To My Family And Friends Who Are Trump Supporters...

... and think I don’t know what I’m doing by voting for Hillary.

I do.

And you should know that on her worst day, after the worst of the leaks and videos and accusations, I am STILL with her. Here’s why:

Hillary has demonstrated for over 30 years that she is a public servant. She is a career politician, and while I am not a fan of all her decisions or policies, I have chosen her as the candidate I am voting for and would encourage you to vote for her, too.

I don’t believe that she laughed at a rape victim or any of the other stories that have come out about her character. To me, her character is exactly what I would expect from a woman with her job, with her education and with her experience. I expect there are many other politicians out there, both Republican and Democrat, who have similar email conversations with their staff or make difficult, often “wrong” decisions about issues and policies.

To my family and friends who I know and love, and support Trump, here’s what I don’t understand:

I’ve seen you all post vitriolic pictures of hate against Hillary within minutes after posting ones that encourage kindness and compassion. If you really look at this campaign, there is a marked difference between the kinds of things Donald Trump says and what Hillary Clinton says. Are you listening? I don’t think you are, because if you were, you would also notice that Trump doesn’t really say anything about his plans or policies. When I’ve listened to him (and I have―I spent a week in Florida with my parents who have 24-hour news on ALL THE TIME), he is primarily tearing down his opponent or our country. He’s not a nice person. Not at all.

In fact, in light of wife Melania’s recent speech on bullying and meanness, I can’t believe anything that comes from that camp. Is she oblivious to the one person in the U.S. who assaults the Internet with hate speech, meanness and bullying―her own husband? Trump’s campaign manager regularly lies and avoids questions and when she’s called on it simply says, “Well, the damage is done...” This is behavior that convinces you of Trump’s trustworthiness?

Is it platform you’re supporting? Maybe you’re anti-Democrat because you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Republican. I get that. I’ve long voted party line, but I’ve also been known to cross it when I find a candidate I like, who I think can do the job. It doesn’t matter to me if they are D or R, blue or red. I will admit, though, I tend towards blue. But even if I was on the fence this year about the candidates, I would still have a hard time voting Republican. After the shameful behavior of the senators who REFUSE to confirm a Supreme Court Judge and their blatant disregard for our president (our PRESIDENT! like him or not, have some respect for the office), the platform will seriously impact my friends who are gay, self-employed or practice a religion other than Christian. And women. As in denying all of their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Don’t think it won’t. Read the platform. The link is below.

I believe in that―that pursuit of happiness thing. I think everyone should do it. I think everyone should get have a fair chance at pursuing what they need to do to enjoy their lives: make money, help others, run for office. Go for it. But I’m not a fan of being mean and nasty and taking advantage of people and that is what Donald Trump does. I don’t find it funny to chant “lock her up” at rallies or incite people to violence. I also don’t find it funny to refer to Trump as an orange anything. I don’t want to be mean to Trump―if he wants to demean people, blame others and cheat the government (all facts, by the way), he can. What I can’t make sense of is why you think that’s okay. Or why you would vote for him.

I believe that our political system has become largely ineffective, but not just because of Hillary Clinton or Democrats alone. This is a two-party system, and its ineffectiveness has evolved because it has become so partisan. This election in particular has shone a big bright light on how divisive the parties are in both policy and action. Change is definitely needed. Donald Trump is not the answer. I think you know that. So, please, in this election, think carefully about your vote. Don’t vote on memes, or hearsay or party lines―vote your conscience. Vote with your parents and children and friends and neighbors in mind. This election isn’t about Republican or Democrat anymore, this is an election about your voice.