I try not to write personal posts often and only do so when I feel it necessary, so I was going to write a super long, thoughtful and rational yet passionate post about this years' election but it really can all be summed up with, don't be a dumbass.
Do you honestly believe that one of these candidates is not far better than the other? That they're even comparable? That the ill-qualified, ego-driven, charity abstaining, man who believes 'locker room talk' validates ignorant speech; financially ruined his dead brothers' family (because, hey, always look out for number 1); believes it's "smart" to cheat our tax system; and does not have enough belief in our democratic process (as a candidate to lead this proud democracy) to guarantee his acceptance of the outcomes of this election without his own subset of middle school lunchroom rules would be a good choice for us?
On the other hand, you have a candidate who is arguably the most qualified candidate we have ever seen, who actually charted as more liberal than Obama when they first began running against each other in the 2008 election (by the fucking way and only just to the right of Sanders in this election), who has spent her entire life and career in search of helping those less fortunate and openly admits that she is privileged and that's why she has been able to do so much good, yet she is having to fight tooth and nail against one of the lesser qualified candidates our nation has ever seen because she doesn't have a dick (it's embarrassing for us, as a country, really). Hillary Clinton has been a figurative punching bag for the US for decades and there is so much propaganda surrounding her that, until Sanders was out of the picture and I started looking into her, I believed her to be Sanders' 'lesser' opponent - embarrassing but worth noting - and the reason Bernie Sanders appeared to be the 'left' choice is because he is so radical and while that's all well and good, an unwillingness to bi-partisan votes is a terrible way to run a divided country. And if you'd like to start comparing notes and decrying one candidate as less liberal than the other (and therefore 'unacceptable'), consider the fact that Clinton too is offering free college with her platform and that, in 2008, Sanders, same as Clinton at that moment in time, did not believe in marriage equality; both had steep learning curves and both accepted the knowledge and progressed. But, I lost a lot of respect for Sanders when he continued running long enough after losing the primary to thoroughly divide the party in tumultuous times, so my views are, admittedly, not through such rose-colored glasses.
So stop saying that 'you guess' you'll have to vote for Clinton because Sanders lost and you don't want to be partly responsible for welcoming the end of The Great Experiment. Be proud that you're voting for our first woman president, not yet 100 years after women were granted the right to vote. Be proud that you're voting for someone who has defended human rights for the poor, sick, and disenfranchised her entire life; someone whose resume includes lawyer, Senator, First Lady, and Secretary of State who already understands the realities and responsibilities of the job for which she is fully prepared. Be proud to vote for someone who knew that it was the job of every woman to do her part to break the 'glass ceiling' before it was mainstream. Be proud that you're voting for someone that, despite decades of vindictive hate and unsolicited finger-pointing (because let's be real and talk the unpopular opinion, the Secretary of State is not responsible for attacks, that would be the Secretary of Defense or the CMC, or perhaps the GOP who refused Clinton's request for additional funding) has not broken or backed down but stands tall and allows you to say whatever you want because, at the end of the day, Hillary is smart enough to know that she can't change your opinion and that's okay, because this election is about the principled, not the principles, and she's banking on you being intelligent and rational enough to figure that out while knowing that freedom of speech is a hell of a lot more important than talking at a brick wall to try and set the record straight. Wouldn't it be great to have someone in office who knows that we're intelligent, free-thinking people capable of greatness?
We cannot actually tell you who to vote for, that's the whole point of fighting so hard for freedom of speech, equality, and the right to vote for the ideals you'd like to see in our shared democracy; but that fact is why you need to take a good, hard look at your choices in this election.
I'm not going to talk about rape culture or nasty women or stop-and-frisk or controversial voting hours for specific precincts and candidate-proposed poll monitoring or suggestions that women shouldn't vote, because I have faith that our readers here are smart enough to know better (and if not, why are you here? We like equality and kickass women and regularly feature LGBTQ artists and, honey, you are so in the wrong place). Don't throw away your vote by protesting, writing in, or voting for a third party candidate who clearly has no chance (I know, you don't vote third party 'cause there's no chance of them winning because people don't vote for them and on and on, but you're not going to change that, not in this election); vote to continue making our country better, vote for the America you would feel safe and happy to live in, vote for the future you would be proud to tell your grandkids you helped to achieve. Volunteer and donate or don't, but do the absolute least you can and get out and vote. Our ancestors fought too hard for too long for those rights for us to now stay silent and waste our moment in an election this important.