Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Stronger together: Let's make some history today

Hillary Clinton / She would be Madam President 

I woke up this morning on our nation's Election Day feeling hopeful and inspired. Like four years ago when I voted to re-elect Barack Obama, today I feel inspired, ready to move forward.

In California, I am registered to permanently vote by absentee ballot. I filled out my ballot in the comfort of my dining room on a recent Sunday afternoon, taking my time – hey, it's not a closed-book exam, so I looked over many different fliers I had received in the mail, studied the voter guide and I perused the recommendations of The San Francisco Chronicle – then, I dropped off my completed and sealed ballot at one of many convenient and secure drop boxes near where I do my grocery shopping. Across the country, more than 42 million Americans voted early. 

Since then, I've been encouraging all of my friends through social media via Facebook of the importance to get out and perform their civic duty and to vote their conscience today. This has been an election campaign unlike any we've experienced. Now, it is time for America to render its decision.

Not only are we voting for the 45th President of the United States, in a highly contested election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but throughout America, there are also many important "down ballot" races that will decide the future makeup of the Senate, the House of Representatives, as well as local races for city councils and school boards, and here in California, there are many state-wide propositions and local ballot measures to be voted upon, too. 

Using our voice to speak out by exercising the right to vote is one of the great tenets of our American democratic society.

Hillary / Where everyone knows her name
This is a consequential and important Presidential election for the future of our country, and it has Americans engaged for many different reasons. I'm excited about the possibility of my country having its first female head of state. The battle lines in the Clinton-Trump race for the White House have been drawn for many months. On one side of the political spectrum is a positive message for America filled with love and hope. On the other side, it's been a dystopian vision filled with a pessimistic tone of hate and fear. In this age of vitriol, in which social media are giving voice to prejudice and drowning our politics in anger, it has caught the attention not only of my Facebook friends in America, but also in Europe, Asia and North Africa, many who are keenly following today's election outcome with hope and patience for a brighter future. After all, as British author J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame said of Donald Trump: "When a man this ignorant and easy to manipulate gets within sniffing distance of the nuclear codes, it's everyone's business."

On the night before the election, Mrs. Clinton aired a two-minute advert spot during prime time in which she framed the election as a choice between a country that is "dark and divisive or hopeful and inclusive."

Hillary for America / A slogan with value
Our core values are being tested in this election. However, I am supporting the election of Hillary Clinton not only because she is uniquely qualified as a life-long public servant and has the right temperament, but also because she best represents the issues and values that I support as a Democrat: Equal rights for women, children, minorities, and gays and lesbians; a strong and improving economy; sound environmental protection; the protection of Roe vs. Wade and women's health; the appointment of Supreme Court justices who believe in equality for all; a clear and comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS and radical jihadism to keep our country safe; and I know Mrs. Clinton will never stop speaking out about the need to prevent gun violence. I could go on and on about what I value in Hillary Clinton's candidacy. At the same time, there's nothing in Mr. Trump's candidacy, which has been marked by lies, racism, bigotry, misogyny, sexual abuse and bullying, that I can believe in or support. He is arguably the least-qualified person ever to run for President of the United States. This is not reality television, Mr. Trump. This is real life and you've more than abused your 15 minutes of fame. If this were an election based solely upon the character trait of empathy, Clinton would win hands-down in a landslide. 

America is already great for so many different reasons. I believe Mrs. Clinton's vision for the United States provides our country with the best hope for its future. If America hasn't figured it out now, they're not going to. 

"I'm will work my heart out as president to make life better for you and your family," Clinton pledges. "We won't always get it right, but you can count on this: I've never quit and I never will." 

I'm inspired by Mrs. Clinton's message – and I'm ready to move forward, knowing that our country's best days are still ahead of us. I hope everyone will join me in supporting Hillary Clinton for President. Love trumps hate.

Indeed, we are stronger when we're together.

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