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Updated: Aug 28, 2020

April 8, 2020

Yesterday was a huge day in the news, and a lot of things changed. It was a turning point day. But we were unequal to any of it. We watched the news glassy-eyed. We played games on our phones. We hardly ate or talked. We didn’t walk the dogs. We floated in a strange gray state of suspension, went to bed early and fell asleep immediately.

Only today are we able to wonder why it hit us so hard, the funeral of our neighbor’s mom, whom we never even met. We felt ridiculous, and a little embarrassed.

But I keep understanding how fragile we are now, all of us. How the air, so strangely clean and quiet, carries sadness in it all the time. You don’t even have to look at the news — you can feel something is horribly wrong in the world, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

Yesterday (April 7), Wisconsin held its Democratic primary election. Yeah, they actually did. With corona virus raging, the polling place opened and the people showed up and stood 6 feet apart, with masks on their faces, and waited hours to vote. And that did make me cry.

Photo: Patricia McKnight/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Everyone knows that Bernie can’t win anymore and the race belongs to Biden. But that isn’t why people turned up. They did it, I feel sure, because they are sick of being pushed by this savage government and damn it, we are still Americans and it’s still our right to vote.

They went in person to their polling places because U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wisconsin couldn’t delay the election. Nor were citizens allowed to vote by mail. Y’know, mail, absentee ballot, safe at home … the way the Trumps vote.

It was a filthy partisan action, and it made me angrier than anything has in a long time. I wondered what I would have done if I’d had to choose between endangering my health and possibly my life, or voting. To be honest, I’m not sure. The fact that callous people forced such a choice on voters might have made me mad enough to go stand there. Then again I’m asthmatic — so, really, would I have? I’ll never know. I just know I salute those brave, amazing voters, those patriots, in Wisconsin.

We really shouldn’t have to think about party affiliation, political advantage, the November election, or any of that stuff right now. Right?

When it really hit us that COVID-19 was real, was here, it felt to me like most Americans wanted to just focus on that, and never mind the usual stuff we worry about. I’m a passionate progressive, have been since childhood, and even I felt like, oh leave Trump alone. Or at least, let’s not worry about all that now.

So it’s been shocking, and honestly horrifying, how the epic power struggle that has become Life in America has actually intensified in the midst of this crisis. The Wisconsin vote is a great example.

At the root of it that disgusting maneuver was Trump’s endorsement of a conservative justice, who was running to keep his seat on the state Supreme Court. Trump tweeted on Monday night, “Get out and vote for Justice Daniel Kelly, and stay safe!”

To which I say, Jill Karofsky, Democratic challenger, may you kick ass.

The results of the election are supposed to come in on April 13.

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