Making the decision of who to vote for in this presidential election cycle has not been easy. I’ve considered every known option- including not voting for POTUS at all. I had serious misgivings about every option. I didn’t want to stand behind the potential catastrophes of any candidate, nor did I feel that abstaining would make me rightfully absolved of blame altogether.
I weighed my options more and more intensely as Election Day neared- and even as the hour neared. I was willing to put money on a win for Hillary Clinton- in my mind, she was the presumed winner. Nobody else ever stood a chance. She was going to make history that day- taking a jackhammer to the roof of the glass-ceiling skyscraper and launching all of us women into outer space.
Regardless of the fact that I live in Arizona is a swing state, I didn’t think my vote mattered at all for consequential purposes- its only real purpose was to take a stand for something, and simultaneously against some other things. She was going to win, and I was simply deciding whether or not I would check the box of the winning team.
As I exited my car at the polling location, I had a vision: Fifty years from now I’m sitting with my granddaughters, telling them about Hillary Clinton- the first female leader of the free world (and bonafide badass), who decided once and for all that little girls (like them) could truly be anything and do anything and go anywhere they aspired to. I pictured myself bragging to them about how their very own grandma got to vote in that very election where we chose our very first lady president.
I then asked myself: “Will I be able to bear telling those little girls that I didn’t vote for her? That I chose not to? That I stood on the sideline and watched as history was made?” I don’t find her perfect, but she’s a woman, and I swoon over the idea of a woman president.
But, here’s the thing:
In all of the potential for regret that comes with choosing a presidential candidate, I see the most potential for regret with her. Now, before you confuse me for some conservative email-obsesser, let me assure you that I don’t think Hillary is awful. I find her compromised, but not a criminal. I find her smart, hard-working, and confident. I see her caring about people who are different from her, and even with people who dislike her. She’s amazing- a giant, in my eyes.
But there is one issue that matters more than any other to me. I am not sharing what that issue is, as my objective is not to speak poorly of her. However, I cannot in good consience but my vote behind her. I felt a little bit ill about it, but I walked away from the polling both hoping that God would have mercy on my soul, and trying to accept that I was not going to be on the victorious side of civil liberties that day.
And what am I going to tell my granddaughters? I am going to tell them that I respected Hillary enough to vote based on her choices, and not on her gender. Being female should not disqualify her from anything- nor should it qualify her. Her values and her virtues are more important to me than her vagina. I am going to tell them that we are big girls playing a big girl game, where being a girl isn’t enough to win. Hillary has played a good, long game, but she’s not my MVP.
As it turns out, I was wrong- so very wrong- in my predictions. I wouldn’t have been about to brag about the first female president even if I had voted for her.
But you better believe that I am going to tell my granddaughters about the first female president, it is the most earnest desire of my soul that I will be able to claim that candidate as my own. I dream of the competent, rule-breaking, renegade of a woman who is going to be the star of my stories.
Thanks for being our giant, Hillary. We will need your shoulders.