillary. What a choice! And I’m not all that thrilled about it. I mean, I was jumping for joy at the opportunity to put an X next to Barack Obama’s name back in 2008. Hell, I volunteered for his campaign in Kentucky, which makes me a very courageous partisan indeed. This year, I’m not so enthused. Hillary is Richard Nixon redux. Bernie is a fist-shaker whose optimal place is in the Senate, raising hell, pointing out the inconsistencies and hypocrisies in Washington, and not worrying about bringing disparate groups together to get things done.

So, who did I X? This may shock you, since I’ve made a name for myself on social media telling rabid Bernie fans what pains in my huge ass they are, but I voted for Sanders. I had to. If we’re going by the issues, he’s my guy. He’s talking about the wealth gap, income redistribution, health care, corporatization, Wall Street privilege — all the bugbears that make us a nation that does not serve all its citizens. Hillary’s probably going to win the nom, and she’s the poster child for modestly liberal, let’s-keep-the-economics-game-rigged Democratic Party her husband essentially sired 25 years ago. Nevertheless, I’ll vote for her in the general election because the Republican opposition — no matter who it is — is too gruesome to even consider.

I’ll take a half a loaf over none at all.

As for all these Bernie-or-Bust people, here’s my personal memo to you: Use your goddamned heads, wouldja? If you think either America’s Shart, a megalomaniacal, unprepared, borderline sociopathic acquisitor of wealth or a theocrat who may or may not even be eligible to become president is just the same as Hillary, you’re nuts. Jump off the Bernie cult just as soon as she wins the nomination, okay? And, please, do me a favor — would you just vote for him in your respective state primaries (as I did, I remind you) and shut the fuck up about how Hillary is the most evil human of the 21st Century?