Your Vote Has Worth and Meaning

(Note: This week, while I'm on vacation, I'm featuring millennials writing about the election. I'm still looking for another writer or two. Hit me up if you're in the mood and young but still legal. For now, check this out by Brennan Bartley, Intern for a Democratic Campaign)

I have a message I think needs to be given to the people who are planning on voting for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson or whoever else they want because they don’t think Hillary Clinton passes some ideological purity test, or she’s a crook, or she’s a robot created by Wall Street to invade Libya. Many of them are, like me, white millennials, And we need to ask them a couple questions. Do they realize that a vote for anyone who is not Hillary Clinton makes it more likely for Donald Trump to win the White House? Because it’s a simple choice. With the way our democracy works, it will be either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in the White House next year. Which leads me to my next question; have they considered what a Trump presidency will do to affect people who don’t look like them or me?

Because for the guys who look like me, a Trump presidency won’t be as bad as it will for everyone else (still horrible, but less so). I’m not Jewish, so I won’t have to deal with the neo-nazis who think that their president silently endorses their ideology. I’m not gay, so a Trump Supreme court, modeled on Scalia, won’t roll back my right to marry who I love, or make it even harder to stop people from firing me because of who I am. I’m not Latino, so I don’t have to deal with assholes screaming “Build the Wall!”. I’m not one of our 11 million undocumented workers, so I don’t have to worry about being rounded up in the middle of a night by Trump’s deportation squads, or “Operation Wetback: Trump Edition” or whatever the fuck he wants to call it. I’m not Muslim, so I won’t have to deal with surveillance of my houses of worship, or stopped from coming to this country, or whatever else Trump decides to do, which could be anything because he is surrounding himself with people who say things like “It’s rational to fear Muslims.” And as any Star Wars fan (me) will tell you, Fear leads to Anger, Anger leads to Hate, and Hate leads to Suffering. I’m not Muslim, Jewish, or any of those things, so no matter how bad a Trump Presidency is for me, I know that it will be worse for someone else. For people that I know and care about. And whatever Hillary Clinton’s flaws, we know that she won’t be like that, that at a bare minimum she’s not going to do any crazy, bigoted shit like that. So, I get it if that they don’t like her, that they may want to cast a protest vote or a write-in or whatever. But they’re making it easier for a Donald Trump presidency to be a reality. And the greatest burden of that isn’t going to fall on most of the people who are in the Never Hillary camp. It’ll fall on the minorities that they claim to care about. We have a responsibility to make sure that Hillary gets elected, if for no other reason than it’s her or Trump.

The best way to make sure that none of us ever have to say President Trump is to vote for Hillary Clinton, and not just to vote, but to volunteer, to donate your money or your time or your voice. Hell, it’s not like this is the only race around. You got your Senate campaigns, your Congressional ones, and your State campaigns. You can get out there and register people to vote (hell even if you only register five people who are going to vote Democrat, well, congrats, you’re about to quintuple the power of your vote). And volunteering for any one of the Democrats running, helping them out however you can, that is how you can fight to defeat Trumpism. Because he didn’t come from nowhere; he won the Republican primary. And we both know that that’s going to embolden more people to take the same positions, promise to do the same things that Trump did. And electing Democrats to the Senate, to the House, to your State legislature, will help stop that. Let’s not repeat 2014 or 2010 and give up legislatures across the country, and give the party of Trump the power he wants. All across the board, we could use your help. I’ve heard from my field director about how some campaigns will ask for five or six staffers-and they get funding for one person. I’ve come in to work on days where we only have a couple people in the office. So don’t say that it’s unnecessary, that we don’t need more people or that it won’t matter. Don’t say that it’s too hard, because it’s about calling people and talking to them, or just walking door to door and asking people who they want to vote for (and if you want, you can catch some Pokemon while you do).

But most of all, don’t say you don’t have time or that you’re too busy. Because I know that you have jobs, that you have lives. But it is less than 100 days until the election. And if you truly do not have four free hours between now and then, then you’re exempt. But I’m guessing most of you do have some free time. I bet most of you watch Netflix, or play Pokemon Go, or go to the bar or whatever you do for fun. And if you do, then listen up. Listen to Edmund Burke, who said that all that evil needs to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Listen to President Obama who said to vote, not to boo. And then ask yourself if you’ve done enough, if in two years you want to be regretting binge-watching Orange is the New Black instead of doing everything you can to defeat Donald Trump’s ideology. If the answer to that question is no, then get off your ass and volunteer, even for just two hours. Even if you can only sacrifice one day, then do it. Because this election is about what our country wants to be. I know you don’t want it to be Trumpistan. So prove it.