On most years, Americans, celebrate the 4th of July with family gatherings, food, fun, games and fireworks (location permitting). But this year, things are different.

As I write this, our nation is coming to the realization that COVID is NOT going away. Many parts of California and the nation are preparing for a second wave of shut-down and stay-in-place orders. We are still seeing daily examples of the African-American community being treated unfairly by police and our fellow citizens, and we have a president who sides with racists and fascists while actively stoking the fear and hatred in his political base for personal gain. We, as a nation, are as divided as we have ever been during my lifetime.

The Presidency of the United States is the most difficult job in the world. The person who occupies the Oval Office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. is expected to offer leadership and guidance on any issue that crosses their path at any time of the day or night. The President is expected to listen to the advice of the people he has chosen to be his experts in various fields. The President is expected to consider their advice and make a sometimes difficult decision for the benefit of our nation. Whether that decision will be supported by political base or not, The President is expected to make the proper decision.

President John F. Kennedy meeting with his cabinet.

In our current president, we have virtually the opposite. We have a man who is making decisions solely on whether they will benefit him personally. That’s it. That’s the sole criteria.

Yesterday (July 3, 2020), the president held a rally at Mount Rushmore. Rather than try to unite our nation, he used that venue to lash out at people working to better the state of our nation as a whole. He stoked the fears of his base supporters by, once again, blaming our nation’s woes on “the others.”

President Donald Trump speaks at Mount Rushmore National Monument Friday, July 3, 2020, in Keystone, S.D. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

In other times that spectacle would be labelled “ironic.” Ironic because Mount Rushmore is a monument to men who did great things as President. These men were willing to lead in a time of great turmoil. Often their decisions were contentious and scorned. Nonetheless, they made decisions they felt would benefit everyone and we as a nation are better for it.

Theodore Roosevelt

Today, “sad” is perhaps a better label. I am confident that any one of the men whose likeness is carved on that granite mountain would not hesitate to speak and act out against the current president. They would feel they had no other choice.

I feel the same way. For that reason, I will work to remove the current president from office by electing anyone else. I prefer to support people in whom I believe. But this year, for the first time in a long time, I will be voting AGAINST a candidate, not FOR a candidate. I urge you to choose to elect a new president.

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