United States of America flag
United States of America flag | Photo by Sam Howzit from Flickr
United States of America flag | Photo by Sam Howzit from Flickr

 

For the first time in my life, I’m actually nervous about the state of our democracy. I’ve been following the news about the presumptive Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, and the feelings I have are a mixture of worry and anger.

Donald Trump is not the presidential candidate this country needs. He has spouted hateful and bigoted insults and poison at everyone from people with disabilities to Mexicans. Most of all, Trump is an embarrassment to this country.

Trump is the Republicans’ top choice for office. That is terrifying. Come November, Trump might become the president of the United States. President. While it is true that the president does not possess unlimited power and people often overestimate the president’s reach, it’s equally true that the president serves us, the people, and is the representative of the United States to the world. It’s a pretty important job.

To Trump, this appears to be a game. This is not a game. There are no do-overs or “just kiddings.” I, for one, do not want someone who regards one of the most important jobs in the world so flippantly and disrespectfully.

Donald Trump represents the worst that this country can become. He is an extreme outlier.

If there was a time to set aside our differences as Americans, it is now. The lines between Republican, Democrat and independent should not blind us to the fact that what our country stands for – equality, liberty and diversity – is under attack. Everything else, every petty dispute, can wait.

This is why I must implore everyone, no matter race, political party or religion, to register to vote and to vote for anyone but Trump. There is no room for apathy. We cannot shrug our shoulders this year. Our way of life is under attack. Not voting says, “I accept whatever happens.” That is unacceptable.

Yes, voting against Trump means that we would have another Democrat as president. Yes, this means that we will probably have more partisan political struggles about big issues like abortion and LGBT rights. But I would rather have that healthy, albeit difficult, political discourse be negotiated by a person who cares about the state of affairs of this country than by an openly racist and patently adolescent power-monger.

Voting is the only way that we can ensure that our voices are heard and that our influence is felt. Do not accept “whatever happens.” If there was a time for everyone to vote – especially college students and young people – it is now.

This time, possibly more than ever in history, every single vote counts.

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