Please vote. Just so you know my bias before reading further, I’m voting for Hillary Clinton.
This post is not aimed at you if you have already decided to vote for Clinton or for Trump. It is aimed at you if you haven’t voted, are considering not voting, or are voting for someone other than Clinton or Trump.
At this point, especially in states like Colorado where it appears the election will be close, action other than a vote for Clinton is essentially supporting Trump. Regardless of your perspective about the candidates, the election process, our current system, or anything that needs to be changed going forward, either Clinton or Trump is going to be elected president by Wednesday.
I’ve been deeply upset about many things during this election. However, at this point, I feel extremely strongly that Trump is not a suitable candidate for president. I’m appalled that things have gotten to this point and that he’s been able to get away with things he’s said and done, but I’ve struggled with how to articulate my feelings in a direct and factual way.
Fortunately, Mark Suster did it for me last week in a post titled And Then They Came for Me … I’ve read Mark’s post once a day as I pondered what I wanted to write. As Amy and I finished Episode 5 of Goliath last night, my thoughts around this finally came into focus.
You should go read Mark’s post, but the rest of this post builds off of things he wrote.
“You don’t get to pretend for 5 years that the first African American president in US history wasn’t born in the United States and then get a free pass on running for the presidency.” (Suster)
On top of this clear racism, Trump had the audacity to both claim that Clinton started this and then he finished it. This was absurd beyond comprehension. It’s a classic example of extreme misdirection, something that is woven through many of Trump’s mistakes and misdeeds. It’s the opposite of a leader who takes responsibility for his actions.
“You don’t get to launch your campaign saying illegal Mexicans are “rapists and murderers and some, I assume, are good people.” That is racist and fear mongering and stoking the flames of those who want to vilify “the other” which has been done throughout our country to the Irish, the Polish, the Jews, Italians and yes — the Germans — and every other immigrant population throughout history. Racism is disqualifying. Immigration and assimilation are two of the unique features that have made America so great over its centuries.” (Suster)
I’m Jewish. My grandparents came here from Russia and Germany in the early 1900’s. Deep in my bones, I worry the Cossacks are coming to take me away and kill me. This is a recurring theme in my discussions with my therapist and my wife who is not afraid of this, but at least empathic to my concerns.
“You don’t get to call for a religious test to enter our country, potentially denying access to more than 1 billion Muslim people in the world including very large populations in Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.” (Suster)
In addition to being deeply offensive to me, it violates the basic tenets on which our country was founded. As a child growing up in Texas, I learned this in eighth grade American history.
“You don’t get to say out loud that you would kiss women against their will or grab them against their will. That isn’t “locker-room talk” it is sexual assault and you don’t get to normalize that talk and then be president of our country. ” (Suster)
I’ve been extraordinarily upset by this aspect of the election, an emotion I share with literally millions of women (and many men.) Sexual assault is a real thing, not locker-room talk.
“You don’t get to pretend that you “just don’t know anything about” David Duke especially when there is this pesky fact of public record that you do know about David Duke.”
Let’s go back to that Jewish and immigrant thing.
“But on issues of racism, race-baiting, religious intolerance, misogyny, sexual assault, white supremacy and demagoguery — there can be no gray area, …. These are disqualifying issues … If we accept leaders who embrace demagoguery, intolerance and groups of citizens who would turn on each other and vilify “the other” then eventually they will turn on us, … I am the straight son of an immigrant father from South America whose parents on both sides are Jewish and who proudly thinks of myself as an American first and foremost and everything else second.” (Suster)
I am a son of immigrant grandparents from Germany and Russia. I probably would not exist if my grandparents hadn’t managed to get to America – there is a significant chance they would have been exterminated in World War I (Russia) or World War II (Germany). I love this country and while we have many issues, I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
I encourage you to be deliberate about everything you do. You get to choose who you are and what your values are. On November 9th, either Clinton or Trump will have been elected president.
Please don’t waste your vote by not voting.
Also published on Medium.