While reading the morning news I came across this question from The Guardian: “we’d like to hear from US voters about the issues that are deciding their vote. Why are you planning on voting the way you are?”
Good question. I know who I’m going to vote for, but nobody’s ever asked me why, so I haven’t formulated an answer until now.
I’m voting for the Democrats, and it turns out the reasons are simple and pretty straightforward.
Republican candidates on my ballot have gratefully accepted Trump’s endorsement. I won’t have anything to do with anyone who would shake the hand of that liar.
Republicans not only say they want to tear down the government, they do it. They defund every branch, they fire as many employees as they can get away with, and they rewrite government regulation to make everyone in government except them powerless. Their stated goal is to get government out of your business, but the effect is to leave only the elected officials in power with very little oversight, or no oversight at all.
I’m voting for Democrats because they’re the only practical alternative to Republicans. I could cast my vote for another party as a “protest vote,” but frankly the only protest I want to make at this point is keeping Republicans out of office, and the only way to do that is to vote for Democrats.
Got my COVID booster today. I know the pandemic is supposedly over, even though the Department of Health Services is reporting that, on average, 5 people in Wisconsin die each day from COVID. It seems likely to me that if there was a serial killer running loose who was bumping off five people every day and everyone could get a shot that would make them impervious to his bullets, they’d all get it. Or maybe not. The COVID pandemic has made me reconsider how smart most people might be.
I don’t have complicated feelings about abortion. Like any medical procedure, I believe it’s none of my business whether someone chooses to have one, and I further believe it’s not the business of the state of Wisconsin nor any other state to tell its citizens whether or not they can have an abortion. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn Roe vs. Wade, revoking the right to abortions, will maim and kill thousands of women who don’t have the access to seek safe abortions.
After the Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriage legal I felt hope that maybe the United States might actually become a better place, but that’s not a hope I feel any longer.
It’s not that they said something cold-hearted, like, “It’s a cost-saving measure. If we cut free meals, we not only save the cost of purchasing the meals, we also save the cost of employing the people serving the meals, and we can use the cafeteria space for other activities.” That would have been merely cold-hearted.
It’s that they thought somehow it would be better to say evil shit like, “We don’t want to feed kids because they’ll come to expect it,” or “We don’t want to spoil kids by giving them something, like food, that they don’t deserve.”
When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade
We’ve braved the belly of the beast
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished
We the successors of a country and a time
Where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one
And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn’t mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another
We seek harm to none and harmony for all
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division
Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid
If we’re to live up to our own time
Then victory won’t lie in the blade
But in all the bridges we’ve made
That is the promise to glade
The hill we climb
If only we dare
It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it’s the past we step into
and how we repair it
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation
rather than share it
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy
And this effort very nearly succeeded
But while democracy can be periodically delayed
it can never be permanently defeated
In this truth
in this faith we trust
For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves
So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it
— Amanda Gorman, “The Hill We Climb,” recited by the author at the inauguration of Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris, January 20, 2021
Dane County is locked down as of today. Indoor gatherings of any number of people are prohibited unless you live with them; outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people, and then only if you observe distancing and wear masks.
The Wisconsin Department of Administration extended restrictions for government workers until April 12, 2021: all meetings, conferences, trainings, basically all get-togethers are prohibited, and everyone must telecommute if at all possible.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported another record number of new COVID cases today: 7,989, the highest number of new cases on any day in Wisconsin. That’s not too far off from the average number of daily positives, 6,564, which continues to trend upwards (5,984 last week, 4,839 the week before).
The daily number of hospitalizations and deaths was not a record but continues to trend upward. The average number of hospitalizations per day jumped to 227.6 (was 202.9 last week, 182.4 the week before), and the average number of deaths per day is up to 48 (was 43 last week, 37 the week before).
And Governor Tony Evers extended the mask mandate. The legislature continues to block him from doing anything more, and sits on its hands rather than pass any bill that addresses the crisis.