November 10, 2016
Some personal thoughts for a personal time: The "My vote is my right and telling me to vote Clinton is wrong" sentiment is the same sentiment most third party voters have, and it's not wrong. But there is so much more to it than that, and so much you are saying about yourself by saying those words. Consider this: Is there, just maybe, a better time to protest than in an election with such severe social consequences? The time you should be marching for a third party vote is now, to prepare for 2020. This election was and always will be a different beast than any other, and by saying "you're taking away my rights to vote my choice" proves you don't understand or, more importantly, are too privileged to care. In a currently very flawed and unfair political system, no third party candidate has a chance of winning. You know this. I know this. By voting third party now, you acknowledge the fact that you, even if you didn't "mean" to, are giving your non-vote to Trump. Because, let's face it, the majority of third party voters skew more left than right. But let's go back to your "you're taking away my rights" argument. This is basically the same sentiment as saying "I voted for Trump, but I didn't vote for racism." Yes, you did. You cannot pick and choose a candidates qualities. You cannot vote for just one. You must accept all of them, good and bad. You must accept that by voting for a candidate, you are accepting the fact that you take votes away from the others. This is true for all. And by voting third party in this election you say "I knowingly admit my candidate has no chance of winning and therefore acknowledge the fact that Trump may become president based on my vote." There is no argument there. But here is where you are correct: The political system we have is flawed, and we should fight to change it. But little to no non-white non-straight people voted third party. And do you know why? Because we had and have a lot on the line, too much to risk voting for a candidate who would, even in the smallest possibilities, lend a vote to our enemy. We are not privileged enough to vote third party. You claim to want to exercise your rights - your vote left 100% of us with our rights on the line. And, looking to the future, instead of continuing to use your privilege on votes that are meaningless in the long run simply because you can afford to, perhaps we should all use our privilege to change the country now that we are all in the same sinking ship. Let me explain a bit more about privilege. Personally, I have always been a man of empathy, but one of the most difficult things for me to process is this: Even though I am a gay man and therefore a minority, I am still a white man and therefore have privilege many others do not. Often, I am hurt when diversity issues and diversity supporters looks less upon me than others because of my skin color. But I must remember this: Empathy is my sword, love is my shield. I must remember that even though I am hurting, many are hurting even more. Even though I am afraid, many are living in terror on a level I will never truly understand. This feeling I have, this terror and heartbreak and worry? This is a blanket many have been covered in for years, forever. And there it is. There is the truth we MUST understand if we ever want to overcome the hate that has been normalized today. It is an incredibly terrifying and wonderful feeling to admit, to know that you are not the center of the world, that your race or gender or religion or sexuality may not be as as important to fight for in this moment as others. To admit, even though you may not want to, that you are, on some level, a person of privilege. And that even in this fight for equality, we may need to fight in a way that takes privilege from us and gives it to others. We may feel pain, but there is always someone who feels more, always someone who needs more. In this, love is our greatest balm to ease that pain, and empathy is our strongest tool to understand it. So, this is not about me, but you can learn from me. It is not about you, but I can learn from you. It's about us, and we can always learn from each other. It's about understanding each day, and learning all over again tomorrow. Because we are not one, we are many. And this? We can be better than this. We will. We must.