Young voters will do themselves more than a grave injustice by voting for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein in November. They will put themselves, their friends, their deep-held values in peril in many ways.
As gratifying as a pro-Bernie protest vote might feel, as righteous as a Green Party ballot might seem, any vote that doesn’t go toward keeping Trump far away from the Oval Office is a vote to drag us back to the ugliest aspects of the mid-20th century.
It’s not so much that Trump himself will enact laws rolling back progress (though he’ll try), it’s that his ardent white supremacist, anti-gay hordes will feel emboldened—even mandated by the electorate—to “make America great again.” That’s “great” according to their exceedingly narrow, monochromatic worldview, and by whatever means they see fit, even violently—make that, especially violently.
If you had a great time at Brian and David’s wedding, and you cried because they finally consecrated their longtime love, know this: Trump himself might not overturn same-sex marriage rights, but his mouth-breathing acolytes, juiced up by their leader’s bellicose bellowing, will not take kindly to their kissing in public. One act of violent idiocy will breed another, and dozens more, and thousands more.
The gradual progress we’ve made toward the accepting and embracing of transgender people will come to an abrupt halt, to be shoved backward repeatedly, like the “different” kid in the hallway between classes. Yep, school bullying has already seen a spike; imagine what a Trump presidency would herald.
That goes, too, for those in your group who are of mixed race—walking tapestries of cultures and DNA, and targets for those with fair skin and foul hearts.
See, Trump is not keen on this whole e pluribus unum, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses” stuff. So, your smart, funny friends from the Middle East—the ones you just know will finally cure Parkinson’s or Lupus or ALS—say goodbye to them, if they are even allowed entry. (See, that’s something Trump could do, and the thought of a Trump pick for the Supreme Court is appalling. Justice Rudy Giuliani, anyone?)
Again, though, this is more about the movement that Trump has fomented. Even if Clinton wins, the closer the election is, the more powerful that hate-filled demographic will feel—and they will act on it.
I voted third party in 1980; I know how good it feels. The stakes are just too high this time around, though. Bernie Sanders got my vote and some of my money this year. I still and always will have a stake in his progressive agenda.
So, please postpone your “save the planet,” “I wanted Bernie,” “I hate the establishment,” “I like weed” vote for another cycle. The vital objective in 2016 is quashing this 1930s-era malevolence—for yourself, your friends and our future.
Please vote for Hillary Clinton.