Well, now I’ve done it. For the first time in my life, I am publicly endorsing a candidate. I’m scared but I think I have to speak up this year and tell you who I’m voting for and why.
I’m voting for Hillary, no question.
Not a “lesser of two evils” vote
I’m not voting for Hillary just because she’s running against Trump. And I’m not voting for her simply because she’s a woman. I’m voting for Hillary because she is a great candidate. Is she a perfect candidate? No. Does she embrace everything I stand for? No. Does she think or speak or act exactly as I would? No. But she is still a strong candidate for President of the United States and here is why…
1. Gun Violence
Hillary is sincerely concerned about gun violence and most of you already know where I stand on this issue. We must improve our gun control laws. Her platform includes plans to close loopholes, double down on background checks before buying guns, and enact commonsense gun laws. Not only that, but her running mate, Tim Kaine represents the state of Virginia. He knows first-hand the pain caused by gun violence and I do as well. I trust them both to work hard on this issue.
Hillary is a candidate that embraces diversity of all kinds. She’s not afraid of people who are different from her. She isn’t afraid of immigrants, people with disabilities, Muslims or people of color. She knows that our diversity is what makes our nation strong. She is willing to fight for immigration reform and health care and other laws that will ensure the dignity and worth of all people. I applaud that.
3. Worth of Women
Seeing a Black man become President of the United States of America was a victory for all of us in this country. Can you imagine what this felt like for me as I thought of my son, still a teenager in 2008, and dreamed of all the ways this election would impact his life. It was thrilling for me as a mother to a Black son. But it wasn’t just that Obama was Black. It was that he believed in the dignity of life for all people, regardless of race, gender, religion or sexuality. I also have a daughter. And like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton affirms the worth of women and advocates on their behalf. This is so important to me. I want my daughter to have her life valued the same way that my son’s life is valued. Male or female, the candidate who does that has my vote.
Is this a comprehensive list? Hardly! I know that! But listen: these are the top three things that come to mind for me when I am considering candidates. To live the life of a reconciler means that I am looking to see which candidate is serious about repairing broken systems together so that all people can thrive. Despite her flaws and imperfections, Hillary is that candidate this time.
But wait! What about abortion?
I knew that question was coming. And I understand that there are those of you who simply cannot vote for someone who does not hold a “political pro-life” position. Here’s the thing: that term does not mean what we think it means. We must expand our understanding of what it means to be pro-life.
Pro-life means that we care about babies in utero, absolutely.
But pro-life also means that we care about the conditions that impact those babies after they are born. Conditions like poverty, violence, unemployment and racial injustice, among others.
Pro-life means that we care about the children drinking lead in Michigan.
Pro-life means that we care about the fact that there are children who cannot envision living past the age of 15 so they choose to end their lives and sometimes the lives of others along the way.
Pro-life means that we care about war and refugees.
Pro-life means that we care about the immigrants in our country.
Pro-life means that we care about Muslims.
Pro-life means so much more than we think it means. It encompasses so much more than abortion. Did you know that the number of abortions performed in this country peaked under President Bush, Sr? And under the Bill Clinton administration those abortion rates decreased dramatically. Under Clinton! A pro-choice President! The decline in abortions stagnated under President Bush, Jr. And have since started to fall again under President Obama and as of 2011, are at their lowest since 1973.
How could this be? How could the numbers be low under the pro-choice Presidents and higher under the pro-life Presidents? It doesn’t make any sense! I believe it is because our pro-life Presidents do not actually embrace the totality of what it means to be pro-life and without being pro-life in all areas, there is no hope of affecting the abortion rates.
So if we want the abortion rates to go down, we should vote for a candidate who values life at all stages and ages and has policies that promote life for each and every one of us.
Still on the fence?
These might be helpful as you consider the choices for the ballot in November
John Oliver on the two candidates — surprisingly informative and funny at the same time (language warning!)