I’ve been trying to find the words to make sense of this election since I saw the results this morning. The first thing I did was begin to compose a lengthy Facebook post defending my vote and why I did it. I ultimately thought better of this course of action. Not just because I have friends and family on both sides of this election either. But mostly because I was consistently reminded today that my vote is nobody’s damn business. It’s easy to speculate who I voted for, especially given that I was appalled by both major party candidates. But whether you can narrow it down via process of elimination or not, understand that it was not a decision that I made lightly. I was not undecided. I did not try to “stick it to the man.” I did not cast my ballot as a means to deny, defy, or hate on anyone. I also did not cast my ballot as a means of approval for either major party. What I did do was vote for someone that I genuinely liked. I voted for someone who I felt was the sanest option of the bunch. I voted for someone who I believed stood a chance at making a real difference.
It’s possible that my vote was uneducated, that my vote was ignorant, or was a product of my “white privilege.” It’s possible that my vote was a waste of time. It’s possible that my vote didn’t help anyone one way or another. And it’s possible that there are people reading this with great scrutiny that are fully prepared to never speak to me or read my words again. And if that’s the case, that’s okay. I wish you well. But before you go, please know that I also woke up this morning frightened about the future of our country. Frightened because it’s also a very real possibility that many of us will one day wake up to find that Wall Street has crashed and our Social Security has suddenly vanished. Frightened that this country may have become a more dangerous place for my female, LGBTQ+, and minority friends. Frightened that President Trump could very well set a scary precedent of ridiculous celebrities finding their way to the Oval Office. Frightened that the desolate nuclear landscape of the Fallout franchise may soon become a reality. I mean, a man who’s most well-known for the phrase “You’re fired!” now has the access to our country’s nuclear launch codes. I’m not going to lie: We’re not in a good place, America. And since I’m not convinced that Hillary Clinton would have been a better option, I’m honestly at a loss. But I do know that even if the majority of our nation’s government and maybe even more than half of its citizens believe otherwise, I won’t stop supporting and trying to protect what I believe is right. Whether you believe that my vote reflected that or not.
In light of recent events, I’ve come up with a new motto that I’ve shared with a coworker and fellow nerd friend which is, “What Would Buffy Do?” It’s easy to know what Buffy would do now: She wouldn’t move to Canada or throw up her hands and accept things at face value. She would immediately start planning with the gang to fight this evil from within the belly of the beast. How do we do that? By rejecting social norms and standing up and protecting our friends and family at all costs. I also think we need to start by evaluating how it is that we got here in the first place. Clearly nobody liked the candidates we had to choose from. So how did Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton get as far as they did in the first place? We need to do better. We need to elect candidates that we feel can actually do good. That is how we safeguard our elections from turning into an outright circus the way this one has. We need a reason for the rest of the world to stop looking at the United States like we’re the backwoods hillbilly laughing stock of the global community. In four years time, I really hope to be able to elect someone who won’t make me cower in fear.
In the meantime, I’m looking forward to 2020. Things may change a great deal between now and then. Maybe Trump will surprise us all and do something incredible. I don’t have a lot of hope or faith in the man, but stranger things have happened. I mean, he won the presidency, so really nothing should surprise us at this point, right? And if things don’t change or they get a whole lot worse, by standing together we will at least have each other. We’ll keep fighting the good fight regardless. It’s just disheartening that some of us are going to have to fight a lot harder now.
Rest easy tonight, friends. And if you need to talk, leave your thoughts in the comments below or join in the thread that was started about Trump’s victory over in the user forums.
P.S. And no, if you haven’t already hashed out my vote, it was not for Harambe!