Today, I went to a medical building I’ve visited since childhood. Before I walked in I noticed something different standing tall next to the American flag. Against the backdrop of fall and changing leaf colors was a large “Make America Great Again” sign. After utter shock, I began to wonder, what message does that send to the employees, patients, and communities this center serves including myself. I personally felt uncomfortable and immediately unwelcome. This election is unprecedented and has taken a lot out of all us, but I urge you not to sit out, but to stand up, deal in and vote.
I’m Adejire, I’m Black, I’m a woman, I’m a millennial, and #ImWithHer.
This will by my first presidential election since graduating from college and I am more than thrilled to support the most qualified person to run for the presidency who happens to be a badass woman. On the other hand, we have another candidate for President of the United States who is a racist unapologetic bully. Tuesday, November 8th is Election Day and your personal invitation to decisively and collectively stand up against hatred and discrimination in our country by heading out to the polls.
To be clear a non-vote is a vote for Donald Trump, a man who does not pay taxes, finds it okay to grope women, and discriminates against anyone who doesn’t fit into his vision of America. We’ve moved into a moment where we don’t value collective progress for our country. We’re more wrapped up in the polarization of fear than facts. We’ve allowed a man who does not invest in our roads, schools, and communities by not paying taxes to have a seat at the table. How Sway? The audacity of hatred is rearing it’s ugly head. We cannot allow this man to use a public office funded by our hard earned money to bankroll exclusion, walls, and undermine progress. This dude just rolled up to our potluck without food to share, but not only wants to eat but dictate what to do with the food. Rude!
For a moment, let’s step outside the United States. We live in an increasingly global society where our words and actions matter with rippling effects felt everywhere. We’re connected in seconds across the world through the Internet. Our very existence is interdependent upon our common challenges and goals. Ebola, zika, and climate change know no borders and we need a president who understands and we need Hillary Clinton. This election has been damaging to the perception of the United States abroad and we have a chance to shift the narrative in 3 days, take a note from President Obama and don’t boo, vote! Haven’t registered? Many states offer same-day registration check to see if your state qualifies here.
Below are frequent statements I’ve heard from friends regarding why it’s okay not to vote and below are a few of my counterarguments. Use them, refine them!
- “My vote doesn’t matter” Both England’s Brexit and Colombia’s failed FARC Peace Deal prove that every voice and vote counts. Brexit won by less than 10% with many polls leading up to Brexit predicting a Brexit loss. The FARC Peace Deal lost by less than %1. In our country, President Obama narrowly won North Carolina by an average of just 2 votes per precinct. Essentially don’t believe the hype, your vote absolutely counts whether you’re in a “blue” or “red” state. In addition, thousands of propositions and down ballot candidates are important to consider as well.
- “Hillary doesn’t care about [insert issue area here]” Voting gives you a seat at the table and is an important step necessary to influence public policy. As a voter, you should be empowered to hold all elected officials accountable consistently on Election Day and beyond. Voting is just the beginning of the conversation.
- “I’m diehard#TeamBernie #BernieorBust” Many of Hillary’s positions have evolved in part because of the Bernie Saunders’s Campaign, which produced an important debate within our country and the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders has even become a vocal supporter of Hillary this Fall. Join a call hosted by Millennials for Hillary with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton today November 5th at 2pm EST here.
- “The presidential election doesn’t affect me” If you’re like me, you too may be swimming in the beauty of student loan debt. Hillary Clinton has articulated an extensive student loan debt plan aimed at curbing the $1.2 trillion in debt many of us have incurred starting with refinancing student loans. If that doesn’t affect you that affects 2 in 5 of us.
- “Don’t force me to vote for a candidate just she’s a [insert word here]” I agree, you shouldn’t vote for a candidate “just because.” I urge you to reconsider and write down the issues you care most about about and consider the person who would be advocating on your behalf. For me, that’s Hillary Clinton. Check out her descriptive policy outline for over 41 issue areas here. For me, the issues I care about are:
- Student loan debt
- Mass incarceration
- Global health crises
- Global education access
- Job security
- Internet warfare
- Climate change