I love voting on Election Day, but wishing to leave nothing to chance in this crazy year, I took advantage of early voting last week. I marked my paper ballot for Joe Biden, coloring it in very carefully and staring at it for a long time afterward before I scanned it, wanting to cherish the moment for which I had waited so long.
In choosing my candidate I followed a process I laid out here, and my conscience is absolutely clear, no matter how many of my fellow Catholics believe (and are happy to tell me) that my vote is a sin.
In 2008, I sat out the Presidential election. In 2012, I voted none of the above. In 2016, seeing Trump as a danger to our country, I voted for Hillary.
When Trump won, my Republican friends said I should give him a chance. That he would surround himself with good people. That he would grow into the office. I did, and he didn’t. If anything, his presidency has been more disastrous than I could possibly have imagined.
In fact, it has been so disastrous, and I believe him so unfit, that I would have supported any one of the Democratic Primary contenders this year. If you want to know my thinking, check out the 963 reasons compiled here, rightly referred to below as horrors:
This election year, amid a harrowing global health, civil rights, humanitarian, and economic crisis, we know it’s never been more critical to note these horrors, to remember them, and to do all in our power to reverse them.
However, Joe was my number one choice from the get-go, primarily because I believed he was the candidate with the best chance of beating Trump. His relative centrism, his likable personality, his years of experience, his ability to compromise, his relationships with folks on both sides of the aisle–these are the qualities of someone who could build a broad and diverse coalition of support, as he has gone on to do. I had always liked Joe, but as I have learned more of his story, I have come to love him. No longer is my vote just an anti-Trump vote. It’s an enthusiastic vote for Joe Biden, and here are some of my reasons:
- Because instead of surrendering the banner of faith to conservatives, he has reached out to religious voters, holding regular online events that have touched my heart deeply and affirmed my choice, as a Catholic, to vote for him.
- Because he carries a rosary in his pocket.
- Because he goes to Mass every Sunday, on Ash Wednesday, and on Holy Days.
- Because he knows what is really important:
- Because he writes things like this, and means them:
We all matter in the eyes of God, and it will take all of us to achieve the healing America so desperately needs. To follow God’s Greatest Commandment, and to love each other fully. Together, we can win the battle for the soul of our nation; navigate the multiple crises we face – ending this pandemic, driving our economic recovery, confronting systemic racism; address the scourge of poverty; pursue immigration and refugee policies that uphold the dignity of all; and do everything in our power to ensure that all God’s children have the hope and future they so rightfully deserve. (Read more here)
- And, maybe most of all, because of this:
I'm one of those who frets that the election will be much closer than the polls indicate. That in a world where non-voters are never targeted by Dems, huge turnout could contain multitudes. So I'm dropping some old footage of Joe Biden here: pic.twitter.com/74UROClgbh
— Arun Chaudhary (@ArunChaud) October 21, 2020
Our country is in trouble We are broken and hurting, scared and divided. Four years ago I believed–I still do–that Hillary Clinton was the most qualified person ever to run for President. I would never say that about Joe Biden. But I DO believe, with all my heart, that he is the candidate most qualified to meet this moment and to bind our nation’s wounds.
I so agree with you for the same reasons. God speed!