I voted an absentee ballot last Tuesday at our local county courthouse, and the presidential selection on that ballot proved to be the single hardest vote that I have ever cast.
My first vote in a presidential election was way back in 1972 while I was living and working with the Army on Okinawa. As a young officer in the Army, the pressure emanating from on high to vote to retain the Commander in Chief, a crook by the name of Richard Nixon, was immense - but I withstood it and cast my first presidential vote for Senator George McGovern, one of the most idealistic individuals to ever be nominated for President by a major political party. McGovern, who had stumbled badly with the Eagleton affair (google it), went down in flames on election day, but his supporters had their revenge less than two years later when Nixon was forced to resign the presidency in complete and utter disgrace.
Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end . . .
Over the years I have never missed the opportunity to vote in any election - particularly those in which U.S. Presidents were selected. Normally I vote for Democrats for President, but have, on a couple of occasions, opted to vote for independents instead. This year I was sorely tempted to vote for an independent candidate again, but I caved at the last minute.
A big part of Hillary Clinton's campaign strategy has been to convince Democrats from the progressive wing of the party that while she might not be perfect in their eyes, she is far better suited to be President than Donald Trump. It was the tired, old "lesser of two evils" argument - and I for one don't like being bullied into making a bad choice just to avoid making a worse one.
But this time the worse choice, Donald J. Trump, was just so god-awful that I felt compelled to hold my nose and vote for Hillary. It was far from my proudest moment.
What a choice that was: On the one hand an ignorant racist who brags about sexually abusing women, not paying taxes, and not paying his bills - and on the other hand a hardened career politician with a vindictive streak wider than the Mississippi at flood stage and who hauls around more baggage than a major airport handles in a month.
Hillary, you have my vote this time - it's already in the ballot box - but DO NOT assume that you will automatically get it again in four years. The next time the Republican Party probably won't opt to help your candidacy by nominating a total lunatic. The next time you will have to run on your own record - and not Obama's. And the next time I will be even older and crankier than I am today!
If you want my vote again, you're damned well going to have to earn it. This lesser-of-two-evils crap has run its course!