Why I'm Terrified To Vote In The 2016 Presidential Election
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Why I'm Terrified To Vote In The 2016 Presidential Election

Nightmare on Pennsylvania Ave?

Why I'm Terrified To Vote In The 2016 Presidential Election
USA 2016 Elections

With the prevalence of social media in today’s society, it has become incredibly easy for everyone to post their personal opinions and views on any subject or topic imaginable. It seems that the most popular topic for people to give their (educated and uneducated) opinions on currently is the presidential election. The majority of the people I follow on social media share their views openly, like whether or not they plan to vote for Hillary Clinton or if they despise Donald Trump, and seem to be pretty stuck on them. For some, seeing all of these supporters or haters of the presidential candidates can help them to make a decision on the person they want to vote for, but—if you’re like me—it just confuses and scares you even more.

People tell me that voting is my civic duty—and I fully understand that it is. I understand that there are men and women who have died fighting for my right to vote, and that I owe it to them, and because it’s a privilege others do not have, I should exercise that freedom. But, frankly, I do not want to vote in this presidential election. I suppose it is not that I don’t want to vote, because if I didn’t feel so confused about what is happening with the election, I would! I just cannot bring myself to choose a candidate that I would want to call my “President of the United States.”

My family tells me, “Well Tay, you just have to get educated,” and believe me, I’ve tried. Yet every single time I attempt to find information on these two candidates, I just find a handful of things that they have done wrong or are being accused of doing wrong. So, after every attempted (and failed) research extravaganza, I wind up turning off my TV or closing my computer with even more questions. My main question is, “How did we end up here?”

Others tell me that I should vote for the person with whom my views best line up with, and that’s fair. However, I have so much trouble looking past the accusations made about the candidates, or the insults they throw back and forth. How am I expected to make an educated and informed decision when the candidates hardly address the questions they are asked at the debate because they are too busy tossing around negative remarks about the other?

For people who are my age, this is the first presidential election that we can participate in. We spend the first 18 years of our lives, getting excited to have “adult” privileges, to have our voices heard in events such as this election. However, I am now terrified to use the voice that I have because I am legitimately scared that the person I vote for is going to either build a wall to block people from immigrating to this country, a country built on immigration, or that the person will lie about and delete some emails or be accused of defending a rapist. I do not want to put a man in office that is being accused of raping a thirteen year-old girl, who is affiliated with human sex trafficking, and I don’t want to put a woman in office that seems to change her position on serious issues whenever it becomes convenient for her to do so.

Whether or not those accusations prove to be true, these are the things I see—along with millions of others—on social media every single day, making the idea of having to vote of one of them nerve-wracking.

I am scared that the person I vote for will do something horrible and detrimental to our country. I am mortified that people are thinking of fleeing the country if their candidate doesn’t get elected. I am scared for our future—not just as individuals—as a country. I am scared that the person coming into office will do things that negatively impact, not only my current family, but on the family that I will make for myself in the future. What will happen when my hypothetical children are learning about whomever our next president is, and that president did something terrible and my children ask, “Mom, did you vote for them?” and I have to reluctantly tell them that I did?

Those around me tell me that this is my civic duty—and they are not wrong at all—but if I vote I will be voting based on fear and for whom I think will do less damage to our country. That is not how I envisioned the first presidential election I could vote in.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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