This looks like a fun day at the water park, right? It’s a picture from this year’s Memorial Day celebration at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. People are celebrating the holiday weekend without a care in the world. There are plenty of photos like this circulating online, but the “PLEASE PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING” banner proudly displayed over a tightly-packed crowd makes this one my favorite. That’s one for the history books, folks.

The pandemic isn’t over. Not even close. The spike of people gathering in crowds like this over the holiday weekend will inevitably trigger a second wave of infections and deaths.

Why is this happening? Why are people gathering in large crowds when the virus may still be spreading at epidemic rates in 24 states, and a second wave was starting in the Midwest and South even before people started abandoning distancing over the holiday weekend?

A very merry unbirthday to you! My birthday is coming up on May 19. I’m not having my usual big party this year because spreading a deadly virus isn’t my idea of a good time. Therefore, all celebrations that involve friends will have to take place online this year.

I invite you to celebrate with me online! In lieu of gifts, here are a few suggestions for how you can celebrate my birthday with me.

On February 3, the Iowa caucuses will mark the official start of the 2020 election. While there are technically candidates running against Trump in the Republican presidential primaries, the most contentious race of this primary season will surely be the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries.

A large number of Democratic presidential candidates have declared their candidacy to date. As of January 6, 2020, fourteen of these candidates are still in the race. Who will ultimately win the Democratic presidential nomination?

Of course, electoral politics isn’t the only way or best way to create social change. Grassroots organizing at the local and regional level empowers people to create change for themselves, inside and outside of existing systems, rather than waiting for politicians to create change from above. But most grassroots strategies for social change contain at least some electoral component, even if that only involves voting and contacting elected officials about issues rather than campaigning for particular candidates. Therefore, if we’re voting as part of a strategy to change our society for the better, it’s important to talk about who we’re voting for and why.

For months now, I’ve had a serious question on my mind about the Democratic presidential primaries. So far, I haven’t seen anyone else discuss it at length. Therefore, in an effort to clarify my own thoughts and spark meaningful discussion, I’ve decided to pose this question to my readers.

Should “progressive” third-party voters, and other “progressive” people who don’t usually vote for Democrats, vote in the Democratic presidential primaries?