This Election Matters, But So Do All Elections!

August 3, 2016

I read an opinion piece yesterday and I agree with one point but not with all…

The point I can agree with is that the elections that usually have the most impact on our lives are LOCAL ELECTIONS! We must educate ourselves about the candidates running in local elections and vote for those that will represent us and can truly make a difference in what occurs in our lives everyday.

However, the point I cannot agree with is that voting in the presidential race is futile.  This year more than anytime in my lifetime, there is a clear and obvious choice in regards to the presidency. This year the future of the United States for perhaps decades to come rests on what happens in the presidential race and federal races. It is a choice between measured, pragmatic, thoughtful, experience, and an authoritarian demagogue who has only worked to improve his own place in life.

The selection of at least one and possibly three Supreme Court Justices by the next president could alter the lives of many of us, most especially minorities, women, LGBTQ people, and immigrant families.

I truly believe HILLARY CLINTON will be a force for positive change and how much change she will be able to accomplish will depend on whether she has Senators and members of Congress who will attempt to block every move or try to improve our country. Hillary Clinton will fight to:

1)  Maintain the right to choose;

2)  Further Civil Rights for all;

3)  Improve the situation of families who are struggling;

4)  Make our country a welcoming but safer place to live; and

5)  Provide a path to citizenship for people who have come to this country to help improve their lives and the lives of their children.

She is respected around the world and has made hard decisions about the use of force, but she feels diplomacy is always the best first choice. She has been insulted and harangued for 40 years and she still keeps fighting; she hasn’t melted down or backed away from her principles and those who are depending on her to stand up and make a difference.  She is the opposite of Trump, who has bullied, intimidated, and threatened to punch people or pay the court costs of people who do.

I honestly fear what will happen if Trump gets elected.  Trump has made it clear that he would:

1)  Militarize our police departments even further;

2)  Restrict our freedoms and turn back the hands of time by appointing extremist judges;

3)  Reverse the freedoms and rights that LGBTQ people have gained;

4)  Misuse our military in unwise confrontations and make our country and world less safe; and

4)  Block any further Civil Rights protections.

I believe and fear these things based on the things he’s said and done. I fear that not only will our relationship with most other countries be damaged; he could very well get us into an armed conflict simply because he personally feels insulted.  He has proven to be thin-skinned and lashes out when he is not agreed with or is confronted about his positions.

As a Virginian, I am excited about Hillary’s running mate.  I have met Tim Kaine on numerous occasions and I know him to be down to earth and humble, but as smart as a whip. He is kind and compassionate and has a proven record of fighting for the underdog. I know he will be by Hillary’s side and will be another voice for us.  Senator Kaine was the first recipient of the LGBT Democrats of Virginia’s Political Leadership Award, and he has continued to make us proud as he works for LGBT rights.

I still believe in the positive optimism that we are better and stronger together. Please get out and vote this year and every year. Vote in your local elections- a few votes can make the difference between winning and losing in local elections. Vote in state elections because here in Virginia we know how small the margin can be.  For LGBTQ people imagine the difference if Atty. General Herring had not won… And yes, vote in this year’s presidential election and the elections down ticket for Democrats. Vote for the ticket that will fight for all of us, HILLARY CLINTON and TIM KAINE.  #WeAreWithThem and #TheyAreWithUs

 

About the Author

Cindy Bray
Cindy grew up in South Boston, VA and came to Richmond via Williamsburg (the College of William and Mary) and Virginia Beach. She lives in Chesterfield county with her wife, mother-in-law and 4 4 cats. While the Program Director for the Gay Community Center of Richmond, Cindy was a driving force in starting the Central Virginia Rainbow Partnership, a collaborative effort by LGBT organizations in Central Virginia which seeks to provide a consistent voice for the LGBT community. She also helped organize and launch the Central Virginia Affiliate of SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Seniors).