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Voices / Letters from readers

After the horror of these past years, there are still people who will throw away their votes

RE: “How many more gut punches can this country endure?” [Viewpoint, Oct. 7]:

Sorry, what?! Susan Odegard, who cares for pets and gardens, says the following, and it is not clarified in her commentary whether she has now changed her mind:

“A month ago, I said to hell with it and planned to forgo voting in the presidential election. In my view, both parties are corrupt and care more about maintaining the oligarchical leanings of our republic than promoting any semblance of true equality.”

If she has now decided to vote for Biden, which is, of course, between herself and the ballot box, good. I’m glad she’s seen the light.

If, however, even after laying out the differences and risks we face in the next election, she decides to forgo her right to vote, I need to say something about that. And to anyone else so disconnected to pain, to torment, that they will blithely throw away that right in order to feed their ego matters more than the lives Trump and his death cult have destroyed:

I have been unable to look some people in the eye since these ridiculous sorts of statements were made back in 2016 comparing Trump and Clinton, even as these same people claimed to be Sanders supporters. Even as he begged them to vote for Clinton.

Bernie knew then, as he knows now, what Trump and his cabal were/are capable of. During the past nearly four years, we’ve lost allies globally; seen blatant, increasingly violent racism encouraged and rewarded; war criminals pardoned; children torn from their desperate parents’ arms (some as young as 4 months); and the preventable deaths of tens of thousands of people due to the wanton negligence and increasingly irresponsible behavior of someone we knew to be a dangerous, hate-and-greed-motivated criminal.

After the horror of these past years, there are still people so self-righteous and so inured to the suffering and fear that Trump’s targeted victims have endured (and who will face much worse if that deranged narcissist and his death cult are elected for a second term). That horrifying fact keeps me up at night.

It’s disgusting. It’s an arrogance that I cannot abide. That people believe they are entitled to the self-indulgent act of not voting or voting for a no-hoper, using the excuse that “Vermont will most likely go blue anyway,” is utterly repellant.

I don’t know how they’ve fooled themselves that it was the right thing to do in 2016, and doing it again is — well, unconscionable.

People adopting this attitude contributed in no small part in the disaster that was 2016, and their continued refusal to understand what they’ve done proves nothing has been learned about just how dangerous the current regime is to human beings and other living things.

Please, if you haven’t already, vote for sanity, for justice, for the path to get back to the work of making the changes that will help us overcome our world-renowned avarice in favor of fairness, of love and compassion for others, of doing what is necessary to, if indeed we can, save this planet for at least a while longer.

Vote to rid us of this plague every bit as deadly as COVID-19.

Wasting your vote is a vote for the most disastrous president in our history, as well as tacit complicity in his evil deeds — because they are truly evil — and the deeds of his sadistic enablers.

Patricia Sheehan

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Originally published in The Commons issue #583 (Wednesday, October 14, 2020). This story appeared on page B6.

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