reflections

If You Care About Your Mother, Your Ancestors, or People Like Me, Vote Hillary

Yesterday, an acquaintance of mine from college wrote an eloquent post on Facebook about why he was voting for Donald Trump. In it, he denounced the liberal left as “witch hunters” who used arguments from their moral high ground to demonize the right and their policies. Now, despite my objections to his political proclivities, I realized that he had somewhat of a point. Politicians must be more than just beliefs. They should also be logical and informed people who based their decisions on fact. All three of those elements—morals, logic, and facts—can change based on who is wielding the information and from what vantage point they are looking from, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is the combination of the three that yield a truly strong candidate.

On the eve of the 2016 Election Day, this acquaintance’s post has caused me to stop and think even more deeply about the choice we are being asked to make through voting tomorrow. To be honest, if elections were just a matter of logic and facts, I feel like the choice would be incredibly obvious. There may never have been a more experienced candidate to run for the office of President. And, despite what you may think of the quality of that experience, I would rather have someone who can make educated, experienced guesses and be wrong at the helm than someone with no experience whatsoever. But, in truth, this election is not about logic and facts. It never really has been. Because of his lack of experience, early on Trump changed the rhetoric in this election from one of logic and facts to one of morals and emotion. One article of many from early on the campaign trail explains basically how if you appeal to emotion, you don’t have to have logic on your side. And that is just what the Trump campaign, somewhat expertly, has done. So, with less than 24 hours to go until we as a nation cast our votes for the next President of the United States, I am going to do the same thing—appeal to emotion—and tell you what I believe in the hopes that you too will make the morally righteous choice tomorrow.

I want you to know that I believe in my mother, my grandmother, my sister. I know that I would not be the person I am today if it was not for them. They are some of the smartest, bravest, kindest, and hardest working people I have ever known. A lawyer and rare cancer survivor who says her greatest accomplishment is her children. A compassionate woman who never says no to helping others even at almost 80; she did not graduate college and yet helped start two grandchildren down the path to top 10 universities. A consultant-turned-librarian who knows more about anything than you probably do. For them to live in a country where they aren’t paid the same as men because of their sex is unimaginable. For them to live in a country where they do not get to decide what to do with their own bodies is abominable. For them to live in a country where someone who is in the running for the highest office of the land can speak about them as if they were objects is unacceptable. I also believe in my new baby niece. I hope that one day the boy or girl that falls in love with her treats her with the respect she fully deserves. I want my President to be a model of that respect. If you care about your mother, your grandmother, your sister, your niece, or any of the other women in your life, you must vote for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

I believe in my ancestors. I believe in my African ancestors, who were brought over here against their will and made to toil and work to literally build the foundations of our country. And I believe in their children and grandchildren, some of whom are my great-grandparents and grandparents—ones who endured segregation, lynching, burning crosses, and hate. They dared to live despite the concentrated efforts of others and in the midst of it all still managed to make the world a better place, creating innovating in field like science and music that revolutionized the world in ways that still have ripples today. It was their willingness to endure that allows me to be here and cast a vote tomorrow in the first place. And their story, though specialized, is not unique. The narratives of a people of color in this country are fraught with disenfranchisement and triumph in the face of unlikely odds. While they mostly helped themselves, they were were also spurred on by people who were willing to be allies and upstanders. They were helped by people who knew that our differences are what make us beautiful. They were helped by people that knew that our differences are not as great as those things that made us the same. If you believe in people of color, you must vote for Secretary Hillary Clinton.

I also want to be clear that I believe in my ancestors who came here willingly. My great-grandmother came across the Atlantic from Norway as a graduation present and so fell in love with America that she decided to not go back home. If our boarders were closed, people like her who were seeking a better life on our shores would not have been able to find it. As a country built on immigrants, willing and unwilling, we all would not be here if it weren’t for them. It is her and people like her who help to make our country a mélange of cultures and ideas, which is the backbone of the American soul. If you believe in the journey your bloodline has made to get you here today, you must vote for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

I believe in Harvey Milk, Marsha P. Johnson, Brandon Teena, Matthew Shepard, CeCe McDonald, and so many others who have fought and/or died in the struggle so that someone like me can walk down the street holding the hand of someone I love and not be persecuted for it. Marriage equality is certainly not the apex of the Queer Rights Movement; it is only a simple beginning and a victory for few. But to take steps back would be unethical and unfair. It would say to me that this country believes that the way that I was made to love is wrong. If you believe that love is love is love, you must vote for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,

I say to that acquaintance from college that you are right. That we have to make politics about more than just morality. We have to give fair examinations to positions and legislation from all sides of the fence. But when a candidate for the highest office in this land claims that he will make America great again by undermining and invalidating my humanity, I cannot help but to cry foul, and cry foul loudly. When a candidate wants to build walls and divide over bringing us together, I have to say that he is objectively wrong. If you want to claim that those who oppose Trump are on a “witch hunt” against him and his supporters, then call me Puritanical. I am only treating this as a battle versus good and evil because that is what it is. When you have children who are afraid to learn in school because of the rhetoric of a presidential candidate, the debate has to be a moral one over all else.When you have someone who is planning on taking away liberties that ensure the pursuit of happiness for some American citizens for the sake of others, the conversation has to be one about morality. When you have a candidate who is advocating for war crimes, the conversation has to be one about what is right and wrong.

So I ask and plead of you, if you care for the women in your life, your ancestors, people of color, the LGBTQ community, any and all those who have been disenfranchised, you must vote for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

If you care for all that is good and right in this world, you must vote for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

If you care at all about me and my humanity, you must vote for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

 

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