This Election, Please Vote With Your Conscience

He bragged about grabbing women by the pussy.

I thought that was enough. I thought more people would have thought that was enough to cut any association with Donald Trump, but it wasn’t—so I’ll continue.

He rated women with numbers and animal comparisons. He mocked people with disabilities. He verbally attacked veterans. He nominated a sexual predator to the supreme court—and defended him. He labeled the Black Lives Matter movement as a symbol of hate. He ordered peaceful protesters be tear-gassed. He defended a boy who fatally shot two peaceful protesters. He objects Planned Parenthood and a woman’s right to choose. He justified discrimination against trans lives. He cyberbullied our environmental champion Greta Thunberg.

That wasn’t enough either—so I’ll continue.

He couldn’t condemn white supremacy on national television.

That wasn’t enough either—so I realized something.

Donald Trump has not made this country racist. He’s placed a microphone underneath and a magnifying glass above the racism that lives and breathes throughout the United States; every horrific, deadly, and ugly component.

Then he normalized racism and gave it a pat on the back.

We know racism isn’t new, but it’s not gone away to the extent, so many privileged, unaffected individuals have gone on believing. Donald Trump has only reminded us that racism exists because the white man wants it to. The same goes for sexism, transphobia, and ableism. Oppression motivated by race, gender, sexual orientation, or ability only benefits the white man; every time. This why so many white men support Donald Trump.

But that doesn’t have to apply to every white man. Together, people impacted and not impacted, we can put an end to the oppression of marginalized individuals in the United States. That starts with a leader, who at the bare minimum, shares that same goal.

So, for anyone on the fence about who they’re voting for, I beg you to vote with your conscience. I ask you to vote with your heart. And if you feel obligated to vote with the Republican party, ask yourself, not what are you voting for but who you are voting for.

Do you have a woman in your life that you care about?

Do you have a person of color in your life that you care about?

Do you have a person in the LGBTQ community in your life that you care about?

Do you have a person with a disability in your life that you care about?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, voting for Donald Trump is a vote against someone you care about. There is no way around that. You can’t have it both ways. You either care about the rights of someone you care about, or you don’t care about something unless it impacts you personally.

This hasn’t been about politics for nearly four years; it’s about voting bigotry and misogyny out. Everyone should vote like their life depends on it, because for so many people, it does.

Donald Trump lies, cheats, and steals—and he’s proud of it. He makes fun of people and he thinks it’s funny. He plays the victim with a silver spoon stamped on his forehead. This is the President of the United States, but this does not have to be the President of the United States much longer.

Donald Trump’s hate speech and aggression is pulling people further and further apart across the United States; there’s nothing united about us right now. It’s time that we come back together and remember we are all human beings. When we celebrate what makes us different, we’re reminded of all we have in common. We all cry, we all bleed, and we all love.

Love will win, one way or another. Which side will you be on when it does?

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