By Merrill Lynn Hansen
The 2020. election is just days away, and I'm angry. In all the years that I have voted in presidential elections, I never worried that my vote wouldn't be counted. But Trump is doing everything possible, legal or otherwise, to prevent votes from being counted, because he's certain that they are votes for Joe Biden. There is no limit to what Trump and his enablers will do, including having his newly appointed mega-donor Postmaster General Louise DeJoy orchestrate mail delays in Michigan and cities in other key states to prevent mail-in ballots from being delivered on time To be certain that my vote for Joe Biden will be counted, I went to the Clerk's Office in the township where I live; filled out my ballot, and personally handed it to one of the clerks there. Hopefully, my vote will make a difference in the presidential race, and I will make Donald Trump as angry as he has made me.
There is hardly a day that goes by when I'm not fearful that Trump will be reelected. I hate him. I tried to add the recent confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to my "How Do I Hate Him? Let Me Count The Ways" list, but my arthritic fingers locked up because I was pounding too hard on my laptop keyboard.
I can't help but hate Donald Trump. But the other side of that coin is I love Joe Biden. Here’s my saga:
I'm Jewish, and unlike Trump, I know there is no such thing as a "very fine" Nazi. Trump looked at a crowd of Neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va., carrying signs with Nazi symbols and slogans, and saw "very fine people on both sides". He made it sound like a parody lyric from a Joni Mitchell song--"I've looked at crowds from both sides now.” Well, I didn't see "crowd’s illusions...I saw Neo-Nazis. Trump has an affinity for them, as well as white supremacists, and QAnon conspiracy theorists, even though Christopher Wray, the head of our FBI, informed Congress that they are our country's greatest domestic terrorist threat. But they love Trump, and Trump loves every hate group and conspiracy theorist who loves him back.
I'm not only a Jewish Democrat, I am something worse than that in Trump's world. I am an intelligent woman. Trump has no respect for women, and he despises intelligent women. He has bragged about grabbing women by their ...um (I can't even bring myself to write what he said). If he had ever tried to grab me like that, I would have left him with at least one permanent injury, and unable to procreate. It would have been worth it to hear him say, "I never touched her, because she's too ugly to be my type,” if our country would have been spared Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric.
But aside from being an intelligent Jewish woman, who voted for Joe Biden on October 17, I live in Michigan. Trump is trailing Joe Biden in the polls here, in no small part because Trump hates our Democratic Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, an attractive, intelligent and courageous woman, not so fondly referred to by Trump as "That Woman". When COVID-19 was spiking in Michigan, Governor Whitmer made the difficult decisions Trump refused to make. She fought to get all of the needed equipment, and saved people's lives by closing down certain businesses; issuing orders for people to shelter at home when at all possible; wear masks, and limit crowds. There were a number of controversial orders, but they were necessary to stop the spiking of the virus. Trump, on the other hand, had—and still has- no national plan. Our hospitals were filled to capacity; our doctors and nurses needed masks and other protective equipment, and there was a shortage of ventilators.
I hate Trump, because when I myself had COVID-19, and was too sick to get out of bed, I watched and heard Trump tell his supporters to defy Governor Whitmer's emergency orders, and storm our state Capitol, to "liberate Michigan.” It wasn't long before Trump's "army" showed up, unmasked, with their assault weapons, to storm the Capitol and defend what Trump had convinced them was their constitutional right to cough and sneeze on all the fresh fruit and vegetables in the grocery stores, and on every man, woman and child in the entire state. It's no surprise that Trump has downplayed one right-wing extremist group's plan to kidnap Governor Whitmer; blow up federal property; put her on trial, and possibly kill her. After all, in Trump's mind, there's nothing wrong with people having a little fun in a state where he is trailing in the polls, and the governor he despises has a higher job approval rating than he does.
In addition to my numerous other grievances against Trump (I hate him!), there is one that I think of every day. I am a Stage IV cancer survivor, whose life has been extended beyond the best prognosis, because of science. medicine and research, including a stem cell transplant. Donald Trump doesn't believe in science, medicine and research, and I can't imagine living ten minutes, yet alone years, if my medical experts were Scott Atlas, Trump's MRI doctor who promotes herd immunity; Houston physician Stella Immanuel, the doctor he praises because she promotes the use of hydroxychloroquine (and writes about the dangers of having sex with the Devil in your dreams) and Trump's daughter, Ivanka, who has the same medical degree that Mattel's Barbie doll has.
As much as I hate Donald Trump, I love Joe Biden. I trust him. He is a mensch; a kind and decent man. I know that he will not only bring calm, to replace the chaos we have been living in for the past four years, but he will immediately do everything he can to contain COVID-19, until there is a safe vaccine available to every American citizen.
Our allies will breathe a sigh of relief, because they will once again have a partner who will deal with them respectfully, and our military will have a Commander-In-Chief who will have their backs as if they were his own children. I'm sure hostile leaders aren't rooting for Joe Biden, and if he got a love letter from Kim Jong-un, he'd probably write back, "Hey, man, I don't want to date you. Just give up your nuclear weapons and we can be pals."
I started to fall in love with Joe Biden in 1986, when I first got cable TV. While my friends were taping All My Children and General Hospital to watch at night, I was taping C-Span. I watched Biden in various committee hearings and interviews and was impressed by how personable and well informed he was. He could also be a little feisty, which made him seem like a real guy, who if pushed by a bully, would be willing to settle a dispute "outside", to teach him some respect.
I found myself drawn to him, and started reading about his personal life and background. The more I read about him, the more genuine I believed he was. I liked his gaffes and knew he had overcome a stuttering problem when he was younger. When I thought he had hair plugs, I didn't laugh; I hoped they'd eventually grow in. I missed him when he had two aneurysms and didn't return to the Senate for weeks. I talked about him so often, my then- husband, a Republican, once asked me if I'd ever met him. I answered, "No, but I'd have his baby if he'd ask me to." ("Hey kids, wouldn't it be nice to have a little sister or brother whose father is a Democrat?")
I love Joe Biden because he is a compassionate man. He has empathy for people and understands their pain. He has suffered the greatest losses a man can suffer--the tragic death of his wife and young baby in a car accident, and years later, the death of his eldest son, who even though he was an adult, was still his father's baby.
When I was struggling with cancer, I was scared witless every night while my family was sleeping, because I didn't know what would happen to them without me. To this day, I believe that if Joe Biden had known I was ill and frightened, I would have gotten a phone call one of those nights, and he would have said, "Hi, Marilynn...it's Joe Biden. I know you're going through a tough time, and I was wondering if you feel like talking." He's that kind of guy.
When several women complained that Biden made them uncomfortable, because he was a hugger, I was irritated. I had seen hundreds of photos of Biden hugging families of fallen soldiers; parents of school shooting victims, and people who had lost loved ones to cancer. His hugs were comforting. If Joe Biden ever gave me a hug, I wouldn't call an attorney, or complain to the press. I'd hug him back!
I love Joe Biden because he is cool. I enjoyed watching the video of Colin Powell and Joe drag racing in their Corvettes; two older men, who were having as much fun as if they were teenagers. I'm sure Biden would have loved to ask Colin Powell to stand guard while he let the air out of the tires on Trump's motorcade.
I'm not the only one who loves Joe Biden. Former President Barak Obama loves him. He has often said they are "brothers,” and that he chose him to be his Vice-President because of his decency, and wealth of knowledge about our country and foreign policy. Obama is having a blast while he campaigns on behalf of Biden, and I can't stop smiling when I watch and listen to him finally let loose on Trump. It brings back memories of the Obama/Biden memes when Trump was the President-elect, and they were still in the White House:
Biden: I showed Trump the "drone controls" you have in your top desk drawer.
Obama: That's an Etch A Sketch.
I am looking forward to the day after the final election results are announced, and President-elect Biden pays a surprise visit to Donald Trump at the White House, to give him a hug. ("I feel your pain, man, and you can always reach me here, if you feel like talking.").
Merrill Hansen is a legal assistant, living in West Bloomfield, Michigan. She describes herself as a frustrated writer, who wishes she could be Nora Ephron (when she was alive), if only for a day. She is a news-, political- and FB-junkie, a combination that requires a constant reminder that she needs to take deep cleansing breaths when responding to people who don't agree with her.