Sunday, July 31, 2016

You Can't Vote With Your Heart -- You Need To Use Your Brain  

Welcome back to Coffeecola! It's been a while.

Fair warning, tonight's topic is not about videogames. Sorry, but it's gotta be done. 

So, my wife and I have been talking about the upcoming election a lot -- pretty much every night -- and I think we're both still in shock that America has somehow come to the precipice of putting a racist, fascist, sexist demagogue who doesn't even try to masquerade as a reasonable person in charge of the country. As ordinary people we feel like we don't have a lot of power to directly affect events that are larger than us, but we can do something

I had been considering writing a piece or starting a twitter campaign to unite good-thinking people against Trump, but the wife beat me to it, and she speaks for both of us below. She doesn't have a blog or any visible place of her own to post her message, so I'm blowing the dust off of Coffeecola tonight to give her a platform, however meager it is. 

These are her words, and I support them entirely.


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I didn't know if I would say anything. Wasn't sure if I was someone who should say anything… But I decided I should, and I am.

So, this election… I'm sure everyone is sick of hearing about it, talking about it, fighting about it. I know I am, but I make sure to keep reading. I keep informed, even when I don't want to hear one more rotten thing about any of it.

I don't like to discuss politics -- it tends to get people upset and confrontation is not a comfortable thing for me. I know what I'm going to say here will probably cause some to get riled up. It isn't my intention (I swear, I don't like to fight or argue!) but I feel like I need to say this because we're on the precipice of something terrible in this country, and I don't want to look back and regret that I didn't add my voice. I don’t want to look back and know that I kept quiet.

I was not thrilled with any of the choices we’ve had for the presidency, before the nominations or after. The one thing I know with 100% certainty is that I won't vote for Trump -- no way in hell.

I felt that Bernie had a better chance to take on Trump than Hillary, but now that decision is out of my hands. He isn't a nominee, period. I know there are many out there that feel completely shattered by that, and I get it, I really do. I saw how he rallied people, how strongly people felt for him but he's no longer a choice.

Now what?

It’s this "now what?" that’s been bothering me so much. There are so many articles and experts out there that talk about all the reasons why a third party can't win this presidential election. They explain in detail how to make a third party a viable choice -- we must start locally and work up from there. The fact is that we, as a country, have not been doing that. So basically, what we are left with is the two party system. Democratic or Republican, Clinton or Trump.

Even knowing that their third party choice can't win, I still hear and read people say…

"I can't in good conscience vote for Hillary."

"I have to follow my heart and that isn't Hillary."

"I have to vote this way and make a statement."

I hear you. I can totally see why you feel that way. I mean, I really like the idea of voting for someone other than Clinton, but what I want most is for Trump to not win. The fact that people aren't terrified of Trump becoming president and doing everything in their power to stop that from happening makes me incredibly sad.

Privilege is a word used a lot lately and I know it makes some people bristle to even hear it, but it is so much a part of this election.

I have privilege, a lot of it. It doesn't mean I'm rich or that everything is easy, but it means I am not directly affected by a lot of the terrible shit out there. I'm white, I'm straight, I'm cis, I grew up in the suburbs, I speak English, my husband is white, my child is white, I am not physically or mentally disabled, the list goes on.

It is because of this inherent privilege that I have a moral responsibility to do everything I can to make sure Trump does not become president. If he does, it is guaranteed to go poorly for people who are not me. He will do things that I will 100% disagree with, but it will be nothing compared to what will happen to people of color, immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community or any people who veer away from what Trump deems acceptable.

I can not and will not allow myself the luxury or the privilege of voting for someone other than the only choice that has a chance to beat Trump. I owe it to every single person out there that doesn't have the privilege I do. This is my way to fight for them, and to do what I know is right by making sure Trump isn't allowed to win, even if it means that the lesser of two evils wins the White House.

I get wanting to do what you feel is right in your heart. I get why Clinton is seen as a poor choice. But if we’re being honest --truly honest -- then we know that she is a better choice for the country as a whole than Trump is, and we know that no one else has a chance to beat him.

Please, please, please see beyond yourself and realize how truly serious and dangerous this election has the potential to be. We are in a situation where we must sacrifice for the greater good – we must not vote for who we feel we want to vote for, but we must vote for someone who can beat Trump.

So now I’ve said my piece, but there’s more to be said.

I've been following Shaun King on Twitter and Facebook -- he's a justice writer for the NY Daily news. He wrote a great article about being an absolute supporter of Sanders, and why he feels he must now vote for Clinton and not a third party. Give it a read, it's worth it, I promise.

There’s also this one from The Stranger, written by Megan Burbank. It offers some great points.

Please do the right thing. 

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