I didn't vote for Donald Trump, and here's why.
I could not, in good conscience, vote for him. Now before you make any assumptions as to my political tendencies, how I feel about Hillary Clinton, or even who I eventually voted for, please know that I do not vote based on party affiliation. I agree with facets of each of the two major political ideologies, but cannot find enough in either to grasp on to. Nor do I feel like any non-mainstream parties encompass what I'm seeking, either.
In an ideal world, Trump could have been a bridge-builder. He's teetered in both directions, politically. He's an outsider to the political system, but has rubbed elbows with the system most of his life. He's been a successful businessman, as well as a very unsuccessful one. He makes mistakes, and says stupid things. He seems charitable. He has a penchant for opulence. He's not overly religious, or at least, it doesn't rule his life to the point of clouding his judgement. He knows how to stoke a fire on multiple fronts, politically, industrially, and for entertainment. It's only been in the last ten years that he's swung more to the "political right.'
In the real world, before the election cycle began a couple years back, I also knew him to be an ass, though he certainly spoke his mind. He had no problem insulting people publicly, and somehow managed to keep things manageable when working with some of the recipients of his ire. He was an obvious playboy, of his own sort, possibly due to his deep pockets. He was a train wreck to watch that never veered off the rails into complete derailment, but you sure thought he had teetered too far at times. His inclination to sue over anything was annoying, even childish.
In all, he seemed socially and financially privileged and immature.
But none of these are the reason I didn't vote for him.
You see, I now live in an America where one of my sons is more likely to be mocked, my other son needs to be reminded at most men do not treat women like garbage, and where my daughters are a greater target for sexism and even sexual assault.
Conjecture? Sure! My right as a parent to be worried? CERTAINLY.
My son is more likely to be mocked for his disability. He is epileptic and autistic. Trump has been known to mock people. He's been accused of mocking some with disabilities. His supporters deny it, pointing to other cases where he mocks people similarly. HE MOCKS PEOPLE. Unless he comes right out and says that mocking people is wrong, or that he's sickened that people accuse him of mocking someone with disabilities, he outwardly supports the mocking of others. He supports bullying. He inspires others to do the same. This is something I could not support.
My daughters live in a world where women have achieved great strides in gender equality. And now they live in a world where the President once said, some years before becoming president, that he "grabs women in the pussy" without repercussion, as part of his social privilege, and half the country still voted for him. He mocks the very notion of femininity. He scoffs at the progress that women have made in modern times. He jokes about lusting over his own daughter, or how young women could be his next wife. And he has fostered an environment where men who see women as mere playthings have a more powerful voice. He's not outwardly condoning rape, but he's also doing nothing to eliminate it. In a Trump world, women can be touched, groped, kissed, or used for sex with little consequence. As such, I now have daughters that will live in a world where they need to be more keenly aware of their surroundings, which they were already forced to do. They will need to know how to avoid certain situations, which they were already forced to do. And they will need to know how to speak up, fight back, and flee as necessary, WHICH THEY WERE ALREADY FORCED TO DO. Again, I could not support Trump for demonstrating that he cares nothing for my daughters and the world they will be living in.
My other son needs to know that treating women poorly, seeing them as objects to be collected, or less human than a man, is completely wrong. He needs to know he can and should stand up for his brother and sisters. I feel like the people in his life have done a good job with this, but I suddenly find myself pushing back against the wind around us. How do you succeed when the most powerful person in the country seemingly gets away with being a bully and a sexual predator?
I have other reasons why I didn't vote for Trump, mostly political and social stances. They don't matter much, compared to my major issues.
It's worth noting that I didn't like that Hillary Clinton was a career politician who ebbed and flowed depending on who she was courting. I saw her as a pure politician who made good, and bad, choices and got called out on some of them. She has done what most US politicians have done: made choices that have, at times, cost American lives. Few politicians in Washington have clean hands, and I didn't see the logic in vilifying her for a couple things when others have done worse. But in the end, she wasn't a sexual predator and a bully, she was just a politician I didn't want to vote for. I could teach my kids that we are responsible for the choices we make, but now I must teach them how some people apparently get away with terrible, and sometimes illegal, actions and words.
Don’t agree with me? That's fine. You don't have to. Some of the people I know have bashed Clinton or Trump so much that they lost sight of what they believe. This year, politics was about who was the least worst choice, or the lesser of two evils. Some voted for Trump who didn't want to. Some voted him simply because of their dislike of Clinton. Some voted for Clinton because of their dislike of Trump. So few people seem to have voted for the right reasons.
My conscience is clear. I live in a state where a Republican will win with minimal fight. The social and religious majority around me will vote en masse for the Republican party, no questions asked. This was no less apparent when members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - the majority of voters within my state - voted for the least moral and least righteous option. As such, I could have voted for any of the other eight options in this state, and I did.
I could have even written in a candidate, if I wanted to. But apparently, Doctor Who isn't real.
is not about single lines
it's a conversation, it's about talking and being heard, about being understood as more than a line
of a heart
it's not about creating smaller sentences, making ideas possible or making thoughts right or wrong
it's about being
it's simply about being
driving down the road
halfway between dark and light
car after car truck after truck
on my way home tonight
on my way home to my wife
and my kids
a long day spent helping people
who have flipped their lids
I can't wait to be home
to hug them, to pick them up
to throw them around
each day the same
and each day different
and yet another day
I know I'm home in spirit
my deeds can be found
but my presence is missed;
my absence is frowned
oh, if I could be home, each and every day
I'd be home with my family
and writing my life away
© 2015 Eric Palmatier