One of my favorite things to do after I watch some “breaking political news” drops is to call my mom and get her take on it. It feels almost like we’re discussing family news as she riffs “I tell you what, if Barack Obama had had just ONE of these scandals, he wouldn’t be smiling from my mantel right now!”
But what I love most about her, is her enthusiasm and not just because it’s for Hillary, but just because it’s great to hear someone who actually LIKES one of the candidates and isn’t ashamed of it. “Now did you see how good she looked in that white? Oh and she just smiles and takes that hate so well. So graceful. I love me some Hillary. I’m praying for her now.”
Her positivity is refreshing in an age where it is officially the cool, counter-culture thing to rail against both candidates, the establishment, this entire “rigged” election, and the mainstream media. I’ll admit, I’ve found myself getting caught up in it.
I have a few friends on both sides who have attempted to outdo each other in their display of “I hate both candidates so much; let me prove it by saying horrible things about both although I will inevitably vote for one of them anyway.” I told one of those friends “I get it. I understand a grudging vote for Trump more than I understand voting for him because you genuinely think he’s a great choice.” It seemed like a diplomatic thing to say… an olive branch of sorts to someone who I sharply disagree with but I respect.
But the more I think about it… nah. That’s dumb. A reluctant vote isn’t 3/5ths of a vote. It’s a whole vote.
If based on all of the information available to you, you decide to vote for Donald J. Trump, that is your constitutional right and your choice. But please, don’t attempt to make me feel better about your choice by saying “I mean, honestly, I don’t like either one. They’re both horrible choices but I just hate Donald less. At least he tells it like it is.” (Note: You really just want to make yourself feel better. And no, he doesn’t tell it like it is. He ensures all the fact checkers earn overtime, by refuting things he literally said an hour prior.)
A reluctant vote for Donald doesn’t make you a racist; but it does mean you voted for one and I don’t know how much the differentiation matters.
A reluctant vote for Donald doesn’t make you disgusting, but it does mean you voted for someone who as a 59-year old man, talked about grabbing a woman’s genitals and then dismissed it as locker room talk before pivoting to ISIS.
In summation, a reluctant vote for Donald doesn’t count less than an enthusiastic vote from a woman with a Make America Great Again hat, pin and bumper sticker who is convinced that Secretary Clinton has a stunt double and that our President was born in Kenya.
So do your thing. Vote as your heart leads you to vote. But don’t find solace in your lack of enthusiasm. The final tally won’t include a curve for lack of zeal.