Monday, November 07, 2016

I'm with her

So, tomorrow is the general election and like most other voting Americans, I'm kind of tied up in knots about it. Thanks to early voting, I have already cast my vote for Hillary Clinton and I did so gladly. My vote wasn't just a vote against Donald Trump - someone who embodies the very worst of bigotry and narrow-minded fear in our country - but for a woman who has spent most of her adult life advocating for the rights of women and children across the United States and the world. Who else who has run for the office of president can say the same thing? No one in living memory, as far as I know. 

The Bush vs. Gore election in 2000 was the first presidential election I was eligible to vote in (I turned 18 a month after Clinton was re-elected in 1996). I was so nervous I screwed up the first ballot and had to redo it (it was the kind where you fill in the arrow, so confusing!) but it was a big deal. 

That fall was hard. My grandpa, a Kansas farmer and lifelong Democrat (yes, they do exist), had hernia surgery on Election Day and stopped to vote on his way to the hospital for surgery. The next day in recovery, when he asked the nurses who won, he didn't believe them when they told him they didn't know who the next president would be. He never found out because he passed away the day after Thanksgiving, before SCOTUS gave Florida, and thus the presidency, to George W. Bush.

As nervous as I am about this election, I do feel reasonably confident that come January, we'll be referring to Hillary Clinton as Madam President. This means my kids won't know a white male president in their lifetimes. It means that they might even think that someone who wouldn't have even had the legal right to vote less than 100 years ago can now be elected to the highest office in the land. That's pretty amazing. As flawed as the two-party system is, as flawed as the candidates are, I'm glad that my kids are seeing this piece of history happen.

I'm with her.


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