Of Meteors and Voting

12 August, 2016 | | 3 Comments

Last night was one of the great days of summer, with the chance to lie on the grass and watch stars shooting overhead, as the Perseids come streaking through our atmosphere, heating up and burning themselves out in a flaming blaze of glory as they crash.  The Human Tape Recorder and the Reigning Queen of Pink stayed up all night last night, on beach towels in the backyard, to watch one of natures great fireworks displays.  Around 1230, they woke me to join them.

I’ve always loved meteor showers, so I did as I was told, brought a blanket outside for a while, and stared up at the stars.  Within about 5 minutes, the score was Team Perseids 4, Team West Nile 3, and Team Zika was up to 7 with a hat trick.  Mosquitoes love me.  The girls were sad to see me go back inside, although that may just have been because I had been drawing fire from the flying vampiric plankton that flies around my back yard.  I itched my way back to my own bed and wished them well, but that’s not what I came to tell you about.

I came to talk about the draft election.

Are you on the fence about voting this November?  Let’s say you vote for Trump, and then let’s fast forward a few years into his administration with the current GOP platform.  (Go ahead, read it.  I’ll wait.)  Now, ask yourself these questions:

If your daughter wants an abortion, or worse, needs an abortion, and she can’t, legally, have one, how will you feel about having voted for a misogynist-in-chief? How will you look your daughter in the eye and tell her that you voted for this man knowing that he doesn’t believe she has the right to make decisions about her own body?

If your teen-aged child, maturing in this political environment, is conflicted about their sexuality and wonders about their possible attraction to their own gender, how will they ask you about it? Knowing that you voted for a party that holds hate in high regard, a party that has pledged to repeal laws allowing adults who love one another to marry, how will you look your child in the eye and tell them that you’re looking forward to their straight sibling’s wedding, but that you voted against their right to have one?  If your gay child should leave the nest to live with their same-sex soulmate, will you remind them that you’ve voted against their right to legally adopt your grandchildren?

When your Muslim friends ask about celebrating Eid in their public school and are laughed at, or worse, while walking past the Ten Commandments or the Christmas tree in the school office, how will you look them in the eye and tell them that you voted for a government that values “America’s Judeo-Christian heritage” more highly than America’s heritage of freedom? Will you remind your Hindu friends that you voted for a party that believes a good understanding of the Bible to be indispensable for the development of an educated citizenry?  Just the Bible, not the Koran, not the Talmud, not the Upanishads, or the Tao Te Ching.

When your neighbor asks you to attend their young son’s funeral, how will you look them in the eye and tell them that you voted for increased magazine capacities in automatic rifles?  That you voted for the right of anybody who hears the voice of god whispering in their ear to carry that gun anywhere they go, Linus with a 5.56-mm security blanket and a hundred rounds in the clip, a good guy with a gun until he saw that kid in the hoodie with his phone, wrong place, wrong time, his mom didn’t know he’d stopped taking his meds two weeks ago, our thoughts and prayers are with you?

When your neighbor asks you to attend a loved one’s funeral after they succumb to an anaphylactic allergic reaction because they ate something that wasn’t accurately labeled, how will you look them in the eye and explain that you voted for a party that has pledged to repeal federal mandates for food labeling?

When you look in the mirror in the morning, will you be able to look yourself in the eye knowing that you voted for a party that holds monochromatic monotheism in higher regard than modern medicine, a party that puts faith before fact, a party that will sideline science, social justice, and STEM schools because stem cell research might offend their narrow notion of God?

You don’t have to vote for Hillary Clinton.  I understand.  She’s a career politician, and she’s made the Faustian bargains that career politicians make.  She’s competent, she’s qualified, and she’s not cuddly and likable.  You don’t have to vote FOR anything.

Against, now – that’s another story.   When you go to the polls November 8th, don’t vote FOR anything.  Press the button that says Hillary Clinton.  You’re not really voting for her.  You’re casting your vote against.

Vote against misogyny.

Vote against racism.

The Trump campaign may flame out like a Perseid meteor long before November, a spectacular magnesium flare streaking across our political sky as millions stay up late to watch.  But it might not.

And if it doesn’t, and if in November you find yourself faced with the dilemma of decision, I urge you to cast your ballot for sanity and competence.   If it really bothers you, remind yourself that you’re not voting for Hillary Clinton.

You’re voting against hate.






  1. Sanjay says:

    Excellent article – thanks!

  2. E-beth says:

    Preach. Well said.

  3. FOBUMD says:

    Hey BUMD! It’s FOBUMD here – again. I know that you and many of your readers may be concerned as to how the next four years are going to shake out. Nobody knows for sure of course, including me, but you and your readers should understand that from here on out, there are only a few more things to worry about. The Trump campaign has already moved racial bigotry and religious intolerance into the OK column, and the white supremacist movement into the mainstream. So, what else? There are only a few more items to be concerned about, and I thought I’d list these here so everyone can rest easy.

    Here in the United States there’s not too much to worry about. Trump probably won’t build that wall after all because the Mexicans will never pay for it. But we will have walls, lots of them. They’ll be sea walls built by Trump’s successors and the states because the EPA, renamed the Environmental Pollution Agency, is run by a guy who doesn’t believe in science. Renouncing our commitment to reduce carbon emissions, most of the rest of the world will follow suit. Great day in Miami? New York? Charleston?

    The incoming Attorney General of the United States will surely scuttle the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, giving free reign to Republican governors and state legislators to impose new voting restrictions on minorities, the elderly, and college students. Can’t trust them to vote the right way you know. Did anyone say Jim Crow?

    Our LGBT friends might be somewhat concerned, knowing that Trump’s new domestic policy adviser believes that homosexuality is a sin and that gay people can be “rehabilitated” like petty thieves. He sure understands this. Guess he’ll sign them up for conversion therapy.

    Please do not be concerned about safety on our streets, in our schools, or places of public gathering. With Republicans in charge of all three branches of the Federal government and most of the states, I’m sure the NRA is gearing up to order them to end all restrictions on guns. Won’t we be much safer when we’re all allowed open carry of military assault rifles?

    The Donald of course, promised big tax cuts. That, combined with his promised spending on infrastructure (whoa, that one sounds just like Obama – wonder if Congress will go along with a white Republican) will drive up demand throughout the economy. Supply will lag though because companies can’t boost output that fast, not to mention their hesitation based on the huge uncertainties we face. So, we’re ripe for a round of inflation caused by too much demand and not enough supply, and aggressive Fed action to counter by raising interest rates.

    As interest rates rise on both short and long-term bonds, the dollar will strengthen causing a few minor headaches. U.S. exports will suffer and imports will rise sharply. The labor force, now shrunken because Trump deported all those immigrants, will demand higher wages. Trump’s blue collar supporters will ultimately lose more manufacturing jobs as the work shifts to countries with cheaper labor. The strengthened dollar will also drive more illegal immigrants over our borders, wall or not.

    As the Fed reacts in most appropriate ways, Trump will lose it once more and end the era of Fed independence started by Alan Greenspan, an independence of convention rather than law. Reverting to a politicized Fed could well set the stage for high-inflation and economic stagnation (anyone remember the late 1970s?).

    At the top of the international list is the nuclear war picture. There’s an egomaniacal, unstable leader in North Korea wanting to display his power via military might, first and foremost by having a nuclear arsenal. The United States will have a morally corrupt, emotionally unstable imbecile in the White House. What will happen when Kim Jung Un tests the Donald as he surely will, probably within the first six months.

    Staying with nuclear weapons, the new administration promises to revoke the nuclear arms treaty with Iran which will certainly go back to its nuclear bomb development program with no one there to inspect them or restrict them. The middle east should be a fun place to live!

    Oh yes, the middle east. Benjamin is already planning new settlements on the west bank since he got the election he tried so hard to influence when his U.S. Republican backers allowed him to give an anti-Obama speech to Congress. Was there a middle east peace plan with the Palestinians? Hey, he might just bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities again.

    Taken collectively with the Brexit vote in England, the rise of the Alternative for Germany party in that country, the rise of far right leader Marine le Pen in France, the election of a murderer as president of the Philippines, and the rise of the populists in Brazil, a nativist-populist president of the United States marks a precipitous decline of western influence throughout the world.

    I probably missed a few things but you can see there’s very little to worry. So, sleep tight. My favorite is Advil PM.

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