Are you voting this year?
Ever since I turned 18, the privilege and power of voting seemed minuscule at best. What was touted as America's gemstone, the right to vote, actually carried little weight. As a New York resident, voting in any presidential election seemed pointless, as we always swung Democrat anyways. To be quite frank, my vote didn't really account for much on a national level. That's not to undermine the importance of local elections, because they're important, but let's be honest: talking about local politics just isn't sexy. It's a little like asking someone if they'd rather work for Chase, the retail bank or JP Morgan Chase, the investment bank.
Still, a part of me knew I should care about the political landscape. I started to think about this year's election and our two presidential nominees. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are not my ideal candidates, neither was Bernie Sanders, while Ted Cruz came the closest to getting my support. When November comes, I do not want to be caught dead voting for either Trump or Hillary, but also did come to the realization that I could never let such a bigoted, arrogant person, like Trump, become president. If I could help it, seeing how meaningless it is to vote in presidential elections in New York, I at least can't let him win the popular vote.Was my fate to give my lukewarm vote to Hillary simply because I can't imagine a Trump-led America?
Politics in America should've never gotten to this point, where the words of a potential leader have no repercussions, and the very integrity of our political system has been internally compromised. Somehow, Americans have become receptive to Trump's radical ideas of building walls to keep Mexicans out of the country and a ludicrous ban on Muslims in the country. At the same time, we're somehow okay with Hillary escaping charges from the FBI. Allowing both scenarios to exist undermines any respect to our political system. In this world, an apology from the DNC renders its subjective dealings between Hillary and Bernie negligible, and our presidential nominees are now allowed to promote violence, anger, and hate. The very basic virtues of a leader have been compromised.
I want to be part of change in America, to strive for well-established leadership, but the same could be said for the Hillary and Trump supporters. In their eyes, their respective nominees are the change they want to see, and I don't have the right to force them otherwise. But that's the very essence of voting: to give every person an equal voice in our community, and that should be everyone's endeavor. We can argue about how Bernie was cheated, the amount of reform our political system needs, and all the kinks we can complain about, but the fact of the matter is that we need to look inwards. The reality paints a darker picture of America, one that represents itself in the cynical mindset present in the majority of the population. Traditional candidates have grown unappealing, and for some odd reason, the solution is to opt for the radical.
Some people earnestly think Trump will bring a period of prosperity to America, whether its through curbing illegal immigration at the Mexican border or banning Muslims. Even then, it's somehow not the rich, but actually the middle-class, who support Trump's economic policy of reducing taxes for the rich and eliminating estate & gifts taxes. People have always been supportive of higher taxes for the rich but are now deciding that Trump's vicious personality suits their tastes better. Moody's recently conducted a study, concluding that Hillary's economic policies are much more sound than Trumps. The conclusion from this is simple: most voters have little interest in the numbers and ideology of political policies anymore. We've entered into a war of cankerous rhetoric, using emotions and words as an overflowing symbolism of how we don't have enough houses, cars, or just plain money. I think most Trump supporters have turned cynical, unwilling to banter about a 10% tax rate, but conceding that illegal immigration, which by the way fills jobs most Americans wouldn't want anyways, is the root of our issues.
On a personal level, I can't vote for Trump and his antics. Both as a person and Christian, supporting Trump would be a foolish choice and would go against my convictions and beliefs. Admittedly, supporting Hillary doesn't make it any better, but advocating for Trump's hate-rooted campaign opposes humanity at its simplest. I won't enjoy the upcoming election because I'm reluctant to vote for either candidate, but as its been said many times over, Hillary is the "lesser evil" and sides more closely to my beliefs. As for everyone else, my hope is that everyone does their due diligence and exercises their right to cast a ballot. Despite how broken our system may be, or the poor selection of candidates, we know for a fact that things won't change by the time November hits. Large voter turnouts only give more power to the average Joe, not to the millionaires of the country.