Election 2020: I’m vascillating …

Until now, I was decided. Now, I’m not. UPDATED.

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by Kerri Lee Smith, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

I was decided about how I was going to cast my vote for president in the 2020 election … until now.

I’ve always voted for the presidential candidate who I believed had the best vision for what America should be. The candidates’ proposed policies demonstrated what that vision was. It revealed intent, though not necessarily what would happen. Congress mostly controls what gets done.

I wasn’t going to watch the Vice-Presidential debate. VP debates have been rightfully characterized as combat between mayonnaise and miracle-whip. For me, election debates rarely provide any information I didn’t already know. And, I’m uncomfortable with confrontation. I don’t like Michael Moore or Sean Hannity. The first Presidential debate was The Jerry Springer Show without the engaging human interest. I found it to be psychologically disturbing rather than thought provoking. But, I heard that there was going to be a demonstration of the CIA’s new fly-drone and there was nothing else on TV, so I tuned in.

Most everything that was said was a mischaracterization if not an outright lie, and old news as well. The only interesting information was how the candidates behaved and what questions they refused to answer. Then Kamala Harris said a few things that made me take note. I knew Biden said that they weren’t going to tax anyone making less then $400K, but I was glad to hear it again anyway. I hope it’s not a no-new-taxes promise. I liked the committment to environmental actions, especially related to climate change, infrastructure, and alternative energy sources, but again this was not new. I was irritated by the love for fracking, on both sides. What caught my attention, though, was what she said about law enforcement. She said they wanted to decriminalize marijuana, restructure police departments, and correct injustices in the justice system. Coming from Harris the former prosecuter and Biden the police-state authoritarian of the 1990s, this was different. I’m just not sure I can believe it.

I’ve been a Bernie Sanders supporter for a decade. I’ve always intended on voting for him, and after he left the race, the Green Party. They have the vision I believe the country needs. But now I’m thinking back to a Psychology 101 lab assignment from fifty years ago in which I was supposed to train a rat to press a bar in its Skinner cage. No matter how much I told the rat about the great food pellets he would be getting and used wild gesticulations to prove my point, the rat just sat there. It wasn’t until the Professor came over and showed me how to use shaping to teach the rat what to do. In no time, had the rat pressing that bar for more food like an unwelcome relative on Thanksgiving. Maybe that’s what I should do in this election.

I cringe at the thought of giving the Democratic party, whose vision I do not share, rhe license to continue their authoritarian, corporatist ways. It hasn’t worked out in the last thirty years. Am I insane for thinking that this tme might be different?

So now, I am teetering on the precipice of being undecided. Should I vote for shaping or insanity or what I think is right. I have less than a month to decide. In the meantime. I wish these debate moderators had a giant guillotine switch on their desk that connected either one microphone or the other so that they could cut off debaters who don’t follow the rules.

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UPDATE. After what the democrats did in PA, I came to my senses and I’m no longer undecided.

Written by

I’ve analyzed data for over 40 years, written a book and over 150 blogs, been a trainer/public speaker, and was a PG and SSGB. Now retired, I worship cats.

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