Taboo Topics: The 2016 U.S. Election

Yep, I’m going there. I just want to have a quick, honest discussion about who and what I’m considering and why.

I am not voting for Donald Trump. Based on his comments about Mexican immigrants and Hispanic judge Gonzalo Curiel and a BuzzFeedNews compilation comparing his general quotes about women with the way Obama has spoken about women, I perceive Trump to be a bigot and a misogynist, and I refuse to vote for somebody who so blatantly represents an attitude I don’t respect.

I was originally set to vote for Hillary Clinton simply because my family is Democrat and I have liberal leanings, but after this whole email debacle and her escaping charges, I don’t know if I want to vote for her because so many of my friends distrust her. I don’t have a real opinion of Hillary myself, so it’s possible to be swayed by the people around me, the people I respect, and so many of them are extremely offended by her using her private email (instead of State Department email) to discuss classified material. My best friend, who is an Army veteran, then explained to me the Benghazi incident and how that factored into her distrust of Clinton, and I can’t pretend like her opinion doesn’t have an effect.

Apparently there’s no way to gauge if Clinton learned her lesson—who says she’d do things like this in the future?

Do we condemn not for what she has done but for what she could do? Do we murder Caesar just because of what he might do? Well, yes, if you’re Brutus and Cassius and the other conspirators. And half of the American people, I guess.

I still maintain that we don’t know that she would repeat her mistakes, but it’s true we also don’t know that she wouldn’t, so I can see people not wanting to take the chance.

“She already had her chance,” they’d say, “and she blew it. More than once.”

But I am a Christian. Isn’t our religion based on forgiveness? It’s kind of funny for me to be talking in a broad sense about forgiveness because I have such a hard time with it personally.

Can’t she redeem herself? Isn’t there anything she can do to prove she’d be a good president? For me I think there are things she can do. For you it might be a different case, and I respect that.

But after her that leaves Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, about whom I know literally nothing other than his name. And that he called Trump a “pussy.” LAWL

I talked to my mother about voting for Johnson and she said not voting for Hillary would basically be a vote for Trump, as she predicts Johnson won’t get enough votes to become president.

Well, damn. So what’s the friggin’ point? It seems like it’s not going to come out good either way you slice it, so why bother voting at all? It’s not like one little vote is going to matter in the long run…

I know, I know. This is not how young people are supposed to be thinking. We’re supposed to be thinking about the people who fought and died to give us our God-given right to have our voices heard and counted—I especially should take notice considering I’m both a woman and a person of color. There were times when people like me were only counted as 3/5 of a person, and I have the audacity to take advantage of my position in society now and say that I don’t want to vote? I know it’s societal blasphemy, I know, but it’s how I feel. I didn’t say I wouldn’t vote, but am I excited about it? Do I feel like my vote matters? Not really.

I’m not normally a cynical person, but whenever it comes to politics (a subject about which I admit I know next to nothing), I just think to myself that whoever wins is going to have some small victories that everyone will look past due to whatever awful mistakes they’re going to make. It’s not like that’s not all the media and the people focus on anyway: the negative. You never hear about anything good Obama’s done anymore—it’s just about why the Republicans are glad he’s leaving this year. Yeah, really looking forward to more coverage like that: pissed off people whose problems seem to be going nowhere because the president and Congress can’t get themselves together.

On Facebook I told one of my friends that I didn’t want to vote. I told her what my mother said about the Gary Johnson situation.

She replied: “I don’t vote on who I think is going to win, I vote for who I think is right.”

Her statement is a powerful one, don’t you think? I do, and I think she’s right. It’s the principle of the matter. If you go down, you go down doing what you think is right.

The only question is… who is right for our nation?

Some days I think I’ve made up my mind on Clinton. On other days I feel guilty supporting her and lean toward Johnson. Then the next day it’s like, “Does a third party vote even matter?”

I hate this. Politics. It makes me come off like I’m stupid and don’t have an opinion on my nation but the truth is that I kind of don’t. I just want equal rights and opportunities for everyone and support for the middle class. And who’s going to get our country that?

Who?

Whoever I think will, that’s who I’m going to vote for.

Who are you voting for and why? Why do you think it’s important to vote? If you’d care to, I’d love have some comments on this topic.

-BP

P.S. To whoever’s our future president:

Please, please do your best to do right by the American people. All of them. Not just the whites or the blacks or the 1%. All of us, because it’s only as a nation that we can stand together. And at the end of the day I want to be proud of what we stand for, not ashamed. Keep us together as best you can. Don’t divide our home.

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