40 thoughts on “Election Day Open Forum!

    • The fact is we really don’t know what the polls say. I’ve been believing them, but now suddenly they appear to be tightening, leading to the possibility that there was fake push polling going on. More to the point, why is everyone so afraid of violence afterward if Biden has it in the bag and the only thing left to be decided is how many judges and justices to add?

      • Also left to be decided: how many blue states and blue senators to add. I bet even the Democrat machine in California is thinking of splitting their state into two. As long as the inland red vote is diluted, and the coastal blue vote is predominant in both new states.

  1. Again this year, the ethical choice would be to refrain from voting. WAIT! That’s never the ethical choice. Voting is not only a cherished right, it is a civic obligation. So, what is the ethical choice? A deeply flawed and clownish President who has (as several before him) demeaned the office but (unlike most politicians) tried to do what he said he would do? Or a deeply flawed and declining former Vice President whom the media has failed to thoroughly investigate…leaving the country open to mischief from foreign countries (e.g. China) if recent allegations of family entanglement have any truth? That, folks, is the dilemma. But I think one must choose between those two because, this election, doing what I did in the last election (protest vote for third party candidate) is indeed a wasted vote. So, for whom did I vote this morning? (I do not personally believe in “early” voting as I want to be able to assess any late surprises). I am following my dear late mother’s example: the ballot is a secret ballot. Choose your own “poison” based on your own analysis of the policies, ethics, character, and possibility (as very limited as it may be) of promoting civility and informed dialogue. Now, vote.

  2. I voted for the candidate who has demonstrated fidelity to his promises as a politician. I voted for the person who prefers fewer regulations and mandates than the one who advocates for more. I voted for the candidate who does not seek to ban the articulation of ideas that a small number or a large number deem offensive. I voted for the guy who promotes innocent until proven guilty and equal protection under the law. I voted for the guy that sees national sovereignty preferable to global governance. I voted for the person most likely to protect and defend the Bill of Rights and our Constitution. I voted for the person who has the most qualified second to step in should anything happen to him. I voted for a person who has a demonstrated track record of actual accomplishment.
    Yup? I am keeping my ballot a secret so I will leave it up to others to figure it out.

  3. This is my last comment for the day. My last blog to visit, and my last “on line experience” for today. I am not watching TV or tuning in to ANY media today. I’ll pick it up again either Wednesday morning or Wednesday afternoon. I am even going to refuse to read the Houston Chronicle of Wednesday, until late that day or sometime Thursday. Too late for this morning, I have already started reading today’s paper.

    There is nothing more to anticipate about the elections nationwide, other than the inevitable. Assholes are going to win; assholes are going to do ALL the talking; assholes are going to be fighting assholes; assholes are going to monopolize power and wealth. Mix together enough assholes, and PRESTO! The nation, or what’s left of it, will continue to devolve into a shithole. It’s a sick, dying empire.

  4. I live in Oregon, which lays claim to 7 electoral votes for U.S. President. The last Republican President voted by Oregonians was Ronald Regan in 1980 and again in 1984. I have no imagination or illusion that Oregon will ever vote Republican again. Except I wonder how many smart, practical, reasonable, normal, decent Democrats (who are also business owners, professionals, husbands, wives, other preferences, etc.) actually believe voting for Biden/Harris (Harris/Biden) will ever help make Portland, Oregon the amazing and beautiful Metropolitan City it once was when it first captivated and enticed me to move here in 1990? I believe my vote for President will once again NOT matter here in Oregon. So what did I do? On Saturday I mailed-in my Ballot directly with the Postal Clerk, with my choice for Donald J. Trump and running mate Mike Pence. It still matters to me.

    • I live in NJ, whose 14 electoral votes last went to the GOP in 1988 when George H.W. Bush won in the afterglow of Ronald Reagan. Since then we’ve elected and reelected 2 GOP governors, but the electoral vote hasn’t flipped back once. The fact is that the numerous small to middle-sized cities with sizable minority populations and liberal mayors (who can’t seem to stay out of trouble, but that’s a separate issue) will always outvote the rural west and northwest and the last GOP enclave in the east along the northern shore. That went double when Obama was at the top of the ticket, and every black person turned out to vote for him, although putting him at the center of the advertising for the governor’s race in 2009 didn’t save John Corzine.

      The mayors of these cities don’t want them flipping, so they keep a lot of low-income housing, make sure the schools stay crappy and charter schools are hard to run, and play the race card every chance they get. This keeps the black and brown concentration strong, makes sure that young adults don’t stay long after they have children (and might start to become more conservative), and convinces the minorities the cities are the best place for them to be, where their concerns are understood. They also lean on the business owners and convince them that it’s in their best interests to play ball with the mayors, otherwise they might start getting tickets for having dirty sidewalks or desired licenses, permits, etc. might start getting caught up in bureaucratic red tape.

      I could cast a protest vote if I wanted to, but I’m not casting one against the two party system, who no one will know about or care about. Only two choices, and I might as well go all in.

  5. This might only border on a discussion about ethics but here goes.

    I voted this morning and other than the longer than normal line to get into the polling station it was actually a pleasant experience for me, that’s something that hasn’t happened for me at a Presidential election in a very long time. My plan to vote based 100% on policy was implemented, I cast my votes, my conscience was completely clear that what I was doing was correct, and I was able to walk out of the polling station not feeling like I had to perform a post vote purge.

    While I was inline and in the polling station I did what I normally do, I observe. I watch the crowd and engage in casual conversation with those around me. But today the overall the mood was quite somber and resolute and that struck me as being a bit abnormal for the people in my small town, usually people around here are open to casual conversation while waiting in line to vote people around here are generally very friendly, not today, something was very different! Something I noticed above the top edge of many of the COVID-19 masks covering absolutely every voters mouth and nose in our south central Wisconsin town (County mask order in effect) were the eyes of voters, almost all of the eyes looked like their face was all tense and they were almost terrified to be there, it was rare to see happy eyes.

    Our town has morphed and not in a good way.

    I’ve been noticing over the past year in our local grocery store, at the gas station and just walking around town that people are not talking with each other like they used to. This was definitely changing before COVID-19 hit the USA. What I saw at the polling station was so far out of the ordinary for around here that it kind of stunned me; I don’t know whether it’s fear of COVID-19 or fear of the outcome of this election or fear of bigots lashing out at them for their opinion but something has changed in our little town. People are isolating themselves inside a little shell around them and if this is a sign of a morphing societal change that’s driven by fear it’s terrible.

    I know that a simple way of defining ethics is moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity but are we seeing our society morphing away from “ethical” behaviors in favor of individual isolation and massive group division?

    I’m really concerned about the future of our society.

    • Steve, I think masks have a HUGE impact on how people behave toward each other in public. Only seeing people’s eyes is very disconcerting. I think we “read” faces more than we’ve ever realized. I guess we are trained (bred) to assess threats based on people’s expressions. With masks on, that’s impossible. I think we’re just naturally leery of masked faces. The lack of very important and usable data is alarming to us, largely subconsciously, but not very far below the surface.

      • Other Bill,
        I agree with everything you wrote; however, I did also write this as part of my comment…

        I’ve been noticing over the past year in our local grocery store, at the gas station and just walking around town that people are not talking with each other like they used to. This was definitely changing before COVID-19 hit the USA.

        This was happening last year. I distinctly remember this last summer and thinking that it was weird for our small town community. Even my neighbors and I used to share friendly waves have closed off and no longer wave anymore. It just seems to me like the camaraderie kind of friendliness has been significantly deteriorated over the last year to year and a half and people have been digging into their own little worlds. Even unmasked faces don’t seem to smile as much anymore.

        It’s an observation; are we as a nation becoming more much more introverted?

        It’ll be interesting to see if it reverts back after COVID-19 goes away and politics are not so damned poisonous.

        Ran across this a couple of hours ago; When your presidential candidate loses, here’s what to do

        • I guess I didn’t notice it until the mask thing. Arizona’s still a pretty friendly, easy going place. People say please and thank you and wait in line and don’t jump queues.

    • Thanks Steve. That little confection hit the spot. As we often said of clients, “He may be an asshole, but he’s our asshole.”

  6. Here is my question of the day. Sorry, but you need some exposition.

    I have a family member who has stage four TDS (frankly, on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being willing to discuss positions that disagree with your own though you include a great many invectives and 10 being incapacitated by hatred to the degree that you won’t play bridge because of trump cards, her stance requires exponents) who had a post on Facebook today urging everyone to vote. Her claim was “Vote for Life” with pictures of a black guy with someone on is neck, a hospitalized person with COVID, a drowning polar bear, and a person standing with a rainbow flag. She has stated that anyone who disagrees that Floyd was killed by cops is a racist and she will act decisively to remove their racism. She has also said that voting for Trump is the same as committing genocide. She is willing to cut her sister out of her life, just for asking the question of, if a man overdoses in the custody of police, is it really racism that killed him. She then accuses anyone who might think that voting anything other than Democrat for any government position at all as guilty of crimes. Nothing, in her view, is acceptable other than a 100% Democrat government and if even a single Republican keeps a statewide position, much less a federal one, it is a sign that we live in a nation that is too racist to exist and must be eradicated (with totalitarian methods that she claims are the only way to protect our rights). She is already claiming that Trump is harassing voters, and that if he gets more than 20% of the vote, it will be through intense fraud, worthy of throwing him and any who voted for him in prison for life. I won’t say that the right doesn’t have some bad folks too, but every one of my former friends on the left of the political spectrum is acting like she is the most reasonable person available. Aside from her hundreds of Faceboo likes, she has recieved a great many accolades on how she is the perfect example of professionalism and reasonable behavior. How she is treating those who disagree with her as better than they deserve and how she is almost too kind in her pronouncements. As a note, she is the wife of a prominent Democrat in her state and he and his cohorts make her seem sane and Trump seem like the most polite, restrained, and gentlemanly man I’ve ever met.

    This woman is now claiming that anyone who says MAGA, or wears red, or claims Trump is not a (fill in big lie here) with any amount of data to back it up, or even mentions the Biden laptop issue, is engaging in voter suppression. She has said that we need re-education of the deplorables who would consider Trump. That is, she says, the only way we can avoid being overcome with fascism, totalitarianism, and racism.

    How do we deal with people like this moving forward? How do we keep the American experiment alive when people like this, at least in my life, seem very common?

    • Ask her if she embraces the ideals of tolerance or does she believe intolerance is acceptable if you believe something is morally reprehensible.

      That should be a good starting point to discuss different perspectives.

    • Hi Sarah. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. A lot of us are, especially with those we really love and care for who we thought love us too. It can be downright painful to deal with such vitriol and intolerance.

      -For me, I like to take a deep breath and pause when I hear stuff like that.

      -Personally I don’t do social media because I like my loved ones better when I don’t know much of what they think unless we’re face-to-face.

      -While this is an ethics blog and not a religious one, the reminder that, “they know not what they do” helps me to forgive.

      -However imperfectly, I try to treat the person with the respect they may chose not to give. I find what’s inside a person always comes out in the end. If someone is being butt-hurt and rude, it’s possibly because internally they’re in some pain or fear they aren’t dealing with.

      -Self care! This week I ate extra healthy, got extra sleep, didn’t drink alcohol, and read lots of home improvement magazines to keep my mind hopeful and focused on what I can control, which is my attention, actions, and goals.

      -And know you’re not alone. Many of us are in the same boat. Especially minorities of various stripes who are being called traitors and self-haters over this.

      Good luck!

  7. I went to my usual polling place. I’m usually in and out in 10 minutes (because I read up on the ballot initiatives). Today it was over an hour. Some of it was social distancing, but most was just turn out. The only yard signs along the street were for the Democratic candidates. I unkindly wondered if it’s because so few people in Alabama were willing to put a Biden/Harris or Doug Jones sign in their yard. The local committee is hoping for straight party voting to carry Jones back to office.

    Polls are not to be trusted. I’ve been laughed at by a pollster when I gave reasons why a previous congressman was unethical. Why would I voluntarily tell any pollster my opinion? The polling is skewed in the questions, the questioner, and who is questioned.

    I fear that population centers are going to carry this for Biden/Harris because of the severe TDS that’s occurring. I thought I was afraid in 2016. I definitely didn’t want Hillary and I was fearful of Trump for all the reasons Jack enumerated four years ago. Today I voted for Trump because (see Jack’s reasons). A Harris/Whoever presidency scares me. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. The content of character has no value. Some animals are more equal than others.

    The only benefit is that the Wuhan Virus will magically go away.

  8. I voted in 2016 for the geographically deficient Johnson, but solid Trump this time around. I live in Massachusetts, but actually in an enclave that went Trump (55%) in 2016. We have not been overrun – yet.

    My decision is clearly based on the actions since the day after the 2016 election and that has continued unabated since Jack has spoken many times on it. Toss in the repugnant media whores on display recently and that would double seal the deal. Then comes policy since I have know about his personality for 40+ years. My policy basket is 75% full and that is good enough.

    My spouse is fully engulfed in TDS and watches the evening national news and believes without question. Yes – it has seriously strained our relationship.

    I expect a Biden win and all I can ponder up is what goes arouns – comes around. The kind thing to do would to “heal wounds” but after being fact checked, removed from public forums, called various explatives, deemed a conspiracy freak (Hunter), racist, etc., etc. I have no ethical qualms about turning it right back.

  9. This isn’t quite election related, but I met someone today who seems to have reached something like TDS if I was Trump. I comment on several sites related to different interests, but even after more than 25 years, going back to gopher and USENET this is only the second time I’ve had vitriol aimed at me like this. The incident was an author ranting at me. (I learned after that earlier incident to avoid personal comments and comment only on writings posted, things like typos and where something written is confusing)

    And I have NO idea who or how I offended these mystery other writers, they never spoke. I can’t help wonder at how I’m supposed to avoid the snowflakes if they won’t identify what and how they were offended, So the ringleader will escalate the venom for their gang, simply as I don’t know who they are. I know this is a chilling effect because they never learned how to deal with any kind of criticism and have no concept what freedom of speech means. I’m glad they only know a pen name, as they would try to get me fired if they had any idea who my employer is.

    For a difference of opinion on fanfic? (fanfic is the red-headed stepchild of writing) they’d send me to Siberia if they could. This isn’t even anything like real-world party/race/gender/sexuality/religion/clan which are the usual sticking points, but they want to make me disappear. I do not know what writer/story was offended as all I got was the same insult twice.

    It’s just kind of weird seeing someone froth at the mouth because someone made public comments on non-commercial writing that we are ALL borrowing characters, plots, and themes from the source. I could see Anne Rice geting annoyed, she has a long history of trying to intimidate protected fan works, but a fan attacking another fan over commentary just baffles me!

    Why haven’t these people ever learned that criticism is NOT abuse, especially if language isn’t blue or personal? (calling everything abuse just dilutes the power of that accusation too) I blame both parents and schools as dealing with criticism is an important life skill.

  10. Interesting comments from Lou Dobbs about the betting market now making Trump 75-25 to win. He and others said that the pollsters, who don’t have their own money on their prognostications, were really trying to suppress GOP votes by pronouncing Biden a lock, and will lose all credibility if they prove horribly wrong…as it appears they may be.

      • I’ve been watching Pennsylvania — only 64% of the vote in so far, but Trump is up by nearly 700k votes. I read that Philadelphia has only processed 75k of 350k mail in ballots — that wouldn’t be nearly enough by itself.

        Hard to believe that Biden will get 70+% of the remaining votes there.

        • He won’t. Trump won; it’s just going to be drawn out. It’s going to be a little less decisive than 2016, which, given the way the race was rigged by the polls and by the news media, is amazing. Well, not so amazing given what the Democrats ran against him, but I seemed to the only one considering that.

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