Vote your conscience

There is always a risk that accompanies having ideologies that differ from that of the majority; you are undoubtedly susceptible to being marginalized. Of course, this only occurs when enough of the majority expresses their discontent with those of the minority. While America has made significant progress in the areas of civil rights, equality and freedom in the last few decades, all of that has come crumbling down in a little less than a year. The majority has begun to speak out against the minorities, against those they see as a threat to their life and I believe this suppressed disdain has been sparked by the Republican candidate.

He has encouraged physical violence and verbal hate, and has maintained a persona that appeals to the fears of his crowds. A certain sense of fear has filled me when I tell individuals that I am a Democrat, and I often fear that in some future instance I may also fear letting people know that I am a Mexican-American. We have taken a thousand steps back from the few steps we have taken forward. It is truly shocking to see that throughout these last decades’ bigotry and hate have existed beneath the seemingly acceptant masses that now support the Republican candidate’s every action.

This of course is not the only problem that has arisen from the Republican candidate’s rhetoric. In addition to his hateful tone, he has inspired others like him to begin appealing to the masses that have been set ablaze with a relentless passion of nationalistic sentiment. For example, David Duke, a former KKK member, expressed the joy he felt to see the Republican presidential candidate run on several of the stances he had been advocating for years. The risk does not end with the Republican presidential candidate, because he has made it okay to talk this way; he has made it alright to hate.

It is unfortunate that the Republican party has backed their nominee so fervently even when he attacked many of its most prominent members (John McCain and Paul Ryan). I would have been very open to the idea of having a candidate like Jeb Bush or John Kasich as the nominee, because surely they would have divided the country much less.

We are at a very crucial point in time. This is becoming less a question of politics and more a question of morality. It is an especially relevant question that we as Christians face. Certainly, the Democratic candidate is not without flaw, but she does not make a habit of committing the same mistakes (which are indeed few). One of these candidates espouses language that directly and unequivocally contradicts the language of Christ and is only capable of speaking of religious topics in a way that is at best a joke and at worst is insulting. The other makes an effort to be inclusive, and has a consistent background of being deeply involved in her faith.

Ultimately, we will take other factors into consideration when deciding who we will cast our vote for. Make sure that you assess your options and vote your conscience, because this election will not soon be forgotten, or at least it shouldn’t be.