This week I cast my first presidential ballot for the 2016 elections. I sauntered up to a voting machine, presented with boxes and decisions. I poked the candidates I felt the best fit. It was exhilarating to have a choice. It was exhilarating to know that I contributed to something much bigger than I was. And for this election especially, it was exhilarating to know that I had a say in this election that couldn't ever be taken from me. I had a choice.
It is with an unapologetic and frankly fed up state that I avoided poking Donald Trump's name on this day.
When I think about the present day of politics, I often find myself bombarded with flashbacks to social studies classes. I remember the huge dusty books, cracking them up to stories of our past. I remember it all, from cheering on the fiercely intelligent Elizabeth Cady Stanton when learning how she fought for women's rights to learning about the benevolent and cunning Martin Luther King Jr. who went through unbelievable measures to create a world of equality in our country. I learned about horrors and unthinkable acts. Wartime, slavery, issues abroad. We were taught about how these things ended: how slavery was abolished, how women got the right to vote. In class, we learned about the ends of wars, the peace treaties and the bills that ignited freedom for Americans nationwide.
I am an idealist. Undeniably. After learning how things ended in Social Studies class, I like to believe that we solved the issues that pinned mankind against one another. I like to believe racism ended in the 1960s. I like to believe we've stopped exploiting people for resources. I like to believe that our economy is the best it's ever been. I like to believe that our struggle as a nation ended when I closed my History books.
I liked to believe we've completely solved these issues. But after everything I have seen, in this election and beyond, I know we haven't.
These issues have haunted our nation in historic trends.
It is for that reason that today I made a choice for the future.
Today I chose against Donald Trump because a man enthralled with the greatness of the past has no real business in creating a brighter future. After every article written about the present day of politics, the horror on the news, scathing comments on facebook — today my opinion was no longer an opinion. Today, my opinion was a choice.