Who Are You Voting For?
Yes, I know the grammar is incorrect and while that would normally annoy me, it's not incorrect once you understand the question. I'm not inquiring about which candidate will get your vote; I'm inquiring about the people who accompany you into the voting booth or wherever or however it is you cast your vote.
I don't vote for myself. I'm fortunate enough to have the ability to choose a candidate based on issues larger than my life and my needs. I'm not the 1 percent, but I'm fortunate enough to have more than adequate food, clothing, and shelter. That gives me the luxury of being able to choose a candidate for other than selfish reasons. Once upon a time I voted for a candidate based on the issues I most cared about at the time. Now I'm voting with a new eye. I'm voting for the candidate I think will have the most positive effect on my grandchildren's world. The issues I'm concerned most about now, looking at the world through that lens, are climate, peace and security, and education. With those issues in my sights, there was simply no contest. The candidate for me with tomorrow in mind is clearly Hillary.
I've noted that historically some people vote against their self-interests but it seems that they do so because they may be uninformed. Working-class Americans who believe Republicans are on their side, for example. That has never made sense to me. It's clear the Republicans of today are supporting the wealthier class. Do people vote Republican because they aspire to be wealthier than they are and think that by joining the club with a vote they might someday make enough money to be an actual member of the 1%? Perhaps.
But I don't think we can afford to vote based on our aspirations this year. I need action today to solve some of the problems we face. My grandson needs action today. He's only four; he doesn't know he needs this. He thinks another Hot Wheel is all he needs to be happy. That's why Grammy has to step in. My little man needs me to vote for him. I've been talking to him about voting and hope you are doing the same with you kids and grandkids. When anyone asks my grand boy for whom he would vote, he replies, "Donald Trump is not a nice person. I want Hillary Clinton to be the boss." I have no idea where he learned that!
Children in public schools need me to vote for them. Our public schools are in need of help; they need a candidate who cares enough about education to fund initiatives to find answers to what ails the schools. The AFT supports Hillary. I'm voting for them.
I'm in my 60s. I'm pretty sure the planet will survive through my life span. But, unlike me, kids born this year, as my second grandson will be, will still be trying to breathe 50 years from now. Hillary has a plan to save the planet, Trump believes climate change is a hoax. The unborn who will breathe 50 years from now? Yes, I'm voting for them.
And, speaking of those who aren't yet born... Trump's record on women is every woman's worst nightmare. For the girls born today who will grow up to be women and must have equal rights in all aspects of life, I'm voting for those girls.
I know some people are angry. They work or have trouble finding work but either way they believe they've been denied "the American dream." I'm grateful to have had a quality public school education and then satisfying work that enabled me to provide comfort and stability for my family. I know others have not been so lucky and they are angry. They mistakenly believe Trump has their backs while I believe he'd stab them in their backs. Those angry people? Yes, I'm voting for them too.
I'm white. I'm middle-aged (Okay, some might call me old but I'm not there yet, not that there's anything wrong with "old.") I've raised three daughters who've been taught since birth to respect all people, to eschew discrimination and instead to work in furtherance of peace and harmony. The hatred and bigotry Trump has embraced and woven into the tapestry of his campaign has brought prejudice up to a level of societal acceptance. He's made hatred a plank of his platform and somehow that has translated into a segment of the population who now believe it's okay and even cool to publicly announce how bigoted they are.
It's unfortunately a legacy likely to live well past Election Day. It will take years of work to dial back this despicable side effect of Trump's lethal campaign of fear and loathing.
So, yes, those people who think it's okay to hold hatred and discrimination up as a gold standard of how we should view each other? I'm even voting for those people, who clearly have no clue how scary they are.
I'm voting for my grandkids, I'm voting for working class people who need good jobs with fair wages, I'm voting for young girls, I'm voting for those with hate in their hearts, I'm voting for minorities who are facing untold prejudice, I'm voting for people not yet born. I am none of those people. Am I voting for myself too? Sure. I don't want to live in a country so lost it chooses a leader who would take us so far afield from everything that matters.
You know who I'm not voting for? Those people who are throwing up their hands and discarding their precious vote. They won't vote because they don't like the candidates, they think the system is rigged, they have no idea how foolish and, yes, selfish, they are with this move. They're not smart, they're not protestors, they're cowards. Choosing isn't always easy. Sometimes doing the right thing means doing a hard thing. If voting is difficult for you that's all the more reason to participate.
I am not voting for them. I can't. Neither can you. They have to do that for themselves.
When I walk into the voting booth this year, I'll close the curtain, close my eyes, take a breath and quietly sing the verse from John Lennon's ode to what could be, "Imagine." I'll visualize "all the people living life in peace" and I'll vote for Hillary.
Who are you voting for and what song will you be singing?
If you'd like to read more about how I made my choice this year, meet me at Grand Magazine.