This election season’s been possibly the most daunting one I’ve ever seen (despite facebook memories reminding me, over the past couple of days, of how nervous I was about the results of the American election four and eight years ago) and it’s finally coming to a close. Still, it’s perhaps a tad too early for me be relieved of the anxiety that’s plagued me – and many of my peers – over the past year. There remains a possibility that the fate of American and the world could swing the other way; what happens then I’m not entirely sure. (And given how Brexit’s being handled in Britain now, I doubt anything would be certain for the months to come, should perchance Tangerine Mussolini be elected president.)
So, I’m taking a break from work right now to address whatever audience I’ve amassed on this blog, in particular, Americans. (“Amassed” might be the wrong word since it suggests a sort of vastness or mass when I know hardly anyone – let alone any american – reads this blog, but I digress.)
I. Vote, please.
I understand it’s slightly too late for this since voter registrations are now over (and I would presume that everyone who’s already registered intends to vote), but should you be daunted by the queues at polling stations today, or tomorrow, please, still vote.
Vote for the younger generations who aren’t yet old enough to vote, but whose futures will be determined by the election. Vote for the citizens who live among you, who do not have a voice due to restrictive voting laws or legislation, like you do. Vote for the rest of the world, including myself, whose countries – and lives – would, in one way or another, be impacted by the decision you make.
Vote, because even if your life will not be transformed drastically by the results of the elections, another person’s would.
II. Vote wisely.
I hate to prescribe what one should or should not do, particularly on an issue some would think I have no business interfering in (again, I’m not American), but if you’re going to cast a protest vote tomorrow, please consider the implications of your actions.
And no, I don’t mean this in a moralistic way. I only implore you to consider the state you live in and the strategic impacts of your decision when you vote. That is, if you live in a red or blue state, perhaps a protest vote would communicate your message through to the major parties more effectively than if you live in a swing-state, where any narrow margin would be considered a victory to either parties.
Understand that if you should vote for a third party tomorrow, there is close to no chance of your candidate winning, and hence you should be willing to accept whichever democratic or republican candidate as your next president. If you cannot stomach the notion of the latter as the leader of your nation, perhaps you should consider casting your vote for the former.
III. Vote, not for yourself, but for your society
This may be a contentious point in a country that prizes individualism above all else, but know that this is a game of numbers that will necessarily implicate human lives. No, I’m not implying that one candidate is entirely faultless – since neither of them, even the third party candidates, are – but there is only one choice America that can make on Tuesday to counter the unfathomably racist, sexist, xenophobic, and ableist rhetoric that has been amplified and perpetuated throughout the country over the course of this election season.
And this brings me to my last point
IV. If Hamilton could endorse Jefferson for president, perhaps you could find it in yourself to vote for Hillary Clinton this election
If Lin-Manuel Miranda and his primarily black cast could stage one of the most successful Broadway musicals ever to hail America’s very white (and undoubtedly problematic) founding fathers, one of whom (Hamilton himself) Joanne Freeman dubbed an “arrogant, irritating asshole”, perhaps you could find it in yourself to admit the merits of the democratic nominee as well.
I make no attempts at concealing my admiration of Hillary Clinton’s ambition, of course, being a rather Type A personality myself, but if anyone needs any more convincing of her merits, I’ve compiled a list of links that you could check out whilst you’re in line at the polling station:
- On Hillary Clinton’s activism at Wellesley: [x] [x] [x]
- On her work on childhood education and welfare: [x] [x]
- On her work ethic: [x] [x] [x] [x]
- Her major endorsements: [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] (this is but a portion of the full list)
- And finally, her voting record [x] (some hits and misses there, yes, but I would rather you get the full picture of who she is and judge her for yourself.)
V. Vote down ballot.
Regardless of whom you’re picking for president, please do your research and vote down the ballot, because a president alone cannot enact the change you wish to see in America; whoever is going to be the future president needs a government that will be able to work with them.
On a side note, if you’re considering a vote against the democratic party candidate because President Obama seemed rather ineffectual during his two terms of presidency, do consider the makeup of the congress he was working with (it had a republican majority, which made liberal changes much less plausible.) Whilst Clinton boasts a rather exceptional bipartisan record, the democratic platform has shifted considerably to the left in this election (all thanks to Bernie Sanders), and thus, for what she’s promised to materialise, she would have to work with a much more supportive government.