October 29, 2020 at 5:00 am EDT | by Peter Rosenstein
Nov. 3 determines our destiny
election 2020, gay news, Washington Blade, November 3

On Nov. 3, we will vote to determine our destiny. Will you vote for progress, competency, honesty, and empathy with a vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris; or for more lies from a racist, sexist, homophobic cruel human being with no interest in anyone but himself? I choose to vote for a better future and a better world. A vote for the United States to move forward toward our goal of becoming ‘A more perfect union” — a vote for Biden/Harris.

I fully embrace Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and all the possibilities their election will portend. Yet my vote is also a condemnation of Trump because I am tired of waking up each morning afraid to turn on the news and finding out what outrageous thing he has tweeted or his administration has done. Whatever the reasons, clearly heightened by the coronavirus pandemic, since Trump took office in 2017, I have been slightly on edge. One thing I ask of Joe Biden is to forgo a Twitter account. We know the government cannot be run by tweet. Trump has the mindset of a dictator believing whatever he says is law. He acts as he did when he ran his own company into the ground only now it’s our country he is running into the ground.

We must return to a time when education mattered. When we all would have been appalled when 18- year-old Latino voters in Miami said they were afraid of America becoming socialist and therefore voting for Trump. They talked about their grandparents fleeing Castro without understanding the United States offered their grandparents sanctuary as immigrants. They don’t understand Trump is the greatest threat to all their grandparents achieved in America.

Some believe Biden is far from a perfect candidate and to them I say: There is no perfect candidate. Trump attacks him for being a politician yet that is what we need now as president. Biden understands government and the levers of power. He understands to pass the legislation the Democratic Party is proposing compromises may have to be made. What we can be confident of is Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will never compromise their principles.

Biden, Schumer and Pelosi will need all their collective wisdom and knowledge to move forward legislation on climate change, healthcare, immigration, voting rights, economic and judicial racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and infrastructure. It won’t be easy but I am betting on their ability to get it done.

Reality is unless we the voters not only elect Biden and Harris but provide a Democratic Senate for them to work with, all we want will be stymied. As the Republican Senate held up much of what Obama wanted, even his nominated Supreme Court Justice, they will hold up everything Biden and Harris want to accomplish. It is because of this everyone needs to VOTE for Democrats up and down the ballot. You can take to the streets and demonstrate until you are blue in the face; it won’t matter if you don’t also vote.

My first presidential vote was for Hubert Humphrey in 1968. My preferred candidate was Robert Kennedy but he was shot on June 6 on the night he won the California primary. I grieved for him but in the fall campaigned for Humphrey. Despite his loss I never gave up hope to win in the future and have never missed an election. Since then I voted for some who won and some who lost like Hillary Clinton in 2016. But changing what we want changed is always a long-term process and like in every area of your life if you want political change you need to keep working for it. You need to do whatever you can from knocking on doors to making phone calls for your candidate. Talk to all your friends and family and convince them to vote.

It is my fervent hope record numbers of people will vote in this election because if they do Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will win. The majority of the people in our country are decent and caring and want to move forward from the darkness of the past four years and into the light of a brighter future. Do your part to make this happen and VOTE!

Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBTQ rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.

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