Why I Have Caved on Some of My Core Beliefs and will be Voting for Hillary Clinton this November

I was driving through the incredibly scenic and historic streets of Cambridge, Massachusetts last June at the start of the third week of a three month road trip across North America when the familiar, dulcet and somewhat (appropriately) condescending giggles of two well-known NPR personalities announced that Donald Trump had once again officially begun a bid for Presidency.

The laughter was understandable, given the ridiculousness of the Trump-spawned “birther” movement— the support of which I’ve seen referenced as a “deal-breaker” on several OKCupid profiles, it should be noted — and the general classless vibe of his over-before-it-started 2008 campaign. The reporters quipped and dismissed the announcement, all-but guffawing over clips of the press conference, establishing the same tone with which his previous ill-fated campaign was covered. It just seemed like a total joke. Even the robotic, seemingly joyless news-cave-dwelling drones of objectivism manning the slumber-inducing midday NPR grind couldn’t hold back their contempt for what seemed another shortsighted and ridiculous lark.

And why would they? After all, their candidate had announced only two months earlier and they were still basking in their coital glow. Hillary Clinton’s self-branded “historic” campaign had been in the making for decades and all the hard work was finally set to pay off, right along with the cronyism, race-baiting and frequent abandonment of actual progressive policies.

These events came on the heels of national outrage over Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s hurriedly-passed Senate Bill 101 which most of the louder voices in the country felt legalized discrimination and others felt protected the rights of the religious.

Make no mistake; underselling the importance of this division in the American zeitgeist is perhaps the easiest way to guarantee you won’t understand what has been happening throughout this entire election cycle.

The chasm between Red and Blue, between rural and urban counties and between white and non-white voters has been an ever-increasing divide which politicians from both major parties have used as both a bargaining chip and a scare tactic for decades, though no one major party candidate in modern history can claim to ever have used this divide with such unfettered fervor as Donald Trump.

The current atmosphere of anti-intellectualism and fear-mongering where terms like “Social Justice Warrior” are used as pejoratives by ignorant Internet-famous wannabes and the terms “feminist” and “liberal” are increasingly used as such should terrify every conscientious adult in America, no matter how they cast their votes. The threat of certain ideologies, belief systems or schools of thought needing to be shunned, silenced or otherwise censored is by definition antithetic to our cherished First Amendment, which guarantees Freedom of Speech. So, any candidate who serves to further the agenda of groups which seek to silence “inconvenient” or “undesirable” voices or promote violence and separatism is inarguably running an un-American campaign.

The only other possibility would be that Donald Trump is an ignorant jackass who has no idea what he’s talking about or doesn’t believe at all that the President of the United States should know and wholeheartedly embrace the Constitution of the United States. I had been previously convinced the man was merely an opportunist spouting whatever salacious garbage he felt might generate media coverage and, by extension, excitement for his campaign, but now I’m not so sure.

With the evidence at hand Americans have to make up their own minds on the issue. Is the man stupid or is he just unaware or uncaring about the actual content of our constitution? Certainly we can’t believe the former is true. I mean we’re the same people who apparently started believing Kanye West was a genius after just hearing him refer to himself as such for a decade, so surely we aren’t going to turn around and pretend that our nation’s Bullshit Detector settings are suddenly on point when it comes to showbiz personalities marketing themselves as politicians.

And let’s not mince words here, Trump is a showbiz personality. He is not a politician. He is not a tycoon. He is not a reality television star. He is a showbiz personality, through and through. He is a concept, ever-evolving to the medium through which he is presenting himself. He belongs to the long-loathed, though lauded in some circles, school of thinking that all press is good press and in a world where the average consumer’s attention span is a mere eight seconds it shouldn’t blow anyone’s mind that his carnival act antics were able to destroy the 2016 Presidential aspirations of every single actual Republican candidate.

Keep in mind that Trump did all of this while publicly insulting long-term Senator and former GOP Presidential candidate John McCain for being “caught” by enemy forces while at war, instigating his sycophants to commit violent acts against peaceful protesters at his rallies, waging an endless and baffling campaign of thin-skinned, spineless 140-character rebuttals of any attacks against him that were large enough to garner media attention and personally insulting the physical looks and moral character of not only his opponents but their family members. Add to this the string of ex-wives, adultery and absolutely hilarious attempts to pander to Evangelical Christians and it becomes increasingly difficult to feel like you’re not watching the comatose fever-dream portion of some really shitty soap opera in the 80’s.

But the problem is it’s real. So what do we do about it? The part of the country that isn’t currently feeling outraged by his campaign or disenfranchised by the DNC’s absolutely embarrassing hit job on the Bernie Sanders campaign is seemingly either too entertained by the reality-game-show-style techniques with which he has dealt with his opponents or is too firmly ensconced in the delusive, jingoistic end-of-days phantasmagoria that has been passionately constructed by Rush Limbaugh and FOX News over the past three decades and further elucidated and honed to a maddeningly taut single-mindedness by the likes of Glenn Beck and Laura Ingraham.

These are people who, over the past thirteen months, have been liberated by this campaign. These are people whose formerly private prejudices, fears and hatreds have been affirmed not only by a man who is now a major party candidate, but also the scores of seemingly reluctant GOP shills who have hesitantly fallen in line in the name of solidarity.

These are people who, in their enraged state, throw sucker punches and cheap elbows at those who disagree with them. These are people who express their anger with the current state of our country by grouping in mobs that surround protesters in an aggressive and physically-imposing manner, leading to incidents like the one in Wisconsin where grown men pepper sprayed and shoved a fifteen year-old girl while laughing and calling her a “nigger lover.” These are people who are riled-up to the point that they would rather our government spend their taxes on a border wall it cannot maintain than improvements in our education, infrastructure or healthcare sectors. These are people who scream slogans at non-white Americans telling them which country they should go back to whether they were born in the US or not.

These are angry, dissatisfied people who have been stoked into a roaring inferno by well-educated and very experienced salesmen who claim to both be telling them “the real story” and assuring them that they alone have their best interests at heart. Without even knowing it, they were in search of a candidate who could provide all the same instant gratification they get from their smartphones, social media networks and streaming services and Donald Trump has proven to be just that.

This is not a generalization of all Trump supporters, but rather a realistic representation of the Trump supporters we most frequently see in mainstream media. The gnashing teeth. The big frizzled-out 80’s hairdos. The indignant sweaty-faced chanting rubes holding hand-made, grammatically-challenged slogans over their heads that land somewhere between “GOD HATES FAGS” and “THEY TOOK OUR JOBS.” All of them clamoring to get a glimpse of the pontificating orange turd word-vomiting behind the podium.

Pretending this cheap sloganeering and disposable group-think is limited to Trump supporters (I am loathe to use the term “Trump supporters” as it seems so absurd that even one Earth human is “supporting” this man’s bid for the Presidency, let alone literally millions), however, would be asinine, as scores of hard-line Democrats exhibit many of the same unenviable traits, however lacking in the way of actual physical violence and hate speech they may be.

Watching Debbie Wasserman Schultz being booed while attempting to affect a tone faux-sympathetic enough to placate crowds waving signs that read “E-MAILS!” and “CHEATING IS NOT WINNING” at the Democratic National Convention last week was both hilarious and depressing. Not only did leaders in the DNC actively conspire to promote one candidate over another, but after “stepping down” she was essentially handed a career. If it’s easy for you to overlook that and walk away feeling like your party is doing fine and everything is running like clockwork, you are as much a part of the problem as the contingency of voters who aren’t publicly gushing over Trump but who plan to vote for him to maintain “unity” within their party. You aren’t willing to look honestly at your own party’s problems, but you’re more than happy to take inventory of their party’s problems.

Something struck me funny while watching the media-storm after Ted Cruz did his mic drop at the RNC. No, it wasn’t the thought that Cruz somehow manages to answer the unasked question “I know Mrs. Doubtfire was just Robin Williams in drag, but what would Mrs. Doubtfire herself look like if she were an actual woman dressed in male drag?” What struck me was Hillary Clinton’s response when asked about it, suggesting people “vote your conscience.”

Hillary Clinton does not want voters like me to vote their conscience because my conscience tells me not to vote for someone who benefits off payments and donations from questionable organizations with largely political interests and panders to dead-end, anti-progress industries to get votes.

I feel there are many points on which Clinton could be successfully attacked in terms of policy, though her most frequent and more vocal criticisms usually tend to be of significantly less substance. There are the “Clinton lied, people died” folks with their constant insistence that Clinton was essentially personally responsible for the deaths in Benghazi. There are, of course, the legions of addlepated dumbasses with their constant refrain about private email servers. And then there are the bottom-of-the-barrel, no-holds-barred dregs who attack her looks, her sexuality, her gender and even the paternity of her child.

It’s really tempting to sit here typing away in the comfort of my room, completely removed and alone with only my imagination to limit me and picture all of these particular detractors as knuckle-dragging “men’s rights” loons with borderline personality disorders and all sorts of Freudian issues driving their asinine, mostly inaccurate, all-but-entirely uncalled for proclamations, but the truth is probably far less amusing.

What bothers me, as an actual progressive issue-voter, is Hillary Clinton’s record on the issues that matter to me. Hillary Clinton has repeatedly said that she believes in escalating foreign engagement of our military. She profits from the privatized prison industry in America, which serves largely to entrap people of color and people below the poverty line in private debtors’ prisons, and her Presidential campaign has accepted over $130,000 from private prison industry lobbyists.

To the latter issue, Clinton’s campaign donated about $8,500 of private prison lobbyist money given to her campaign to a women’s charity, but why take this money in the first place? I’ll concede to being a bit jaded, but I don’t feel like the act of taking money from groups who profit off of the destruction of the lower class and disproportionate incarceration of minorities only to turn around and give 6% of that money to another marginalized segment of our population is anything other than an obvious and unfortunate political ploy.

It is this type of dishonesty which I hear people mentioning over and over in reference to Hillary Clinton. For me, dishonest or not, beyond mere perception, it comes down to issues. Supporting a privatized, for-profit prison system where institutions have significantly less motivation to work toward decreasing recidivism rates because that equates to less profit for those institutions is not the kind of moral or political choice I admire in a candidate for any office.

In regard to the LGBTQ civil rights movement that has gained so much well-needed traction over the past few years in particular, Clinton sells herself as the most queer-friendly candidate to ever run for President, despite having said she believed that marriage should only exist between a man and a woman during her last Presidential campaign. I can understand a change of mind or heart or, in the parlance of the day, “evolving” on an issue, but at what point do we as queer people cross the cringe threshold with the constant insistence that Clinton is our closest political friend and number one ally when her words have shown otherwise?

I was really proud of Anderson Cooper — if only for about twenty seconds — when, in the first Democratic debate, he opened with a question directed at Clinton regarding her 2008 attitude on same-sex marriage and general perception of her being less-than cemented in her views. The excitement I felt when he reacted to her classic deflection of this question by repeating his desire for an actual answer was short-lived, however, as he just let her give a second hyper-political non-response and left it at that. These are questions that all queer people should demand be answered because while same-sex marriage may be a popular talking point on which the current group of Left Wing leadership can hang their hats, the door is being opened for actual progress on the normalization of queer life and, perhaps, eventually, actual acceptance.

In a world where people are literally stoned to death for their sexual preference, murdered over their gender identity and shot en masse while enjoying the singular community and sanctity of a queer bar on a Saturday night, visibility matters more than anything. Showing Middle America, Joe the Plumber and every screaming jackass that queer people exist everywhere in every shade, size, type, attitude, religion, political movement and occupation is the only way I personally feel that we can make headway in normalizing queerness for those who have demonized it or who have been raised sheltered from its existence. I am glad she has been inclusive to the community, but I feel that in her haste to become the new voice of this socially progressive, otherwise conservative wing of the Democratic Party she may be pandering a little too heavily and might even be trying to speak for a community which she doesn’t actually represent but whose votes she very much needs.

When the vast majority of mainstream discussions on the LGBTQ civil rights struggle are presented by white, cisgender straight-identifying politicians we are not only at risk of being used as a mere talking point to pander to the demographic at large, but our stories and voices are also being boiled down to inaccurate portrayals of what it means to be queer to people who are actually queer.

If mainstream Liberals are slowly catching up with this reality, Trump supporters are literal decades behind. This axiom is illustrated perfectly by confounding douchebag and seventh-tier Internet celebrity Gavin McInnes going to a Trump rally to belittle and intimidate protesters in a recent “gotcha” video. In a scene of what he seems to be attempting to pass off as intellectual discourse or debate, Gavin insists a protester discuss private details of his sexual preferences while he smirks and makes snide remarks.

Insisting queer people owe you an explanation of their identity or sexual preference is the height of straight privilege, as evidenced so succinctly and singularly by this pompous, bloviating man-child. No one owes you any explanation of their sexuality, particularly when you are not approaching them seeking a sexual encounter. It literally doesn’t affect any part of your life until you insist upon it doing so. This is one of many attitudes that lie at the core of this particular civil rights struggle.

Consider, for instance, how heterosexual “hook-up culture” is so completely normalized in mainstream media. Entire entertainment industries are built upon it. Most Hollywood movies at least feature it, if not center around it. Half the Billboard Top 40 celebrates it at any given moment. And yet the only way in which we as a country discuss queer life in mainstream media is in relation to marriage. The depressingly clichéd refrain of “love wins” does nothing to familiarize straight America with this simple fact: LGBTQ people are just people; and not all people want to get married and have babies. Furthermore, not every queer relationship is about love. Just like in the straight world. Sadly, in an attempt to distance the community from old stereotypes of debaucherous promiscuity, many queer rights activists have shifted the conversation toward a more hetero-friendly dialog, thereby playing into slut-shaming culture and working against sex-positivity.

This is one reason why the legalization of same-sex marriage is not the pinnacle of queer politics in many queer people’s view. Any increase in equality, any increase in civil rights is a good thing, but subjecting queer people to the reinterpretation of their culture and lifestyles as seen through the lens of straight culture is appropriation and it’s the wrong way to go about evening the playing field.

Because we have now reached the time of year where our next President is 100% going to be one of two people, there are two diametrically-opposed attitudes on LGBTQ rights from which we are being asked to choose. There is the assertion from some Trump supporters, as there has been from one group or another during every major civil rights fight in this country’s history, that LGBTQ rights means “extra” rights or “special” rights for LGBTQ people. This couldn’t be more untrue. This is where the three decades of gradual brainwashing from Rush Limbaugh and FOX News come into play quite heavily.

How anyone with the ability to read can even imply that every American is born with equal opportunity when Jim Crow laws ended a mere sixty-two years ago is completely mind-boggling to me. These are, incidentally, the same sort of people who claim to wave the Rebel Flag as a representation of their “heritage” without ever bothering to justify what that heritage means or from where it is derived. When each major usage of what we now know as the “Rebel Flag” or “Confederate Flag” is represented — factually — by Confederate States fighting to keep slavery alive in Northern Virginia (1861), Tennessee (1862) and throughout the South (1864), by the Ku Klux Klan in their efforts to prevent black Americans from practicing the freedoms granted them by the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution in the South during and after Reconstruction and later by the Dixiecrat Party (1948) in their attempts to coalesce a movement to prevent integration, exactly to what “heritage” are you referring if not a racist, classist, bigoted one?

We live in a country that was “discovered” by brutes who stole Native peoples to sell off into slavery to pay their debts in Europe. Where millions more Natives and other non-whites were slaughtered in the name of Westward Expansion and our quest to fulfill the supposedly deity-mandated concept of Manifest Destiny. Where human beings were bought, sold, bred like livestock, tortured and worked to death for two hundred and forty-five years. And yet people continue to insist upon the societal equality of every “man, woman and child,” in America today without even acknowledging the truth of our shared history, let alone the scores of generations of cultural change it will take to mend those wounds.

To illustrate my views on the social programs that are so frequently lampooned and demonized, humor this analogy:

You’re on a ship that begins sinking. Everyone who can crams into the lifeboats as the vessel fills with water and eventually disappears into the ocean. You’re relieved to be safe and so you start taking stock of the situation. You look around and realize that everyone in the biggest lifeboat with all the nice, brand new life jackets, flare guns and survival kits is a straight, white, cisgender man. (Just humor me and assume this information is somehow all knowable.) Then you notice that there are some other pretty decent boats with a few less bells and whistles but those, too, are also filled with straight white, cisgender men and women. Then you realize that you can’t even see the faces of all the people crammed into the smallest of the lifeboats, you know, the ones that are taking on water because they’re far past capacity, but you can see that most of those people are non-whites. Then you’re certain you see an African American man in the water, flailing his arms and asking for assistance. You stand up and grab the life preserver from the side of your boat and as you’re about to throw it to him one of the men from the nicest boat reaches over and stops you, saying “why should he have anything I don’t have? That’s not fair!”

This example is, in short, completely ridiculous. But the logic exhibited within it is not at all uncommon in political rhetoric, let alone in the recesses of America’s infotainment talk radio networks. It is also, in fairness, the kind of dim-bulb analogy that Dennis Prager spends half his time on air debunking with some ham-fisted story about man’s “God-given” morality, a backward-thinking example or two of why it is insulting to offer assistance to the impoverished and the myth of everyone in America being born starting out on the same even playing field.

The man getting upset at the thought of the drowning guy getting a “handout” is the kind of thing that sounds so completely stultifying and stupid it makes you wonder how anyone could apply the same logic in real-world scenarios without being derided by literally all other human beings. And yet, here we are fighting that same logic on the federal, state and local levels every election cycle.

A similarly ridiculous line of logic has pervaded much of the dialog between moderates, liberals and progressives during this Presidential cycle. Scores of conversations have been derailed or completely ended by it. Friends, acquaintances and strangers have left me feeling alienated and without-rebuttal, knowing any counter-point would come off seeming overly-defensive, confrontational or conspiratorially-minded.

This backward logic is, of course, the insistence that you as a voter are either pro-Hillary or pro-Trump. Forgetting for a minute that there are always Independent candidates, so-called Libertarian candidates and of course whatever borderline nutcase the Green Party happens to be dusting off and propping up behind a podium somewhere in Washington state, this logic is just so incredibly inaccurate, presumptive and essentially insulting to the autonomy of the individual against whom it is plied.

Telling someone they have only the choices of Trump and Clinton for whom they cast their vote for the highest office in our country is as accurate as telling them they have only the choices of Cheetos and Wheat Thins for which snack food they would like to consume on their lunch break. Telling someone that choosing a third candidate equates to choosing whichever of the first two candidates wins is as ridiculous as telling them that Cheetos made more money because they chose to eat Doritos instead of falling in line with the Wheat Thins crowd. And no, your belief that Cheetos are disgusting little orange turds does not negate the ridiculousness of this argument. Because there are (apparently) just as many people who find Wheat Thins to be boring, phony little liars that are only tasty when a bunch of other people’s products are piled onto them.

All that being said, in an election where there are actual hard-line differences between the ideologies that swarm and fester around these two major candidates, the stakes of voting for a third party candidate come into sharper focus. As long as I can remember, every one of my close friends and I have lamented America’s two party system for exactly this reason. In the end, you’ve got a situation like 2004’s Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich and you can’t help but feel underwhelmed. For several cycles the Dems handed us boring piles of shit, as evidenced by a complete buffoon being elected and then re-elected in a resounding victory in ’04. We were uninspired by these candidates and the polls reflected that.

In the past two Presidential cycles, however, that changed and we saw just how thoroughly the Republican Party could drag their lake of platitudes and bigotry to assemble a motley crew of flat, deflated stuffed shirts, mental degenerates and grin-forcing robots to challenge a dynamic, genuinely interesting candidate in Barack Obama.

This cycle, the country watched as the Republicans again trotted out their three ring circus of kooky nincompoops and as their flaccid pseudo-religious sales pitches fell one-by-one under the sword of Trump’s ignorant ravings the giggling NPR set, the Hillary-obsessed trolls of Saturday Night Live and every “liberal” late night television host (between innumerable throw-away tiny hand jokes) dismissively took “old fart” jabs, goofing on Bernie Sanders’ disheveled hairdo whenever they mentioned his name.

Why is Bernie Sanders not being taken seriously by “liberal” television personalities important? Well, for me personally, I feel it’s clear that this is the first time we had been offered an actually progressive candidate who had legitimate backing from a large grassroots movement of actual human beings. And the proof is in the polling. Sorry, Ralph Nader. But it’s true.

When you consider — on top of the constant dismissive ridicule from so-called “liberal” media outlets — the fact that Sanders was actively being conspired against by the DNC and still won nearly half the democratic vote, it is difficult to keep your blood from boiling when someone tells you you’ve only got two choices for President. Unless you’re of the mind that Hillary Clinton is now fulfilling some Tolkien-esque prophecy to return our country to its former glory, thereby, err… umm… making America great again. In which case, I suppose, your blood is most likely still room temperature after all of this condescending nonsense.

For a voter such as myself in an election like this one where both major party candidates are disdainful for their respective reasons, it comes down to the ideologies that drive the movement built up around the campaign itself. Both of these candidates, one of whom (at this point) will absolutely become our next President, have followings of equally enthused supporters and, despite Trump’s apparent inability to cease alienating every member of the Republican Party one-by-one, they also both have Party support from both cabinet-hopeful hangers on and the Party as a whole.

Beyond that, though, lies the core of their message. Past the rhetoric and pandering of their bizarrely different yet (occasionally) equally ridiculous campaign engagements is the zeitgeist built up around them. What sort of logic, attitude and actions are we normalizing or validating by electing either of these candidates? For me, in this specific situation, that is what will get me to the polls.

In Trump’s base we find the aforementioned ape people, mouths agape, wardrobes of American flag everything, slurring everyone who doesn’t conform to their white, Christian, native English-speaking heritage as they humiliate every sane member of the white race with their embarrassing slogans and awful attempts at victory dances. In Hillary’s base we find no shortage of condescending, excuse-making sycophants, clueless campus hyper-liberals and probably just as many shitty dancers.

For me, the prospect of Trump making decisions to please his base is more terrifying than Clinton making decisions to please hers.

Considering Mike Pence’s reputation as the hard-line posterboy for the Right Wing Evangelical crusade to destroy Planned Parenthood, we are painted a vivid picture of just who Trump has invited to his hate-filled tea party by choosing the Governor from Indiana as his running mate. Why does this matter? Considering abortion services make up only 3% of what Planned Parenthood offers to its clients and many of the communities in which it operates are without other outlets for affordable STI screening and treatment, cancer screenings and contraceptive services, the impact of defunding this organization, which would disproportionately impact both people of color and people below the poverty line, would be catastrophic to public health.

For months now I’ve had just one solitary reason to vote for Hillary Clinton: if only to pander to the people who comprise her base, she will not push to defund Planned Parenthood. This is important to me because this is a health concern for hundreds of thousands of Americans, largely women and women of color, as well as a considerable number of people below the poverty line who would suffer gravely if the so-called Conservatives” were to have their way.

I’ve gone back and forth on various other issues that mean a lot to me, but Clinton’s voting record just doesn’t clearly illustrate any real solid differences between her and many Right Wing politicians for me to be enthused about her candidacy.

There’s this part of me that’s still a fifteen year-old anarcho-punk fan, obsessed with ultra-Left Wing ideals and demolishing class structure through peaceful protest and, despite having had a viable candidate with whom I felt more connected than any major candidate in my life, just wants to tell the whole system to fuck off.

But we’re not there, or I’m not. I’m not fifteen and this isn’t some academic exercise. The consequences of a Trump Presidency vs. a Clinton Presidency are palpable and real. This is not one of the many instances in which we can sit back and say “whelp, the whole system’s rigged,” or “they’re all just paid off by the same money,” because there is an actual battle of ideologies, however feigned or invented through pomp or borrowed from other, more inspired political figures, that has been built into the movements behind both of these candidates that will absolutely influence domestic and foreign policy and leave its mark on our social makeup for years to come. To those of you who insist that this is just another Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich decision: you’re wrong and the proof is in the ideologies.

I no longer plan to write-in Bernie Sanders in November, and it’s not because my vote would be “wasted” or that I would be “being ridiculous” by doing so. I no longer plan to write-in Bernie Sanders because the reality of the situation is that our next President is either going to be:

A) a hypersensitive race-baiting inconsistent reactionary compulsive liar with absolutely zero diplomacy skills or experience successfully running anything other than a scripted reality game show

or;

B) an overly-self-impressed manipulative career politician with extensive diplomatic experience and an intense desire to not be eternally labeled as a monster by her own political party.

Actual substance and policies aside, I feel like one of these descriptions is far more preferable than the other. Furthermore, I won’t be writing-in Bernie Sanders in November because I am now an Ohio voter and there is a considerably higher chance that my vote — and the votes of people like me who find themselves in a very difficult situation this election — could decide who our next President will be.

I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton because I don’t have a third choice. I am voting for Hillary Clinton because Mike Pence and the people he represents are small-hearted, shortsighted fools who unreservedly believe that everyone in this country should be living their lives based on what several cherry-picked selections of their preferred religious text say. I’m voting for Hillary Clinton because I am already completely embarrassed by Trump having made it as far as he has with cheap schoolyard bully tactics and xenophobic rhetoric. I’m voting for Hillary Clinton because I believe that when people say Trump and his most rabid supporters “don’t represent ‘the real’ America” they’re wrong, but I want them to be right.