As we have heard time and again, the Nov. 3 election is the most important this country has faced in decades. That's because we are making a critical choice about the future of our country. If Trump is elected, we face four more years of a country subject to his narcissism, his whims, his insecurities, his dismantling of so many of our domestic agencies and foreign relations, and especially the possible loss of democracy. If Biden wins, we face a quiet, if not boring, four more years, but one based on honesty and an effort to make America America again. The question Democrats silently ask is he capable of turning us around.
I think he is, especially if he appoints the "best and brightest" people to help him run our government.
But there's more on the ballot than just selecting a president (although that is the most critical part). There are state, county and local offices to consider. In Palo Alto, 10 candidates are vying for four seats, and the winners here could also determine the future size and feel of this community -- more growth or retaining the suburban ambiance of the city. In the school board race, six candidates are running for three seats. There's the Foothill-DeAnza Community College race, a county school board race, etc.
Unfortunately, California ballots can be long, especially since there are 10 state propositions to consider. The county has some issues to also be voted on, the water district and school district each one, Caltrain has a measure aptly labeled RR. So, as usual, it's a long ballot. In previous years, some voters have gotten impatient when nearing the end and just declare, "I've had enough" and stick their ballots into the envelopes with a lot of unmarked races. But that's no solution to getting the most competent people to serve on councils and boards.
The ballots arrive on Oct. 3. On Monday, Oct. 5, the Rotary Club of Palo Alto will be holding a virtual debate among all 10 council candidates, starting at 12:30 p.m. Visitors are welcome to view the debates. https://zoom.us/j/8224330584?pwd=MUUrZTUwQmR3aTJJNW9ScUVBeitVQT09
Let's hope Louis DeJoy, U.S. postmaster doesn't screw up the delivery of ballots to our homes, and also that it gets all ballots to the county Registrar of Voters office in San Jose. I hope DeJoy's reach from Washington, DC. does not extend as far as our communities on the West Coast. I suggest voting in mid-October, just to make sure our ballots arrive in time.
As I said, this is a critical election! So there's homework to do -- now. Read the County Voter Information Guide sent to you (47 pages of reading about the candidate bios, and the pros and cons of state and local propositions, because there are some big issues. Go to the League of Voters site or to the County Registrars' offices for additional arguments, and talk about candidates and issues with your friends and neighbors. Read the endorsement editorials in our local, area and state papers. Most of those editorial boards have interviewed candidates, done background searches, and have made knowledge choices.
Don't give up! We don't know how this election will turn out, especially in the presidential race. A lot is at stake here, and our votes count.