History was made this week when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted the democratic nomination for president of the United States. She is the first woman to be elected as a presidential candidate for a major political party, breaking down barriers and simultaneously setting the stage for the Nov. 8th election against rival and republican candidate, Donald Trump.
This election is extremely significant to me. It is the first time I am eligible to vote in a major political election, and as November gets closer I'm realizing how imperative this election really is. The stakes seem impossibly high; on one end stands unity, equality and a continuation of the astounding efforts President Obama's office has made to remind the American people of the standards on which this country was created. On the opposing side, the candidate uses fear and deception as a tool to sway Americans to his only clear cause: exacerbating the spread of ignorance, intolerance and bigotry.
In this social, technological world, this election seems like a circus. Memes flow endlessly on Facebook, Twitter feeds go wild over celebrity endorsers and it seems like everywhere I turn there is a growing anticipation of what November will bring. That anticipation is honestly frightening. The half-hearted jokes about moving to Canada aren't as funny anymore.
As a young woman and feminist, I feel like I'm watching history unfold before my very eyes. The thought of a woman, especially such a strong, capable woman, holding the position of most powerful person in the world is exciting and gratifying. Knowing that there is a great possibility that someone will be in office who understands the needs of other women firsthand, who fights for our rights and our bodies’ rights and our children's rights, is powerful. I admire her ability to maintain her position and climb the political ladder in an atmosphere where she has had to work twice as hard to gain the same respect as her male counterparts. Her experience is vast; as a political leader in Arkansas, First Lady, Senator of NY and Secretary of State, Clinton has been in the political realm for over 30 years. Now that she is the democratic nominee, my choice is clear.
It wasn't always this straightforward. The college atmosphere strongly promoted democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders, whose genuine ideas swayed thousands of people my age. But now that he is no longer in the race, I am frankly disappointed by those who would stand aside and do nothing while such apparent bigotry and racism runs rampant. It denies the very essence of America, built on the notion that everyone is entitled to equality. While I appreciate Sanders' ability to connect with the issues that plague so many of us, I feel confident that Clinton's goals for the future are in line with his and with many Americans.
Watching the Democratic and Republican convention unfold, the differences between the Clinton and Trump campaigns are extremely apparent. Trump knows how to rile a crowd, appealing to people's weaker nature that promotes fear and hatred. His lack of political experience, and the fact that he has no real policies in place that connect with the country's standards, makes it interesting that so many people have fallen behind him. People are angry and people are scared. Trump exploits this to the tenth degree. His actions toward women and minorities in general are inexcusable. I find it difficult to rationalize his nomination, despite trying to empathize with his supporters. What I can say about Trump is that he knows how to talk to a crowd, to amuse and to garner more and more support through his antics.
As a female-bodied person, as a college student, as a person who is disgusted by the treatment of minorities, as a person who believes in equality for all regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion, I will be casting my vote on Nov. 8 for Hillary Clinton. Clinton totally understands American policies, foreign and domestic. My father, who is also pro-Clinton, had me watch former President Bill Clinton speak at the DNC. In the speech, he accentuates that his wife is a go-getter, a problem solver. She steps up to the plate for every challenge and her body of work reflects that. She was the first First Lady in the history of the title to implement reform. No one has done more for this country to fight for women's right and child education, as she has done her entire career.
I think, and hope, that come November people my age will go to cast their votes and realize that history is in their hands. It's easy to feel like there is no point in voting, that a single voice can not make an impact. But all of our voices, together, directed toward the same goal of maintaining the integrity of our nation, is a powerful one.
Trump at the RNC - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie8L39ZMDGE
Trump in Roanoke- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUsDdaULUdk
Mike Pence at the RNC- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q733Uzs023I
Hillary Clinton in San Diego, CA- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y04TVy0FxHg
Bill Clinton at the DNC- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RchVnIn_-Y
Hillary Clinton in Miami, FL- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZz7wSGUWD4
President Obama- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFYuFdkEqfw