I don’t consider myself a highly political person. Sure, I made the same “Dubbya is the worst!” that any liberal minded student made in the early 2000’s, but halfway through my first and only Political Science class in college I knew that I wasn’t ever going to get super bent out of shape by the political sphere. That is, until this year.
Like many of us, I didn’t take Trump seriously at first. I bought Trump pinatas and joked about how stupid he was with my friends. When I asked my very Republican family what they thought, they scoffed off the question. “There’s no way he’ll get the nomination,” they said. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that the intelligent people I’m related to who I do respect didn’t vote for this madman in the primaries. I hoped they were right, and he would fade away as fast as the ratings of the SNL episode he hosted.
Of course they were wrong. He did get the nomination, and now I see these same people wearing Trump stickers and I die a little inside.
I have always based my political decisions on the “sleep at night” factor. While I may skew a bit conservative fiscally, I can’t sleep at night knowing I support candidates who basic human rights – specifically surrounding LGBTQ and women. This year though, simply voting for my chosen candidate isn’t providing a good night’s rest. I feel compelled to be vocal.
It’s not that I need everyone to agree with the same policies I do. I don’t think that being a Republican is a bad thing, I know a ton of super well educated Republicans. We might disagree on some things, but at the end of the day there’s a mutual level of respect. Not a word of this post is written to try and sway someone to change parties or even vote for my chosen candidate. I’m not here for that.
What I keep thinking about is the kind of icon the President of the United States stands for to our country. The political world is one of deep corruption that needs to be addressed. Don’t think for a second that I find our current president (who I voted for on both terms) is absolved from this. There’s a level of crookedness to every candidate, for better or worse.
When we vote, we decide both on policies and on the character of the person we choose to represent our country. My focus for this election is on the second part of that – character. If you were to go to a school right now and ask the young children what they think about the president, the response isn’t going to have anything to do with health care or disappearing emails. Children focus on the whole picture and things they can understand like kindness, respect and love. The lack of those traits in Donald Trump are what keep me up at night.
Though I don’t have children, there are two important little girls in my life – my niece (who’s parents will decidedly be voting for Trump) and my self-appointed goddaughter (who’s parents will decidedly not be voting for Trump). When I think about these little girls, I want them to view the president as a role model. I want them to look up at that figure and say, “I want to be well spoken like the president! I want to be respectful and intelligent like the president!”
Children don’t need to grow up under the umbrella of this man. Little girls don’t need to think, “If I’m well spoken and assertive people will think I’m a ‘nasty’ woman.” I don’t want them to have a president who values a woman by his desire to sleep with her. I don’t want them to grow up under this shadow and think, “Maybe if I lose some weight the president will grab my pussy.”
I hate I even have to spend time thinking about this during this election. I would much rather research healthcare reform and how tax plans effect me. I would rather be able to cast my vote between two qualified candidates who disagree, rather than being forced to vote for the candidate that won’t endanger my friends’ well being and parade my insecurities around like a joke.
If it were that kind of election, I wouldn’t be writing this at all. After all, this isn’t even remotely a political blog but it is a blog for things that are on my mind. People vote to make the right decision for themselves, and this year for me that’s voting for a candidate that I believe little girls will aspire to rather than crumble from.