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I’m breaking one of my blogging rules and venturing into this world of politics and this upcoming election – for one reason only: I’m weary. I’m overwhelmed by the noise. I’m tired of the fighting.
I’ve spent the last two weeks pouring over Twitter feeds, Facebook feeds, and Instagram feeds. I’ve read countless Internet articles. I’ve watched debates and rallies and political speeches. I’ve watched the captions typing below CNN, CBSN, and Fox News while I elliptical at the Y.
I’m watching people take sides and take shots.
I’ve seen us pulled apart. A nation divided.
We are a nation that is diverse. We are diverse in color. We are diverse in gender. We are diverse in religions, ideals, and values.
The truth is that what I value and what you value is not always going to be the same.
That means that, come election day, I am going to vote for a candidate who I feel values what I value as the most important. You are going to vote for a candidate who you feel values what you value as the most important.
We are all right and all wrong because there is no perfect candidate who espouses perfect values across the board – especially when there are a million different ideas of what those perfect values should be.
We say that we value diversity – yet tear each other down when others do not value what we value.
This is what I believe about this election:
You can be a good person and a good Christian and vote for Hillary Clinton.
You can be a good person and a good Christian and vote for Donald Trump.
You can be a good person and a good Christian and vote for Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, or another third party candidate.
You may shake your head and disagree. You are entitled to your opinion. But I say this because I know you.
I know you…my female friends and family who have been triggered by the events of this week and the emotions it has dredged up about your past sexual assault. I know that you care deeply about women, consent, and rape culture. I know that you love God and are trying to do the right thing. I know that you feel Hillary Clinton will stand up for woman’s rights. I understand you saying #imwithher. I understand your position. I respect you. I love you.
I know you…my male friends and family who were raped, molested, degraded, torn down, and taken advantage of by women…who feel like there are double standards to feminism and that there has been a war waged on boys, men, and male dignity by women who seek nothing but power. It makes sense that you relate to Donald Trump and plan to vote for him. I understand your position. I respect you. I love you.
I know you…my friends and family who watched the Twin Towers fall at the hands of terrorists. I you want nothing more than to keep America safe for our children and our children’s children – even if it means turning people away and closing our borders. I know that you feel like Donald Trump will make America safe again. I understand your position. I respect you. I love you.
I know you…my friends and family who are trying to zoom out and think long-term…who are concerned about the future of our Supreme Court. I understand you choosing to vote for a platform even when you don’t like the person standing on it. I get why would would vote for the Republican nominee. I understand your position. I respect you. I love you.
I know you…my friends and family whose conscience is burdened and feel like – lose or lose – you must cast your vote this election to a third-party candidate. I feel your anguish when you know you are making a decision that others view as a waste. I feel your heart as you feel like God is the only person you should answer to. I understand your position. I respect you. I love you.
I know you…my friends and family who feel like there are no good options, who feel you must cast your vote for a candidate that you don’t really support to vote against someone you support even less. I know you are trying to do the best you can with the cards you are dealt and make a broken political system work for the greater good. I understand your position. I respect you. I love you.
I know you…my friends and family so appalled at our choices that you would rather stay home than cast your vote with someone you detest. I understand that not voting is just as much your right as voting is. I understand your position. I respect you. I love you.
I don’t have any good answers. I have thoughts and opinions about this election just like you do. I also know that my thoughts and opinions probably won’t do anything to change your thoughts and opinions. I recognize the value in keeping my mouth shut.
I know where I will be placing my vote come election day, based on what I and my husband value. I know that you might place your vote with another candidate or party – because of what you value – and I’m okay with that. I don’t have to agree with you to treat you with decency.
Draw your line in the sand. It’s your right, just as it is mine. But let us remember that this world is inherently broken. We are all hopelessly flawed. And – for better or worse – we are all just trying to do right by the nation we love.