It’s finally here! Election day has arrived! And August 2016 was the 96th anniversary of women’s suffrage victory: the ratification of the 19th amendment. It has been almost 170 years since the first ever women’s rights convention, Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, where they passed a resolution for suffrage despite opposition. In 1850, the first ever National Women’s Rights Convention was held in Worcester, Massachusetts, and in 1869, the first national suffrage organizations were established.
We’ve come a long way, baby, and today women are wearing white to commemorate the fight for our right to vote, and we are surging to the polls!
As divisive and outrageous this campaign cycle has been, I woke up this morning to the most beautiful group text from some of my cousins. They are all excited about exercising their right to vote. Some are sharing it with their young daughters, teaching their children about this historic day and they told us how it affected them in a positive way. Others explained their reasoning, and we all joked about wearing pantsuits to the polls. A reason to smile on a beautiful day in New York City, where I also get to use that handy-dandy 19th amendment.
There are a lot of reasons to get angry. I could be upset about the people who claim they have to abstain because they hate all sides, I could get angry when, after countless investigations and reviews, Clinton continues to be said to be one of the most honest politicians in U.S. history, but people keep telling me that she is the “lesser of two evils,” as if she is even near the level of Trump. I could get angry because Trump supporters keep talking about how great of a businessman he is, but refuse to look at how almost all of his businesses have failed or lost money. How they talk about revering veterans, but are voting for a draft dodger who mocked a God Star family. How they continually justify their choice by dismissing horrifying things he says.
But it’s over now. Today, we vote. It is finally the end of this most ridiculous campaign. I can laugh at how Trump’s people took him off Twitter, I can watch the Hillary compilation from SNL and think it’s funny. I can finally rest easy that now, it doesn’t matter what I say. Today we vote, and the matter is decided. We can all vote and move on and try to pull ourselves out of this campaign with whatever dignity we still have.
Some of the damage may be irreparable. I have seen a different side of some people I thought I knew, and the way I look at them and think of them won’t revert back just because it is November 9th. Relationships and friendships have been effected by this election cycle. It feels as though our country is more divided than ever. When some people refuse to understand how saying “all lives matter” diminishes what the Black Lives Matter movement is doing, when people claim that racism is over because we had a black President, it breaks my heart.
Today, we vote. We vote for our next leader, we vote to show our values and ideals as a country, we vote so that our voices matter.
Susan B. Anthony’s grave is being covered in “I voted” stickers right now. Women’s suffrage is being celebrated. We are making history today. Or as many are saying, we are making herstory today. I can only hope that as we move forward as a country, we will come back together, we will heal this rift and try to move forward as a cohesive team.
We ARE stronger together.
Today, we vote.