As the 2016 election cycle winds down, we are left with Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump as the two main contenders. As we also all know, too many people will vote based on party affiliation or get absorbed into the names of the candidates. I ask you for this election cycle, vote with your values and morals -- NOT with your party. Moving forward, I think we should all compile a list of wants and needs out of our next president and I hope that my letter will resonate with most millennials:
Dear Future President,
I don't know what gender or what party you may be, but as an American I need my voice to be heard. I don't expect you to do everything the way that I would do, but it would be nice if the Millennial voice was heard and at least acknowledged. I want you, future president, to be honest. I don't want to have to wonder whether or not you're telling us what is actually happening or if you're hiding from us because you're afraid you might hurt or scare us. As an American, I want the honest truth. I've grown up in a time where lying is the norm. We lie to make our significant others happy, we lie to get ahead, and we lie to ourselves about who and what we are. We are sick of the lies.
I know that you probably won't care too much about education because of the age difference between you and me, but as Millennials, we care about our futures. We care about having a future. We want college to be affordable, but not necessarily free. We acknowledge that financial commitment does make us want it more. We don't mind paying a few hundred for an education, but we need to have something done about the millions of Millennials graduating college with six figures of debt.
I know that it might be hard, but we still want the American Dream to be real. This goes back to affordable education. We want to be able to go to college, get that good paying job, find a house, and settle down. Well, not all of us but we would like the option to be able to. Instead we've become distanced from our good American Values of hard work and determination. We aren't saying this because we don't work; we say this because many of us work 40+ hour work weeks and can barely keep our heads above water. We want the minimum wage to be raised because $7.25 isn't up to par with the current inflation. We recognize that people who work full time don't deserve to be living in poverty no matter their job. We aren't trying to sound entitled; we just want the same shot at life that you and our parents had. We want to be able to get ahead and stay ahead instead of spending our life savings to fix our broken cars.
We commend President Obama in making healthcare more affordable, but we recognize the fault in the system. A lot of us still can't afford healthcare even with the new Affordable Care Act (ACA). Actually, a lot of us just don't have health insurance because we'd rather pay the fine for not having it. We want healthcare for all because being sick and choosing life shouldn't be for the wealthy. We don't want to have to choose between medical care and going broke, and we shouldn't even have to. We want you to also help keep Planned Parenthood funded because we understand that Planned Parenthood offers so many more services than abortion.
We want a president that cares about our environment. We want someone who takes global warming and environmental degradation seriously because we want a planet that is safe and fun for us and for generations to come. We're tired of hearing about oil spills, and we are tired of hearing about another city who's drinking water is unsafe for consumption.
We want a president that cares about humanity. We understand that each and every one of us all came here at some point through immigration, and we aren't upset about this fact. We want people to be able to come into this country, but we want it to be legal and safe. We want to have everyone accounted for, but we also don't want to deny people citizenship who deserve it. We don't want a wall built, but we do want more steps to be taken when accepting new people into our country.
We want a president that is capable and ready to deal with the racial issues that are still alive and well in this country. We want someone is ready to overhaul the criminal justice system and eliminate police brutality. We want a president that is ready to tackle housing, income, and custody rights issues as well as help to rewire the American prejudices based on race alone.
We want a president that will care about women's rights. We want someone who will fight for equal pay for equal work. We want a president that says enough is enough to rape. We don't want to see any more rapists being set free because they have a future ahead of them because the woman or man they raped also had a future.
This last part is for me. As a gay man, I want someone who will fight for my voice. My brothers and sisters have won the right to wed in all 50 states, but my trans siblings are being attacked for trying to pee. We are discriminated against in the light of "religious freedom" and we are told that we are invalid. We are people too, and we want you to help get rid of hate crimes. We want to stop being killed. We want to live in a country that appreciates and understands us; we don't want a country that legally likes us, but morally despises us. Please help to make Americans raise up above their ignorance to the LGBT community because we just want to finally be equal.
Dear Future President,
Please take these demands and at least acknowledge that people like us exist. We want our voices heard and acted upon.
An Irritated Millennial.