My opinion doesn’t matter. You’ve already dug in your heels, put up your blinders, and decided that, no matter what, you will not be swayed – not by facts, not by conjecture, not by emotion. So my opinion doesn’t matter. But my vote does.
My vote matters, and almost more importantly, I’m not voting against someone. I’m not between a rock and a hard place. I’m proudly and firmly voting for a candidate.
While it’s unlikely I’ll have children, I have plenty of bountifully fertile friends. I have a nephew on the way. And I want to be able to look at those children – those perfect little humans, untainted by the prejudices, fears, and judgments of adulthood – and tell them that I voted with my heart, for them.
By the time they’re old enough, I hope they’ll be voting in a third- or fourth-party system, with a Congress that acts to benefit society because each senator and representative, finally subject to term limits, craves a better world to which they’ll return once their service is complete.
But more than that, I want them to be in a world where there is objective accountability for our police force, where all lives finally do matter and those important distinctions no longer need to be made. Where people can be intimate and share their lives with whomever they please without judgment and belittlement. Where religion isn’t used to divide, but to bring together.
This new world is going to have a scary transition period. There are so many white men who are terrified of losing their place of power and privilege and will do literally anything they can to keep a fingerhold on the edge of superiority. But eventually, one by one, they’ll fall, and an era of gender and racial equality will arrive. The rest of us will know that there was never anything to be scared of at all.
Your children deserve a world where each person is valued the same. Notice I didn’t say a country. A world. We’re humans. Citizens of Earth. Homo Sapiens. We live in a global society, and we should embrace the move to globalization as a species. The only downside will be those who cling to nationalism in lieu of depth, or a personality, and in the long run, they’ll be just fine.
In this world that I can almost see, squinting my eyes against the dark, terrible sides and focusing on the bright, beautiful potential, we won’t assign more rights to a piece of barely viable tissue than a black adult man or someone from a religion different than yours. We’ll use the scientific tools and massive advancements at our disposal to better our society as a whole, not profit off of the weak and needy, building a home for all of us, where science, discovery, exploration, and expanding knowledge trumps superstition, fear, and ignorance.
As your children grow older, they’ll strive for greatness, getting the quality education they deserve without the yoke of student loans beating them into an early grave. And when they get sick, your children and their children can see a doctor without having to prioritize their health over groceries.
This future will still have the right to bear arms, but with some long overdue reasonability and understanding. Just like our First Amendment right to free speech, limited by being in a private home or workplace, by being obscene, by yelling fire in a crowded theater, by creating a clear and present danger, the Second Amendment needs some perspective. Bear your arms, but with limits, if only to prevent the deaths of children at the expense of those who misguidedly grasp at liberty.
Your children will be in a world where those who make the most money and who have benefited the most from the benefits and strengths of capitalization also contribute the most in taxes and support for others. Where nobody is afraid to report a sexual assault, where punishment is representative of the crime, and where we’ve decriminalized the drugs that do less harm than the pharmaceutical industry. Where our veterans get the medical treatment they deserve, educators get paid as they should, and the people have the power, not the corporations and sinking captains of industry.
I will be able to look your children in the eyes and say that I voted with my conscience and my heart for the betterment of humanity, not with my wallet. Not with the shadow of fear and hatred that can be dispersed with knowledge and research. I voted with an eye to the future, not a desperate need to return to the rose-tinted memory of an awful past. I voted for equality, acceptance, love, and generations to come, not for posturing and fearmongering, pride in belittling others, and a lack of accountability.
I have already cast my vote, and I sleep soundly at night with the confidence that when my candidate wins, our era of progress and achievement will continue, not have its flow staunched by ignorance and unintelligence.
I’m with her. I hope you will be too.
Not for yourself. For your children. For everyone.
I’m aware this may end up getting some controversial responses, but keep it civil. Any hateful speech will result in deletion and/or blocking, at my own discretion. Be the reasonable adult I know you can be.