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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What I Did With My Afternoon.

LTT vote 2016.jpg

I cast my vote for President of the United States for the eleventh time this afternoon.

No bellwether here: I’ve picked the winner six times so far; the loser, four.

I’m fickle, too: I’ve voted for one, then against him four years later; and against one, then for him at re-election time.

In 1980, I voted- proudly- for the independent candidate, John B. Anderson, who was born two years after women got the vote and, I am sure, was at his polling station in Illinois today, casting his nineteenth vote for president at the age of 94.

In forty years I’ve gone from being a straight-ticket Republican voter to- today- a straight ticket Democratic one.

The General Assembly in Raleigh eliminated straight ticket voting, coupla years ago, as part of their big reform program. They said it’s bad enough that college students- given the vote by the Republican president Richard Nixon- and marauding bands of fraudulently-voting Negroes hunting out their constantly relocated polling places,and the dead, clawing their way out of their graves to vote yet again, in a renewed testimony to the embalmer's art- should vote at all, much less just be able to push one button.

I understand their concerns, and so took my time to carefully vote for the Democratic Candidate for Everything on Offer, one at a time.

Giving me particular pleasure to vote against were several worthies of the Republican Party of North Carolina.

Downballot, Phil Berger, Jr. lost my vote for the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He is the son of the State Senate President pro tem- and de facto governor- Phil Berger, whose contempt for voters and democratic processes is such that he jammed through a law last summer to ensure that his son got listed top of the ballot. Election studies show primacy of place can be worth a point or two in a close race, though I can tell you, when I filed first for college student government races on that basis, it didn’t do me a damned bit of good.

Senator Buck Newton, the Republican candidate for attorney general, made me smile, too. He says whatever he passed as a legislator is valid, and as AG he will cram it right down the throats of the federal courts until Senator Richard Burr blocks the replacement of the last judge to die, and a supine state appellate judiciary finally gets enough Phil Berger Jrs on board to rubber stamp stuff.

Senator Newton reached out to me, as a native North Carolinian, when he called for voters to “keep North Carolina straight.” I reached back:  for the voting machine button reading “Josh Stein.”

North Carolina has had a long tradition of one activist US Senator and one clubhouse pol who did the constituent service work. Sam Ervin had B. Everett Jordan; Jesse Helms had “Helms on Wheels,” Senator John East, who found Jesse’s endless slide shows of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photos of stamens and pistils and Mr 10 and ½ too much, and committed suicide.

Since 2014 we have had two nonentities, Richard Burr and failed trailer park slumlord Thom Tillis.

Senator Burr panicked on 9/11, phoning his wife to hit as many ATMs as she could to defy withdrawal limits; he is now head of the Select Senate Committee on Intelligence, which is, frankly, neither.

Burr, who wishes he could be surgically joined to Donald Trump, they are so close, has spent a lot of money trotting out his wife to complain that his opponent, Deborah Ross, won’t release her tax returns. Neither will the Donald, and you can see in Mrs Burr’s pained expression the realization she has married a man who would spend more time kissing campaign donors’ asses than her tightly pursed lips.

He also doesn’t wear socks, which, for a man in his sixties who wears the finest threads NRA money can buy, is just peculiar. It makes you wonder what else he is into: Fifty Shades of Grey fan fiction? Hot yoga? Hiding-in-plain-sight fraud like running ads about his pandering to African-Americans featuring kids in a school in Africa?

Deborah Ross: check.

I made up my mind about Judge Michael Morgan, who is running for the Supreme Court, when Senator Phil Berger denounced him, on Twitter, for striking down Berger’s surgical precision voter suppression law because it went after black voters, of whom Judge Morgan is one. Knowing- by extension- that incumbent Justice Robert Edmunds (who appeared the other day on a Hickory platform with the entire state GOP ticket) will do right by whitey, was enough.

And then there was Governor McCrory.

Let us draw a veil over that scene, dear voter. If thought was action, however, Dr Hannibal Lecter would be offering me a full scholarship tonight.

I dressed in my best clobber to vote. We live in parlous times, and I figure I need to summon about me all the authority figureness genetics and a career as a smart-alec trial lawyer has granted me, lest the little old ladies decide to mess with my right to vote.

Just this year, I have had to show ID, and not show ID, in two primaries and a general election. We got the extra primary after a court struck down yet another Republican vote-rigging plan, and the county election board, whose chair says lots of early voting places encourages voter fraud that doesn’t  happen, made it too hard for me to get ‘er done sooner. I have, for several years carried additional proof of residence to the polls in case some poll worker decided to exercise a little extreme vetting on my case.

In I strode, looking like a Sandhills planter come up to Charlotte to vote, go over my accounts with my factors, and look at the new line of Packards, and sailed through the process.

It worked so well, in fact, that as I stood at a stop light on the way home, a passenger in a passing car looked me up and down and taunted. “Yo! Trump!”

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