Somewhere in the midst of ten thousand lakes in Minnesota lives my personal guardian angel named Nancy, who jealously and tirelessly stands vigil over my sacred Constitutional rights. She faithfully executed her office at Democrats Abroad and, without prompting from me, rang me on my mobile phone four times and sent me four hyperlinks to help me cast my vote in the 2020 election. To her I must have been one of ten thousand Americans living abroad, one for each of her lakes. To me she was my only lifeline in a Rube Goldbergian process that finally ended Wednesday in victory.
Since my last permanent, legal residence in the United States of America was, briefly, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, it was particularly urgent that I vote. Pennsylvania is a notorious battleground state, made all the more notorious (to me) by how difficult it is to vote there from abroad.
I’m not saying they made it deliberately hard. I follow Hanlon’s razor and look for incompetence before I look for evil intrigue. Difficult it was, though, and it nearly defeated me. But I sealed my envelope, filled according to tortuous instructions, and finally delivered it to the post office Wednesday afternoon, franked by them and acknowledged with an official Proof of Posting. My vote, for Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. and Kamala Devi Harris as President and Vice President of the United States respectively, has finally been cast.
My emails to the Northampton County Election Office, each succeeding one more urgent and shrill than the previous, were finally acknowledged. That was when the difficulty began. I won’t drag you through the details — I’d just as soon forget them — but I expect they are all too familiar to others in my position. But my personal experience gives the lie to Donald Trump’s repeated claim of how easy it is for foreign entities and illegal agents to cheat this election. Since it’s very difficult to vote from abroad legitimately — or at least it was, anecdotally for me — I honestly don’t know how anyone could do it by deliberate deceit.
In any case it is done. I have exercised the only Constitutionally prescribed power available to me to unseat the most evil man who ever darkened the sacred house of the president of the United States. The remainder of my reliance rests with my passive faith in the Constitution, Due Process and the good will of most of the citizens of the country of my birth.
It is inconceivable to me that there’s even a chance that Donald Trump could be given a second term. I cannot understand why anyone would vote for a man so overtly evil. This is a man credibly accused of rape, including child rape, a man who openly supported Vladimir Putin in defiance of the warnings of seventeen different American intelligence agencies, a man who cages children and separates them permanently from their parents just because they lawfully came to America seeking sanctuary, a man who steals from children’s cancer charities, a “businessman” whose standing corporate policy is to destroy family businesses through nonpayment of legitimate good faith contracts, a man who incessantly tweets insults about people who don’t adequately feed his ego, a man who mocked a disabled reporter and a Gold Star Family, a man who calls for the arrest of political opponents on charges without evidence, a man who still neglects a pandemic that has claimed the lives (as I write this) of 227,409 Americans, a man who lets Russia put out contracts on American soldiers serving in Afghanistan without complaint or protest, a man who refuses to actively discredit white supremacists, a “tough guy” with five deferments, including one that fraudulently alleged bone spurs, in order to get out of serving in Vietnam, a man who bankrupted six businesses, a money launderer, a man with a bank account in China worth millions, a tax cheat, a “man’s man” who wears makeup and spends two hours a day on a triple combover to hide the fact that he’s bald, a thief, a conman, a pathological liar, a weak, whiny, stupid, deliberately ignorant, petty, arrogant, elitist, spoiled, vindictive, hateful, thoroughly repulsive man of absolutely no redeeming value whatsoever. It is beyond incredible that one American would vote for this thoroughly despicable man, let alone millions.
But they do vote. So we must vote too. We must rescue America from Donald Trump, for the children in cages, for the innocent dead, for the precinct workers named Nancy, for the destroyed family businesses, for his rape victims, for the voiceless, the powerless, the forgotten. Let’s get rid of this evil called Trump. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.