I know everyone wants this election to be over already ― you’ve seen every debate, every news clip, every “shocking revelation,” and been inundated in your social media feeds for what seems like an eternity with everyone’s thoughts, opinions, screeds, salvos and takes on who is or isn’t a worthy presidential candidate and why. So here, in these last days, I’ll weigh in briefly with what my choice ultimately boiled down to for me: When the final results are in Tuesday night, what do I want to be able to say to my 9-year-old and my 7-year-old about who their next president is?
In 2008, this moment was revelatory: I was bathing my then almost 2-year-old son Xavier (who since birth has been negotiating the challenges of cerebral palsy and epilepsy) when Barack Obama was officially proclaimed the future 44th president of the United States. I looked at Xavier... he smiled. I teared up, my heart swelled and I told him it was just proven without a doubt that the impossible IS possible, that his own potential was limitless and he could be whatever he wanted to be when he grew up.
In 2012, more of the same ― but now I got to say it to my then 3-year-old daughter Phoebe too, who in her lifetime has never known a president OTHER than Barack Obama. Wow. And now in 2016 she has the potential to see a woman rise to the top post of our nation for the first time in U.S. history ― which will also be a truly awesome milestone of possibility to celebrate.
But even more than that, I want to be able to tell my children whether or not I or their father agree with the politics of our next president, that our next president is worthy of our respect and support. That our president at her or his core is a decent human being who is doing her or his best to make our country stronger and create more opportunity for the majority of Americans. That our president values and respects women, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, people of color and people with varied religious beliefs.
For me, it is glaringly obvious that there is only one candidate in true contention for the presidency who fits this description: Hillary Clinton. Which is why my sister and Good Black News Lifestyle Editor Lesa Lakin produced the political ad below and why I agreed to have me and my children take part in it (we are at the :12 mark). I wanted Xavier and Phoebe to know who I supported, and why it was worth putting ourselves out there to do so.
As difficult and divisive as our current times can be, as I do on my website Good Black News, in everyday life I work hard to stay focussed on the positive (and some days, as we all know, that is REALLY REALLY hard). I always want my children to live in a welcoming atmosphere of possibility, encouragement and hope. Of civility and decency. Of responsibility, fairness, and a willingness to admit one’s mistakes and do better. I want the same values they are learning to live by at home and school ― to listen, be polite, not name call, take turns, share ― to be values I can say our nation’s leader lives by as well. Come Wednesday morning, if Hillary Clinton has won, I can say that to them.
But if she doesn’t win... frankly, I don’t know what I’m going to say.
A version of this post originally appeared on goodblacknews.org.