If you love America, stop being an asshole.

The other night, someone that I love shocked the hell out of me.

They told me that they planned to vote for Donald Trump.

And I started to cry.

I’m not naïve: I know that many people I know — peripherally and well — are going to vote for Trump in November. And for most of these people, I’ll be prepared: Mainly because I, rightly or not, have decided that in this election (and in most things) we can boil this world down to two general types of people:

Those who lash out because of fear, and those who come together. Because we’re bigger — and better — than fear.

And we’re going to do something about it, instead of punish people for it.

I didn’t realize that I was so invested: I mean, I caucused for Bernie. I donated time and money. I made the obligatory noises and arguments. But, I also reconciled myself to Hillary after it became clear (during caucusing and realizing what a bullshit process that was) that Bernie didn’t stand a chance. But the shock of hearing someone I love and respect saying that they were voting for Trump leveled me.

Listen. I know a lot of you are entertaining a Third party option, abstaining from the Presidential vote, or, possibly, planning on writing in Mickey Mouse.

Here’s why you shouldn’t:

We vote for outcomes, not personal ideals.

Voting for Hillary means voting for the Democratic Party platform. Have things been going pretty ok for the people around you? Increased personal liberty, greater access to resources, economy on the up and up? Sweet deal. These things probably aren’t going to go away if we continue a Democratic Party executive branch. These things, and more, will be affected if we elect Trump.

And, remember, this isn’t about you.

A lot of people have made the argument that they must — simply MUST — vote with their consciences.

Fuck your conscience.

Again — elections are about outcomes. Not ideals. And no one — repeat, no one — gives a fuck about your high-handed ideals. Especially not the people who will be most affected by a dramatic change in policy — minorities of ethnicity, religion, sexuality, gender, and others — while you get to passionately cry out, hand to your bleeding heart, “But I voted with my conscience!

A vote for no one is a vote for Donald Trump.

-1 for Hillary is a +1 for Trump.

A vote for a Third party is a vote for Donald Trump.

See above. This election isn’t being taken by a third party. Look at Duverger’s Law. Learn how the first past the post system works. Learn some damn Civics, Poli Sci, American History.

At this point, a Third Party candidate will not work.

A vote for Donald Trump is a vote against personal freedom, equality, justice, rights for minorities of skin color, faith, gender, sexuality, and status, available and affordable health care, the respect of other countries, the safety of our country, relative peace time… I could go on.

But I won’t.

A vote for Donald Trump is a vote against the freedom of American born Muslims.

And they are American, regardless of how you feel about their religious practices. Daily dose of irony? America was founded to escape religious persecution, the likes of which is daily, hourly, momentarily, perpetrated by some of those who claim to be the most American. If you claim to be American, claim to be true and proud of the ideals that this country was founded on in theory, if not always practices in application, then religious freedom should be your bread and fucking butter.

Not the cyanide and rat poison on your red, white, and blue saccharine smile.

image c/o wikimedia commons

It is your responsibility and privilege as an American to vote.

Regardless of your feelings on the American military, it exists. And, sometimes, it exists so that you can live here, in this basically pretty nice existence.

Someone fucking died so that you could bitch and whinge about voting.

Someone is missing their family right now, hungry right now, sick right now, terrified right now, dying right now, so that you could be an entitled little asshole.

Because this is America, and that’s your fucking right.

Women marched for you in the twentieth century — less than 100 years ago. People of minorities are still — to this very day — subjected to bullshitt-y voter registration laws, designed to silence their voices. Countless people have fought for you and the lives of the people next to you (if not now, then on the train, the highway, in the doctor’s office, on line at the DMV) so that you can get to the voting booth in November.

Get your ass there.