It’s the day many of us have been anxiously awaiting – well at least if you live in the United States, though I bet some of my readers from other countries may be just as interested to see who is elected the next US President as we are. It’s Election Day!
I try to keep this space pretty controversy-free most days so I haven’t really talked about the upcoming election at all bar one or two mentions of the craziness going on. It’s a different story if you look at my Twitter, but that’s neither here nor there.
I know Life According to Jamie is usually pretty lighthearted and focuses on the fluffy, pretty things in life because I strive to make this space a place of positivity. However, life isn’t always rainbows, a pretty meal, and new pair of boots (although wouldn’t that be nice?) so I’m going to get serious with you in today’s post about this election. It is so important to vote, not just in this election but in general. It is a right that so many of us take for granted. We have become so far removed and forgotten how lucky we are to be given this opportunity. There are so many people in the world who would give their lives to be able to vote. Women were finally given the right to vote in 1920 in the United States. Can you believe that? We’ve only had the right to vote for 96 years so why would you give that up?
Now, I’m not here to persuade you to vote one way or another. It’s your right to vote the way you want to and I respect that! But, I do feel the need to express who I’m voting for and why. Not because I want to justify my vote, but because I feel like it is so important and while I may not be able to understand the other side I am passionate about my choice. I am voting for Hillary Clinton and quite honestly, Donald Trump is not an option for me.
Yes, Hillary Clinton is not perfect – she is flawed. No one is perfect and there will never be a perfect candidate. But she is more than qualified and I believe has the best interests of the people in mind. Has she made mistakes? Yes. But again, I do not believe her mistakes should take her out of the race. I also think she is unfairly treated because she is a woman. She has her whole email fiasco, which quite frankly is really ridiculous. Yes, it was a stupid mistake or choice (depending on how you want to look at it) but she’s apologized for it and she hasn’t been found of doing anything criminal. Keeping a private server was also common practice for a very long time so although it was frowned upon or not allowed when she did it, it’s not like she was doing something that taboo and that no one had ever done before. Back to the gender thing. She has been practically crucified over this email scandal, while a slew of charges against Trump have seemingly just rolled off his back. A handful of sexual harassment/assault accusations (he also was being accused of rape by a woman who alleges he raped her when she was 13), his “university” is being investigated for fraud, his foundation was suspended by the state of New York, he admits to not paying his employees and contractors, and so much more. speaking of the sexual harassment accusations – if those weren’t bad enough, Trump’s response to them as to why they are completely false is that the women aren’t attractive enough. I just want to cringe when he speaks! Anyway, I can’t help but think that if a man had the same email scandal as Hillary, it wouldn’t have been blown into such proportions. I read somewhere recently that a man can make lots of mistakes and people don’t mind them and will let them slide, but a woman must always be perfect or that’s it for her. I think so many women can relate to that to some degree!
In many ways I feel like this isn’t even an election about the issues, but it is a moral choice. I cannot vote for Trump because not only is he extremely unqualified in my opinion, but does not care what he says and I just can’t vote for him to be the face and voice of the American people. I can’t vote for someone who promotes and encourages violence, hate, and distrust in our democracy. And there are many people/his supporters who don’t think his hate filled rhetoric is that big of a deal. And maybe those people have never been discriminated against and to that I have to say that it. is. real. The pilgrims came to America to escape religious persecution. How can we say that people are not welcome here because of their religion or race or anything else? Of course, Trump has no control over the actions of some of these people, but what he has done is made this kind of hateful behavior acceptable and we can’t allow that to happen. I have seen people endure being demeaned and discriminated against because Trump has made them feel like it’s okay. There was a story over the summer about a teenage girl in Virginia who’s a waitress and a couple didn’t tip her. Instead they left her a lovely note on the bill saying they only tip citizens. She is Latina. One of my friend’s has a neighbor who was out to dinner. Their baby started crying and someone walked over to them and told them to go back to their country. Then there’s the recent story about the African American Church in Mississippi that was burned down last week with a graffitied Vote Trump on the side of the building. This is completely unacceptable and I cannot in good conscious or in my heart vote for someone who has made these disgusting acts commonplace. I honestly believe that Hillary is not perfect, but she is qualified, smart, has the right temperance, and will promote tolerance.
My best friend is Muslim. During this whole election season we have joked that if Trump becomes president she will have to hide in my attic or basement. We’re, of course, joking but isn’t it sad that this is real life – that we are at the point that we have to joke about hiding because of religion, race, gender, or sexual orientation?
I’ll be voting after work today and then probably anxiously watching the coverage for the rest of the evening and biting my nails in anticipation.
I know I wrote a lot, but I had a lot to say! So if you made it this far, thanks for reading and I hope you will vote! Now you know how I feel about the election and the candidates. If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine! We’re not always all going to agree about everything, but I hope you will exercise your right to vote (for my American friends who are old enough to vote!). Again, please don’t feel like I’m pushing my views on you – I’m just expressing my views and opinions! I feel very strongly about it which is why I was able to write so much. With that I leave you with this famous quote by Martin Niemoller that I feel is so fitting for this election and my opinion of the intolerance we have been seeing so much of lately.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
– MARTIN NIEMÖLLER