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Guy Farmer: An ugly election

By Guy W. Farmer

As Georgia and Pennsylvania turned blue Friday morning, it appeared as if former Vice President Joe Biden — the oldest (78 on Nov. 20) and weakest presidential candidate in American history — was headed for a cliffhanger victory over President Donald Trump in perhaps the ugliest national election in U.S. history. Our relentlessly self-centered president, who had a strong record to run on, has only himself to blame if he loses.

After Biden emerged from his Wilmington, Delaware, basement bunker on Thursday morning to claim that he’ll be our next president, Trump appeared in the White House Press Room to charge that Democrats “are trying to steal the election.” Meanwhile, his legal team is filing multiple lawsuits in an uphill battle to keep him in office beyond Inauguration Day, Jan. 20.

Biden was leading Nevada by a razor-thin margin of less than 1 percent. Pollsters, who had predicted a comfortable Biden victory and a huge “Blue Wave,” were 100% wrong as Republicans retained control of the Senate and picked up several House seats. Now, no one believes the pollsters.

It was an ugly election campaign between two elderly white men. Trump, 74, was like the Energizer Bunny last month, speaking to thousands of enthusiastic supporters in battleground states, including Nevada. Meanwhile, Biden rarely ventured out of his basement. Who was that masked man?

I faced the same dilemma as millions of my fellow Americans, forced to choose between a rude, crude bully/egomaniac and an over-the-hill career politician who has been swimming in the Washington swamp for nearly 50 years. I couldn’t in good conscience vote for either one of these fatally flawed candidates. And therefore, I voted for good old “none of the above,” who is always on the Nevada ballot.

Many moderate nonpartisan voters weighed their options and voted for Trump because they preferred his policies to the left wing/socialist claptrap Biden and/or his ultra-liberal running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, have been spouting. If you had waterboarded me for an hour or two, I would have voted for Trump because I’m adamantly opposed to defunding the police; opening our borders; spending trillions of taxpayer dollars on the Green New Deal, which would bankrupt our country, and teaching our children that America is a horrible country afflicted with “systemic racism.”

Two Wall Street Journal columnists, Peggy Noonan and Gerard Baker, illustrated the dilemma voters faced last Tuesday. Noonan, a gifted speechwriter for President George W. Bush, couldn’t vote for either presidential candidate, so the erudite columnist voted for Edmund Burke, an 18th century Irish statesman/philosopher.

By contrast, Baker, the Journal’s former editor-in-chief, concluded that while “Trump is terribly flawed, the alternative (Biden) is simply terrible” because the former vice president “sits vacantly smiling and slightly bewildered atop a party… that represents a sustained challenge to the shared ideals that have defined the United States through its history.” I agree with Baker.

Local Races

The two candidates I endorsed, U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei and my good friend, former Assemblyman PK O’Neill, a moderate Republican who regained his District 40 Assembly seat, won handily by 60-40 margins as did another friend, Maurice “Mo” White, who was elected to the Board of Supervisors. Congratulations!

As someone who worked local elections for 16 years, I thank Carson City Clerk Aubrey Rowlatt and her efficient, nonpartisan elections team for doing a fine job last Tuesday. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who make it possible for us to exercise our right to choose our elected officials. That’s the essence of grassroots democracy.

Guy W. Farmer has been a Carson City voter since 1962.