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Kennedy: Doom and gloom future? How far left is a leftist? Could a moderate end divisiveness? | COMMENTARY

Having received and returned my application for an absentee/mail-in ballot for the upcoming election, I have a question that, to my knowledge, hasn’t been answered in any of the pieces written about how the system is supposed to work.

I am well aware that once I receive my ballot, I can simply complete it and send it back, postage paid, via the USPS. Or, I can put the completed ballot in any of the special boxes that will be placed around the county. If I decide not to do either of those, I can cast my ballot either during the early voting period or on Nov. 3 at one of the consolidated polling places.

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However, since I requested an absentee/mail-in ballot, my ballot at the polling place would be considered a provisional ballot and be held until it could be determined that I had not returned the original ballot. My question then is, if I take my completed absentee/mail-in ballot to one of the polling places, could I simply run it through the scanner to make sure that it was counted? I wouldn’t need to do the usual check in and would only interact with the person monitoring the scanner. I’m surprised that this question hasn’t come up before.

Since I watched parts of the Democratic convention, I attempted to give equal time to the Republicans. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the lineup of speakers, but I was quite disappointed in their tone, generally. Each speaker that I tried to pay some attention to, almost as if the same writer had prepared all of their speeches, other than those touting Trump as a kind and loving father and spouse, seemed to focus on doom and gloom and tried to instill a fear of the future under a Biden administration.

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They all intimated that the country would, as the old saying goes, “go to hell in a hand basket,” ignoring the fact that we’re already there and without the basket for protection. Not one, not even Trump himself, ever put forth a plan for alleviating any of the problems facing the country, most notably the COVID-19 pandemic. All any of the speakers wanted to concentrate on was how awful things are in places with Democratic leadership, ignoring, of course, the lack of true leadership in many areas with Republicans in charge, with Maryland being the exception.

Several of my colleagues who share this space regularly have increased their usage of a term which, to me, hasn’t been defined and is used in a derogatory manner. When I try to differentiate between the two political ideologies, I use their official names, Democrats or Republicans. Those about whom I am referring tend to throw around the term “leftist.”

How far left must one be to be called a leftist? Am I a leftist since I skew just a little to that side of center but sometimes even agree with positions on the other side, or does one have to be so far left as to be almost to the right? I’m of the opinion that there are radical conservatives just as there are radical liberals. I also believe that those at either end of that spectrum have lost the ability to think rationally on many subjects and to pay them any attention does the rest of us no good.

Someone once wrote, “what this country needs is a good five cent cigar.” I’ll change that since smoking is hazardous to one’s health.

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What this country really needs is a rational, thinking, compassionate, moderate candidate, of either party, to reunite the country like it was under FDR, Truman, Ike, JFK, and Reagan.

This divisiveness that has now become the norm in our political arena has got to end. It will take a very strong-willed president to do that, if it can be done at all. If it isn’t be done, then we’re all in for a very long and bumpy ride until our proud nation falls like the old Roman Empire.

Again, I don’t care how you wish to do it, but get your ballots in. Every vote really does count.

Bill Kennedy writes every other week from Taneytown. You may contact him at wlkennedyiii@verizon.net.

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