Choate’s 2020 Election Voting Guide

Well, here we are. Less than one month before the general election featuring the choice for President of the United States on November 3, 2020. 8 days from now, early voting is supposed to begin in Texas, unless Governor Abbott mucks it up somehow, either by changing things at the last second or those knuckleheads get their case heard by the Supreme Court of Texas. And today is the last day to register to vote, which you can do here.

In the next few series of posts, I’ll try to provide some insight to what’s on the ballot. If you are in Harris County, you can get a sample ballot that will show you who you get to vote for in your precinct by going to Where appropriate, in future posts, I will also offer my thoughts on candidates not in my precinct.

Presidential Candidates

So. First on the ballot are the President and Vice-President. Your choices are Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence as the Republican nominees; Joseph R. Biden and Kamala D. Harris as the Democratic nominees; Jo Jorgensen and Jeremy “Spike” Cohen as the Libertarian nominees; and Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker as the Green party nominees. You can also write someone in.

Democratic nominee for President Joe Biden Wearing a Mask
Real Men Wear Masks

It should come as no surprise at this point that I recommend voting for Joe Biden as President and Kamala Harris as Vice-President. I simply cannot in any way shape or form recommend that anyone vote for Trump. Whereas in 2016, I rarely discussed politics openly because I assumed the election would be close but ultimately resulting in a Clinton victory, I’ve probably overlearned a lesson about not speaking out.

Once again, Texas appears to be in play, but it’s still probably premature to be hopeful. Texas has one of the lowest voting participation rates, and, despite very enticing information about first-time registrations exploding in Texas, Ted Cruz proved in 2018 that there are juuuuuuusssst enough Republican voters out there to keep Texas the Republican state it has been since the mid-1990s. A couple of years ago, I wrote about voter participation in a small series of posts. Part 1; Part 2 ; Part 3.

Biden is … … Fine

Biden doesn’t set the world on fire, and he isn’t an especially eloquent speaker. But he doesn’t need to be.  He is folksy, and that can be charming. He’s got a lot of baggage. He wasn’t my first choice in the slightest (that would have been Elizabeth Warren), and I fully expect he’ll be a one-term President due to his age.

But he could have the ability to stabilize the monstrous chaos that has roiled the country while Trump has been President. He is unfortunately naïve in his belief that he can get Senate Republicans to work with him. The Obama Administration should have disabused him of that notion, but I suppose he has to pretend it’s possible since he’s trying to present himself as the guy who will be President to ALL Americans, and not just the white supremacists.

His platform is the most left-looking platform presented by a Democratic nominee since at least when Reagan was President. Is it as left as the Berners would like? Nope. But is it aimed at fixing the most glaring problem with the Affordable Care Act by seeking a public option? Yup.

(It is notable that Trump has no plan—he ran in 2016 saying that he was going to replace Obamacare with something better and cheaper. Four years later, his singular contribution to the health care debate is signing an Executive Order “protecting preexisting conditions” that the ACA already covers. Oh, and trying to steal money from other agencies to send a $200 coupon to seniors with his name plastered on it. Other than that, though, his “plan” has always been four years away. Ten years after the passage of the ACA, Republicans have contributed NOTHING to the question of how to make sure that Americans have access to borderline decent health care. That none of them are actually running on a plan is a testament to the fact that they do not have a plan at all.)

Is Biden’s platform aimed at turning back Trump’s tax cuts that gave billions to billionaires and basically nothing to everyone else? Yup. Does the platform address gun violence? Yup. (Is he gonna take away your guns? Nah. He’ll curtail future availability and regulate the industry, but his platform doesn’t promote the confiscation of weapons for law-abiding owners.) Does his platform address LGBTQ+ protections? Yup. (Biden got Obama to end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and it becomes even more important in light of Justice Thomas and Alito signaling today they want to overturn Obergefell, the ghouls.)

Biden Has a Thorough Platform

Biden’s platform is huge, and it’s a shame that Trump obsession drowns it out.

But I go back to what I said a minute ago: Biden doesn’t set the world on fire. The current occupant of the White House is a pyromaniac, constantly looking for the absolute worst decision to make. If he were given the decision between petting a bunny or flinging a box of scalpels at someone, he would choose the latter. One needs to look no further than this past weekend when he was hospitalized. He recorded a video claiming to “get it” now, referring to COVID-19, (which is massively insulting to the families and friends of the more than 200,000 who have died, not to mention the people who will have life-long medical issues because of the virus) but then immediately demonstrating that he absolutely doesn’t get it by forcing his Secret Service detail to cram into a hermetically sealed vehicle for a ride up and down the street, recklessly exposing them to a virus that could kill them in days.

Joe Biden probably won’t take a spot in the pantheon of Great American Presidents. Given the choice between a perfectly decent person, though, and one who will be studied in history books for causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans? The choice shouldn’t even be difficult.

For President and Vice-President, I recommend Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

The next post will be about the United States Senate and House of Representatives, and after that, I’ll get to the down-ballot stuff that’s super important, but features people who aren’t as well known.