I am a young(ish), white, college-educated female from New York. According to every political model, every poll, every political strategist, I should have voted for Hillary Clinton.
I did not.
Not voting for Hillary Clinton does not mean I think Donald Trump is the best person for the job. Honestly, out of the MILLIONS of people qualified and eligible to run for President, I'm embarrassed that our search was narrowed down to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. That's the problem with our political system. While it is not mathematically impossible for a third party candidate, or even a write-in on the ballot, to win, the American people are really only given the choice between the two people the Democratic and Republican parties choose as their candidates. That sucks.
So what do you do when you are forced to choose between two people you would never have chosen? I did research. I probably researched more for this election than any other on where the candidates stood on every issue. I suffered through the debates...something I've never done before. I took multiple "quizzes" to see which candidate best matched my beliefs and where I stand on all of the issues being raised in the campaign. Every single time, I aligned with Donald Trump more than anyone else.
Do I like him? Nope. Do I think he has a CLUE what being President of the USA will entail? Nope. Do I think America could have come up with someone better, someone more likable, someone more capable? You bet. But we didn't. It came down to a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. In my opinion, what Donald Trump has going for him is that he is incredibly smart. He knows he doesn't have any idea how to take over the office of the President. He has never held any public office of any kind. He has no political background whatsoever. So he's going to need help. And he is smart enough to know that, and to surround himself with people who will help him. I don't believe any presidential cabinet has ever been as important as Trump's will be. And I have faith that he will appoint people that know how to guide him.
I have never considered myself to be a Republican. I have voted democrat in all but one of the presidential elections I've been eligible to participate in. I voted for Bill Clinton. i voted for Al Gore. I voted for President Obama (the first time). So don't think I voted for Trump simply because he is the Republican nominee. I don't vote along party lines - I vote for issues.... for things I believe need to change. That's why I voted for Barack Obama the first time. I didn't give a fig that he was going to be the first African American President. Who cares? If he's the best person for the job, I was all for it. If I believed Hillary Clinton was the best person for the job, I would have voted for her because of that, not because she would be the first woman President.
There was a time that I actually thought she would have been the best. Years ago I was a Hillary supporter. I thought she was a brilliant choice for Secretary of State (ha) and I thought her path into politics was a good one. In the years since, I have lost all respect for her. After all the research I have done on this election, I honestly cannot tell you what her campaign promised. It wasn't a campaign for her, it was a campaign against Donald Trump. You're not going to win my vote just by telling me how bad the other person is. Did Donald Trump participate in the smear campaign? Of course. But he also spread his message, and Americans heard it loud and clear.
I believe that Hillary Clinton is a product of our political system. That's why every media outlet, every political scientist, every "educated" person assumed she would win this election. She has become a career politician, and we have a long line of elected presidents who were all career politicians. For me personally, that was enough to sway my vote the other way. I don't trust her. I don't like her. I don't think that she cares about the American people. I admit I haven't paid much attention to the details of the email scandal, but you don't delete 30,000 emails and then say you have nothing to hide. The older I get, the more conservative I've become.
- I believe in the sanctity of human life. I can't support someone who promotes aborting babies at 36 weeks. I lost two babies to miscarriage early on in my pregnancies. What I wouldn't give to have had them make it to 36 weeks.
- I believe in the safety of our country. People are frantic, afraid of being deported. First, if you are an American citizen, you have no reason to be afraid, regardless of your nationality. If you are not an American citizen, then you should be afraid. I do not support any candidate that will fight for the rights of illegal aliens over the rights of American citizens. End of story. The horrors that happen in other countries are just that... horrors. But they are OTHER COUNTRIES. Let's worry about our own country first! Lord knows we have enough problems right here. I am not saying we shouldn't help when and where we can.... but no other country is an open door. Why do we have to be?
- I believe America needs a strong leader. If anyone could have been the first female President, I believe Hillary could have. However, no matter how far we've come, this is a man's world. People mock Donald Trump and say the rest of the world will not respect him. I ask them this... how many countries are there, powerful countries, who give women little to no rights? They treat them like property. Do you honestly think they would respect a country that lets a woman lead them?
I'm well aware of Donald Trump's faults. If you've watched five minutes of this campaign over the last two years, you have had them shoved in your face. He's rude. He's a jerk, He's a narcissist. Do I agree with how he has treated some women? Some people with disabilities? Some children? Absolutely not. But I also believe Hillary Clinton is all of those things. She has just had decades of training in how to conceal it.
Do you know how far removed from my little world the President of the United States is? Do I want my children to grow up possibly seeing their country's leader as a bully? Of course not. But Barack Obama has had zero influence on who my children are becoming. Sad, but true. They have a father, a mother, a brother, uncles, teachers.... THOSE are the people in their lives who will influence them and their behavior. They are kids, and I let them be kids. To me, growing up, the President was just someone who interrupted tv and then there was nothing to watch. What I hope is that my kids see their President as someone who has the best interests of our country at heart, despite his or her faults. If Donald Trump is a bully, I hope it's because he bullies anyone who threatens all that America stands for.
(FYI Hubby and I have not talked politics with our children at all, and both of them said they would vote for Donald Trump)
The bottom line is that I believe Hillary Clinton is a much bigger threat to our nation than Donald Trump is to me. I will still go to work, and watch my daughter's softball games, and go to band concerts. The sun will still come up, we will go out to eat and cook Thanksgiving dinner, people will go shopping on Black Friday, and the new year will come January first. I want all of that to happen in a country that is safe, secure and prosperous. I believe Donald Trump wants that, too.
I think that the Democratic Committee knew they had the best shot at the Presidency by offering up another "let's make history" campaign. It worked for President Obama. Presenting a well known politician as a viable candidate for the first female President was smart. Unfortunately, in my eyes, the list of cons was much longer than the list of pros, and I wasn't going to vote for her just so we could elect a female President.
America wants change. Why else would they elect a brash, rude, arrogant businessman with zero political experience??? Donald Trump is a billionaire. He has everything he could possibly want. He didn't have to do this. Honestly, going to live in the White House will be a step down for him. Air Force One probably isn't even as nice as the Trump jet. ha I truly believe that he saw an opportunity and he took it. Nobody wants to be a laughingstock, and yet he put himself out there, over and over, oftentimes making a fool of himself. His wife became the object of ridicule. His supporters were called "deplorables". He never backed down, and he never changed his message.
I find it appalling that people lose friends over an election. I didn't vote for who was best based on anyone's beliefs except my own. I have Latino friends. I have African American friends. I have gay and lesbian friends. I don't care who they voted for. The fact that they preferred one candidate over the other because they believed that person was best based on THEIR values should have no bearing on how I feel about them, or vice versa. Hubby and I haven't always voted the same, and we're still married. ha ha
I'm not writing this to sway anyone to my side. This was a very divisive election and it'll take a lot of time for people to get over it if they were not on the winning side. Honestly, I was against Obama four years ago and I am STILL not over it. I cringe anytime I have to listen to his condescending speeches. But you know what? I survived these four years, and had the opportunity to vote for someone new. For everyone who is devastated because Donald Trump is the President-Elect.... remember that we are still ONE NATION UNDER GOD. Kindness and unity begin with one small step. We need to look out for one another, even if we all do it in our own way. My way is quiet. Donald Trump's is not. Whether you respect him and what he stands for or not, as an American, you should respect the office of the President.
And don't worry, in another four years we get to do this all over again.
And don't worry, in another four years we get to do this all over again.
God bless America.