Today I voted because I view it as not only a privilege, but as an informed citizen, a duty.
Today I voted because I am allowed to.
Today I voted because brave, strong women who came long before me fought to have their, and ultimately my, voice heard.
Today I voted because I have two daughters - both brilliant, engaged, full of the autonomy, confidence, and personal agency I tried so hard to instill. I voted that they have dominion over their bodies, their medical decision making. I voted that their rights may stay protected. I voted that their place as equals will continue to be fortified, shored up, strengthened.
Today I voted because my son is transgender. I voted that his rights as a full citizen of this country are protected, upheld. I voted because there is a party whose entire platform is written to discriminate against him, against those like him, against anyone who does not fall into their narrow view of what is acceptable. I voted because he deserves the same rights, protections, equality as any citizen of this country.
Today I voted because I recognize what the writers of our founding documents held as their vision of greatness for this country - checks and balances, religion staying out of power, religion being freely practiced regardless of which religion that may be, the idea that we are ALL equal. I voted because perhaps that line, above all others, is so great in that while they wrote it in a time when not every man/woman was equal, that very omission of detailing who they meant left it open for future generations to stand upon it and define that YES, ALL OF US ARE CREATED EQUAL.
Today I voted because now, more than ever, we do live in a global community. I voted because we need leaders who understand nuance, compromise, strength. I voted for experience, for knowledge, for foresight.
Today I voted because an entire party has made a mockery of our election system, finally being hoisted upon their own petard for their decades of inciting, misinforming, scaring, and manipulating. I voted because they allowed a proud bigot, misogynist, and bully to be elevated to the top of their ticket which is now leading to their final fall to the very bottom of the political sewer they have long dug and filled with their disgusting and putrid offerings.
Today I voted because the world is an amazing place, scary though elements of it may be. I voted that alliances will be strengthened, not broken. That our future may be brighter, not dismal. I voted that the world may see we have not all lost our sanity. I voted because I have traveled abroad and know how amazing are the people beyond our borders and that working with them will secure a safer future for all of us.
Today I voted for every group that has been targeted, demeaned, marginalized, and threatened. I voted that they will be protected from the baser elements in our society. I voted that they may walk freely, worship freely, breathe easier knowing that the majority of citizens in this country are not racists and zealots who cling to willful ignorance and feed at the trough of fear.
Today I voted because I love my family, both those related by blood, and those who are part of the tribe I have built around me. I voted that my best friend continues to have insurance coverage. I voted that science is supported and respected so that all my friends who struggle may see advances in facing their challenges. I voted that the great minds in this country will continue moving forward in their quest to protect us from ourselves and our disregard for this planet.
Today I voted because I believe our greatness already outshines our inadequacies. I voted because our ideals and our ideas are worth fighting for. I voted because Mayberry never existed, and the Beaver only lived on TV. I voted because I see our shortcomings, our past failings, and the historical markers where we stood up and changed for the better. I voted because I believe we are at one of those moments again.
Today I voted because the societal swamps need drained. And those who have been emboldened to ooze into the daylight will remain exposed and taught, in no uncertain terms, that this society, and where it is headed, has no room for their ugliness, hatred, bigotry, and blindness. I voted that Bullshit Mountain will eventually be barren, a relic, a bemusement park shut down and overgrown.
Today I voted because I believe in a future where everyone can thrive openly as who they are, with who they love, living in the light.
Today I voted because I do want to show the world that the good people of this country will not allow it to go low, that we will go high, and higher still.
I am a United States citizen and TODAY I VOTED.