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Whether or Not You Want to, You Have to Vote for Hillary Clinton

Whether or Not You Want to, You Have to Vote for Hillary Clinton

Whether or Not You Want to, You Have to Vote for Hillary Clinton

Disappointed in this year's election? Don't put the health, safety, and equality of your fellow citizens at risk because of it. 


When I first tried to write this article, my attempt was frenzied, scathing, and desperate. I was fueled by my anger at the "Bernie or Bust"-ers who are using the Democratic National Convention to tear the nominee, Hillary Clinton, down rather than look at the bigger picture. Slinging descriptors like “ignorant, privileged, and immature,” I set out to shame the movement that I do still believe could be partially responsible for getting Donald Trump elected. But then I tuned into the DNC and realized that shouting, whining, and bellowing about my beliefs isn’t the way to make an impact on anything. Instead, I aim to take a note from my political role models and approach this situation as calmly, respectfully, and empathetically as I can. I will try to see the angle of those I disagree with, I will work to understand why people think it’s okay to shout over Elizabeth Warren’s powerful and important speech that they probably agree with anyway, and I will try to urge anyone I can to see things from my perspective as well: we must unite against Donald Trump, and to do so, we have to vote for Hillary Clinton. 

I understand that there are plenty of people who believe that, in good conscience, they cannot vote for Hillary Clinton. I get it. I happen to emphatically support Hillary Clinton, but I’ve also done my research and I know she's far from perfect. I'm also not going to spend my word count going into detail about her flaws, missteps, and mistakes in her decades as a politician, just as I'm not going to go into detail on her triumphs and successes. Instead, I will point out that in this nightmarish, Twilight Zone-esque election year the fact that she is a politician is important. Does that maybe seem like a pretty low bar to set for a candidate? Maybe, but when you look at the opposing party, the bar’s been set so low it’s basically simmering within the earth’s core. Is that a good situation to be in? No. Is it the one we’re in? You bet. 

I also don’t want to spend my word count dwelling on the idea that Donald Trump is a dystopian swamp monster who aligns himself with the worst kind of values this country has to offer, spews lies like venom, and sees achieving the presidency like getting a shiny trophy he can wave around and yell “I told you so!” at a nation he’ll immediately screw over so badly that recovery might be impossible. Chances are, if you’re on in the first place, you’re not Trump’s biggest fan, because no matter how many times he tries to say LGBTQ -- literally at all with his mouth, or with any sort of positive connotation -- his choice of Mike Pence as VP spits in the face of our rights, as well as women’s rights, as well as genuine humanity. Together, these two aren't just some vague villainous duo trying to destroy our culture. They're running on a very real platform that - among many disturbing beliefs that could destory LGBT progress (parts 1 and 2) - supports conversion therapy, aims to repeal marriage equality, believes children should be raised in a "traditional two-parent household," and works against transgender individuals using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. This is just a tiny fraction of their sinister ideals that mock our progress, theaten our lives, and encourage small-mindedness and reckless hatred. This is not a game. 

I support Hillary, but above all, I support the Democratic Party. I support the intelligent, passionate, emotional, political, well-intentioned, inspiring people I saw at speak at the DNC last night. I respect the politicians who held a filibuster and a sit-in to honor and fight for LGBT lives and the lives of every citizen in this country. I respect Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker and Michelle Obama and Chris Murphy and so many people in this party that I believe want America to shine as brightly and as boldly as possible in a unified, unique, tolerant, and equal way. And you should watch those speeches linked above because they're incredible. Lately, it’s been easy to look at our nation and see nothing but the scariest sides of it. When I watch these people speak, I am inspired. I remember that we can live up the promises we make to be the greatest country in the world. I remember that we’re not hopeless, there are people fighting for us, and we can be a part of that fight in a way that doesn’t tear anyone down on the way there. There is nothing more important right now than keeping this party at our political forefront. Hillary Clinton stands on the front line. We must stand with her and beside those who are fighting for her as well. 

On Monday night, Bernie Sanders stood in front of the DNC and asked his supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton, as did many other politicians that I’m confident Bernie’s supporters respect as well. "Bernie or Bust" supporters yelled protested and cried because they didn't get their way, and that isn’t going to make change. Unfortunately - because I truly wish it worked this way - neither will voting for a third party, not at this juncture. Listening to Bernie, understanding that Bernie and his incredible agenda can only succeed if Hillary is president, and understanding that nothing will get done if this election isn’t championed by the Democratic Party is now the step that must be taken. Put the signs down. Wipe away those tears. Bernie brought so much positivity and possibility for change to this election, and that's not gone. Let's continue to use it to charge forward, not fall behind. Understand that during this strange, confusing, somewhat mangled year, you may be disappointed to vote for Hillary - you might even be horrified - but you will actually have a hand in maybe literally saving the world. We can pull through Hillary’s presidency, it might even be incredibly successful. Trump is on a maniacal ego-boosting spree at the expense of this country. Do you want to live in a state of disappointment or a state where your basic rights are denied to you?

Let’s be real: Bernie is not the nominee. The Green Party is not going to win. Jill Stein is not getting anywhere near the presidency. Sadly, a “conscience-based" vote against Hillary Clinton will do nothing but toss Trump some kudos as he smugly glides towards the presidency. The revolution Bernie supporters were hoping for has given way to a fight for general survival, for basic equality, and for the maintaining of the kind of values that will keep anyone who’s not a white, straight guy from getting attacked in the streets. That’s our revolution now, and it can only be fought by voting for Hillary Clinton and supporting the Democratic Party. These temper tantrums causing certain Bernie supporters to interrupt the DNC are embarrassing, they are threatening the only party that can keep this country safe, and they are not at all what Bernie stands for. Listen. Understand. Accept this reality. If you think Hillary and Trump are the same, do your research, because you clearly haven't. Look at these parties and what they stand for. Look at the people behind them and what they stand for. Think about the group of people you want in office rather than an individual, if that helps. Assess what that means for you. If you aren’t registered to vote (fix that here). If you think you’re safe staying in the dark, if you think your vote doesn’t matter - that’s inexcusable. You will be affected. You could get hurt. People you care about could have their lives destroyed. This is not an exaggeration, and that’s terrifying. 

I’d love to conclude this piece by telling you to do the research, come to an informed conclusion, and make a choice that’s best for you (and if you still feel that's the thing to do, I urge you to read this article from Huffington Post as well). However, this year, all I can do is insist from my tiny, internet soap box that you vote for Hillary Clinton. Maybe that means reconciling your beliefs, feeling disappointed, or feeling dominated by the “machine," and so be it. Reconcile that. Be disappointed. But either way, vote for Hillary Clinton. That, or think about just how ready you are to fight and win the Hunger Games. May the odds be ever in your favor. 


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Preston Max Allen