i do not write this to change anyone’s mind, because i know for the most part minds are made up. but if you are an undecided voter, or are planning not to vote today, i am writing this for you.
i have thought long and hard about writing something like this. i recognize that some may read this and doubt my values, faith, etc. based on my vote in this election. that saddens me, but i am hoping at the very least for respect even in differing opinions. i am happy to have a respectful conversation about this with anyone who has questions about my stance on any of these issues.
i have heard so many people saying that they are tired of hearing others’ political stances on the internet or through political ads or whatever else. but this is an exciting time - we have the opportunity to better our country - and we should be talking about it!! we should be reading up and educating ourselves and communicating with each other!
when i went to vote this morning, i voted with real people in mind. i will be honest, both candidates have stances that i cannot get behind. but as i look through the issues, here are some of the things i thought about when deciding who i would vote for. i share these simply to start a thought process. we live in a country of free speech, which is an exciting privilege that many in the world don’t have. if political posts annoy you, no need to continue reading. if for whatever reason you are interested in my opinion, read on.
affordable and accessible healthcare - i voted thinking about the premature babies and their families that come through my mom’s nicu - the medical bills that could exceed one million dollars if they did not have access to insurance. i thought about my family members who are able to stay insured until age 26 as they look for jobs. i thought those with pre-existing conditions who have not been turned down for treatment. keeping healthcare affordable and accessible for all is something i will ALWAYS stand behind. i’d encourage you to think about how you’d feel if you or a family member were turned down for care because of a pre-existing condition - what stance would you have in those circumstances?
education - the results of this election could potentially DOUBLE the cost that students will pay for loans needed to further their education, contribute to society in the way they see fit, and provide for their families. there is so much irony in this. we all have loved ones who worked so hard to get through school and are still paying back loans. it is my hope we would not make education, a major foundation that makes america a place of opportunity, less accessible.
equal rights for the LGBT community, especially don’t-ask-don’t-tell - in my opinion, this is a given - no matter what your thoughts are on homosexuality. i strongly feel that to tell someone they cannot serve in our military if they are openly gay is destructive and demeaning. and on the topic of gay marriage, it is hard for me to wrap my head around denying rights to someone who has been in a long term, committed, same-sex relationship. read up on these rights. and i have to say this - even if you are against homosexuality - your vote against marriage and other rights for these people and couples is not going to change the way they live their lives. what is happening here is a blatant denial of rights and equality. if you haven’t done so yet, i’d encourage you to form a friendship with someone who identifies with a sexual orientation that differs from yours. it will open your eyes, i promise. again, i am happy to have a respectful conversation about this with anyone who has questions about my stance on this.
climate change - i just watched my family, and millions of others, become devastated by hurricane sandy. we are seeing these storms become stronger and more frequent because of climate change. you may not believe this is a manmade problem, but no matter what, more research needs to be done in these areas to ensure we are caring for our earth [the place we LIVE!!] and make sure it is not only here but inhabitable for future generations. i believe in the importance of alternative energy sources and this is an initiative that needs to be prioritized for the well being of the entire world.
tax plans - to anyone who is simply voting based on their own personal tax rate… i beg of you, please just take a moment to think of how privileged we are in this country and how many opportunities we have. think about if you are willing to participate in the success of another. there are some people who have been dealt a rough hand. it doesn’t mean they don’t work hard, it doesn’t mean they don’t take responsibility for their lives. i cannot support a tax break for the exorbitantly wealthy above breaks for single parents working multiple jobs [just an example of potential circumstances].
again, these are simply the things that i was thinking about when i went to vote this morning. i understand and respect that many will not share my views or opinions, and that is okay. that is why we vote. i have simply decided that these issues are too important to me to remain silent.
whatever your stance is, please vote today. voter turnout changes the path of elections, and in turn directs the future of our country… let’s take that seriously.