THE VOTE POST (AT LEAST ONE OF THEM)

I went into last night's debate with an open mind, ready to really hear both candidates and factor what each one had to say into my decision as to who will be getting my vote this November.

Um, psych.

I went into it wondering why I don't drink, certain that it would have made for an excellent drinking game. I came out of it glad I don't drink because I would have been gone long before it was halfway over.

I explained to S beforehand that presidential debates are sometimes good for people to hear more from each candidate before they vote, but that this one was might be more for entertainment. This, after she heard Trump's name and exclaimed, "Donald Trump? Oh, no! He is not a nice man and he's going to be on TV!" You guys, she's five.

 I don't think anyone was surprised with the debate. I mean, did anyone expect Trump to say anything intelligible or come close to answering a question? Did anyone expect him to not interrupt or belittle?

Still, I watched on edge- all up in my nerves as to what he would say and, somehow, the slightest bit appalled when he said it. I don't think my hand left my mouth for most of it; I laughed, mostly in disbelief. As much as I wanted to find it funny- and really, had it not been on Monday night, it could have easily been mistaken for SNL- I was mostly horrified at what was happening.

It's 2016 and America's presidential debate consists of a male candidate standing on stage, repeatedly interrupting and blatantly disparaging his female opponent.

Is this really where we are?

And why is it accepted?

I'd like to say it's not. I mean, I feel like we're decades past this being permissible (which is still ridiculous, but I'm overlooking that); I don't stand for it. A lot of people do, though, and I can't understand why.

Why is the female candidate the only one being criticized for her tone? For her appearance? Her demeanor? Why must she be both likeable and qualified? I mean, Trump is neither.

I hear a lot about this election being about choosing the lesser of two evils. You might not like Hillary (I'll admit I was pulling for Bernie in the beginning), but she's a politician. For it to actually be between two "evils," as you will, the playing field would need to be leveled; Trump would need to be a politician.

But he's not.

He's a joke. A possible whim that got out of hand. He gave a voice to the deep-seated hatred and fears rooted in supremacy still woven throughout this nation, and snowballed, gaining traction and an alarming amount of supporters.

This election isn't about the lesser of two evils for me.

It's not even about politics.

It's personal.

As a woman, he is a threat to me.

As a mother of a multiracial family, raising two daughters, one with special needs, he is dangerous.

As a Christian, whose beliefs in Christ and God indeed influence my political bearings, he goes against everything that I believe is morally right.

This election is about stopping Trump.

The only way to do that is to vote. Now is not the time to sit out an election based on principle. If you're not registered, no better time than now. Go here. 

I'll wait.

Or, I mean, there's like four sentences left.

But seriously, I used to spend my free Saturdays registering voters at farmers markets. I could go on about why you should register for quite awhile. I'll spare you, but go register. You can even text "hello" to 384-387.

Use your vote wisely. You might not think you have much influence, but a vote not cast is a vote for Trump. A vote for a third party may as well be, depending on who you ask.

Not everyone has the luxury to retreat to Canada, should this election go the way we all thought was unthinkable. Instead of entertaining that idea, maybe we could work toward electing a leader that won't completely ruin the country most of us are stuck in.

If that's not appealing, the thought of four years of Bill with balloons in the white house ought to do it.

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