OP-ED: A millennial’s take on the 2016 Election
This November, I will be eligible to vote in a presidential election for the first time in my 20-year life. It’s a right many Americans take pride in, and one I’ve been anxious to exercise since taking a U.S. History class my junior year of high school. However, the closer the general election gets, the more skeptical I am about participating in it.
You see, while most of the AL DÍA Editorial team was at the Democratic National Convention, I was in the streets of Philadelphia covering the multiple protests occurring around the city. During the protest coverage, I notice an overwhelming number of specific protest groups: the anti-Trump, the anti-Hillary, and —in light of the leaked emails favoring Hillary— the anti-DNC.
As I observed and documented what went on, the harsh reality hit me that this is not the America I was taught to love.
I was taught to love an America that has endless opportunities to live out your dreams.
I was taught to love an America that embraces diversity and welcomes all kinds of people and ideas.
I was taught to love an America whose government is “of the people, for the people, and by the people.”
Instead, we live in an America where institutional racism is silent but louder than ever.
Instead, we live in an America where democracy is an illusion, and political parties favor one candidate over the other.
Instead, we live in an America where someone who has objectified women, vilified undocumented immigrants, and said prejudiced and disparaging comments against Muslims has a shot at being President of the United States.
There is a repetitive rhetoric that this presidential election is choice between “the lesser of two evils.” However, I prefer to think that this is a matter of which way our country will go.
Both candidates are rated highly unfavorable; and I join those protesters in hoping for better options than the ones we have now. However, as a Hispanic who has several undocumented family members, it’s my moral obligation to keep Trump and his divisive ideas out of the White House. Hillary Clinton might be notorious for playing the game of politics and saying anything to get elected, but the worst we will get out of a Clinton administration is a bad president, hopefully. With Trump as POTUS, there is no saying what will happen.
With that said, I am still skeptical about who to cast my vote for. Perhaps in a better presidential race, I will know.