Voting with Optimism Amid a Pandemic

Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 03:53 PM

Friends! I wanted to talk to you about voting with optimism amid a pandemic.

Why “optimism”? Well, as a cartoonist: 99% of my job is optimism. It’s hope! The whole point of comics is to give you a 3- or 4-second burst of joy, before you dive back in to the troubles of your day.

Comics let us revel in the best moments in life: In Kindness. In Hope. In Friendship. Comics can’t move mountains, but they can move hearts. And as I’ve said in different comics over the years: Our one job in this life is to make this place better before we go (link). The things we do for ourselves will, by and large, disappear with our death. But the kindnesses we do for others will keep rippling out long after we’re gone. Comics are my small way of doing that.

And thanks to comics, I’ve met so many of you over the years. Comic-Cons have brought me to all fifty states. All fifty! All fifty states! And I can tell you that this is a uniquely wonderful country — filled with an awesome, optimistic people.

And because I love this country so much, I want to join the growing chorus of folks who *never* speak up on such matters, and ask you in friendship to vote for Joe Biden, and vote Trump out.

This election isn’t your standard “disagreement over policy” election. It’s a referendum on one man. A man who is facing multiple crises at once, and somehow making them all...worse. He has steered us toward more divisiveness and more chaos — and it’s time we step off that path, back to honor and decency and optimism.

I’m speaking specifically to those of you who aren’t planning on voting. Even if you don’t follow politics, you know in your heart that something is terribly off. Under Trump, America is angrier and more caustic. Your vote can help change that.

I’m also speaking to those independents and Republicans who know in your hearts that this isn’t where we’re meant to be. I’m not asking you to change who you are, or to change your beliefs. I’m asking you — in this one instance — to join the hordes of past and present Republican governors, Republican senators, and Republican cabinet members who are putting country before party and saying they can not vote for Trump.

This is a moment for all reasonable, honorable people to stand up against the dark path that we’re heading down.

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Let's say it simply. Trump is not an honorable man. He is not a decent man. He is not a truthful man, or a kind one. He brings divisiveness when a moment calls for unity. He brings chaos when a moment calls for calm. This isn’t something new: I’ve been saying this for years, in my comics. (Look! 14 years ago! From 2006!)

And now with Covid, we’re left facing a once-in-a-hundred-year crisis with a president who is clearly not up to the task. A man who, by his words and leadership, has somehow brought the richest, most powerful, most dynamic nation…to the highest number of Covid deaths in the world.

Roll that last sentence over again in your head.

No pandemic could ever be pain-free, but all you need to do is look at Germany and South Korea to see the path we could’ve had, with a different president. We are now over 217,000 dead. We’ve already passed the total American deaths in WWI, and by winter’s end will have passed WWII.

This is a man who can’t even protect his own White House from Covid. How can he protect us?

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Joe Biden is a decent man. He is an honorable man. We can quibble on his policies about this or that. Like all politicians, he’s no one’s perfect candidate. But he is a man who can guide us through this pandemic. Trump is not.

And so, my friends, with whatever goodwill I’ve built up with you over the years — I will gladly spend it down now to ask you to vote him out of office.

Here is the plan:

And that’s it. That's how we find optimism amid a pandemic.

In love and friendship,
Dave

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PS:

And to those of you who'll say “Dave, you just lost me as a reader,” I say with absolute love in my heart: I wish you well. Genuinely! Both my chipper personality and my faith tells me to do nothing less. Remember: We will still be walking this path together, as Americans, however this vote turns out. So I do wish you well, even if you never read my work again.

But such is the concern in my heart, that I would gladly lose tens of thousands of readers if it meant I could nudge just a few dozen folks — just a few dozen! — to get out and vote. So please, vote!

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