Lincoln – Back in the 1950s I knew of a farmer who bought three cows at a local livestock auction and brought them to his farm before he realized they did not have the proper Brucellosis paperwork to show they had been vaccinated. They looked healthy but actually they had been intended for sale into the Canners and Cutters market, not for sale to another farmer.
He did the right thing by having them trucked back to the auction barn, took a financial loss, and learned a lesson. Admitting the mistake was admirable.
Now is the time for rural voters, many of whom did not properly look into whom they chose for president in 2016, to correct their mistake and save the country from further unravelling, and perhaps from calamity. There is no shame in owning up to a mistake; it's admirable.
No need to make excuses. I've heard them: Donald Trump was supposed to be a great businessman; he couldn't be bought because he was already wealthy; his language was locker-room but he told the truth; he was the friend of rural America, so he said; he was a patriot because he literally hugged the flag.
Then there was his opposition, which you said forced your hand to vote for Trump. Hillary Clinton had a private email server; she was Secretary of State when an ambassador and three others were killed in Benghazi; the EPA was waiting to take jurisdiction over every mud-puddle in your farmyard; the Clintons had a charitable foundation that must have been a front for something. Maybe the candidate was a murderer herself, because you saw the allegation on a commercial during a televised football game of your favorite team. All this was too much for you, so you had to vote for Trump. Even if he was a draft-dodger, a bankrupt, a philanderer, and had never held any previous elected office, you had to vote for him, because you couldn't leave that part of the ballot unmarked.
You're thinking of doing it again. Never mind Trump's appalling record of lying about the coronavirus and causing tens of thousands of deaths, insulting veterans for their military service, cheating at every turn for his own financial benefit, corrupting federal agencies thoroughly, devastating the rural economy with nonsensical tariffs, welcoming foreign interference in our elections, fomenting violence in the cities, belittling science, stoking fear and division across the land, and even turning the remaining few conservative principles of his party completely on their head.
Which for many rural voters is apparently okay. After all, if Biden is elected, he might check for Atrazine in mud-puddles. He might advocate a health care system like Switzerland or Denmark (aren't they socialist or communist or something?). We also need to get to the bottom of why, like Colin Powell, Hillary Clinton had an email server for her private emails, and hold a few trials. Let's vote for martial law while we're at it, and confiscate ballot boxes in case of voter fraud (can't be too careful).
Please, rural voters. Like the farmer who knew he made a mistake when he bought the wrong cows, just do the admirable thing: own up and correct it.
Or not. This is an election about the soul of the country. If you believe the flag is to hug, not stand for something; that if it stands for something, it's for people like us, not for you-know-who; that more weaponized Americans with assault rifles will lead to more security; that international alliances like NATO are passé; that Donald Trump knows more than scientists; that Vladimir Putin is a model for how to run a country; that Jerry Falwell Jr. is your kind of Christian; and that QAnon may be on to something, then vote that way. But realize it may be the last free and democratic vote you ever cast.