I also can’t believe I’m writing about the fact that I’m voting for Donald Trump. And I really can’t believe I’m actually posting about the fact that I’m voting for Donald Trump.
But it’s true. All of this is really happening. Take a deep breath, Rogers.
I’m writing this for many of you who were like me: undecided.
For the past four months, the one word I would use to describe how I’ve felt about the political climate would be: disillusioned. The rallies, the fights, the pettiness, the debates…it was all so childish to me. Just about everyone I knew was posting their opinions, getting in ridiculous political Facebook spats, and losing friends left and right (pun) over this whole thing.
Because of my disillusionment, I’ll admit I’ve been willfully (blissfully?) ignorant throughout this campaign cycle. It was so much easier to back off, stay away, and remain uninformed. Investing in the news, the biased articles, and the opinions of the people around me was exhausting and overwhelming. Plus, in my mind there was no way I could stand before someone on November 9th, look them in the eyes and say: “I voted for _______.” Neither Trump nor Clinton had done anything to merit my vote. In fact, they’ve done just about everything to keep me hostile and bitter against them.
A week ago however, I was presented again with the question of who I was going to vote for, and this time the answer: “I’m not voting” just didn’t sit right.
I don’t consider myself a sold-out Republican. Actually, every time I’ve taken the isidewith.com quiz, I’ve been most closely associated with the Green Party (laugh away). But there are certain issues—the big issues—that I have pretty specific and strong opinions on. I’m extremely hesitant to share what they are, especially considering how scared I am that someone would hate me because of them. But I also fear that if I don’t share them, then my words here hold little weight.
I am a human, I strive to love all humans well, and I believe love is the most powerful force in the universe, and yet I cannot bring myself to be in favor of a pro- LGBT agenda. I am a woman, and I vehemently support women’s rights, equal pay, justice for victims of rape and domestic abuse, and yet I cannot bring myself to be in favor of a pro-choice agenda. These are some of those big issues that I have a strong conviction about. I just do, and I can’t change that about myself…believe me, I’ve tried!
And I realized there is only one candidate who, primarily through the appointment of Supreme Court Justices, is going to push forward the agenda I’m most comfortable with.
Ultimately I was forced to think about these big issues and decide if I wanted to sit idly by as certain decisions were made for me, or if I wanted to be able to stand before my future children, look them in the eyes and say: “I made a choice that I knew would impact you.” I was forced to understand that I would be held accountable if I remained stubbornly undecided.
We all know this, so it goes without saying…but I’m going to say it anyway. Neither candidate is an all-around kind, cool, super awesome, morally upstanding human being. As much as I initially wanted to vote for the candidate with the best character, we all quickly learned that both of these people have said and done awful, deplorable things. Neither one of them models the good, virtuous characteristics we desire and deserve to see in a leader. I couldn’t even bring myself to figure out who would be the “lesser of the two evils,” and vote for that person. At the end of the day, I’m not voting for Donald Trump the person. If that were the case, I would be going against so much of what I believe to be good and true because of all the horrible things he has said. Giving him my vote doesn’t mean I stand by all the ways he has demoralized and insulted countless people. That fact alone makes me ache and cringe.
However I still have the opinions, beliefs, and values that I stand by. We all do! The ones I have the strongest convictions about are the ones I feel compelled to vote in favor of. That’s really what this decision came down to for me.
My status as an undecided voter ended when I realized I care more about the big issues than I wanted to admit. When I realized I couldn't base my decision to not vote solely on my very negative view of the candidates. When I realized I can’t vote for a candidate based on character, but that I have to vote based on the important policies I am in favor of.
I realize the incredible risk I am taking—of actually losing friends—by sharing this. I get it. I have felt insulted myself by other people’s support of Donald Trump. My hope is that other undecided voters would consider my decision making process and figure out what the big issues are that they value the most, and decide if they’re worth voting for—regardless of whose name appears on the ballot.