Welcome to my first of First Monday’s of the Month blogpost. This is where I blog about random things – life, travel, what’s inspiring me, and what’s bugging me. I call it … Cleaning house. Since tomorrow is the US Presidential elections, and since they’ve been bugging me big time, today’s blog is a cautionary tale of an election screw up. Mine.
I’ll start with full disclosure. I fear for the US and the world if Trump is elected.
(Some of you will probably stop reading now – unless you want to find out about the election screw-up.)
I don’t understand how any woman, Mexican American, disabled person, Muslim, LBGT, or low income earner could vote for Trump. Even if you’re not in these demographics you will know, be related to, or be friends with someone who is. How then could you vote for a man who has threatened or debased all of these group? It seems clear that he will serve and protect only those who are rich, white, and male.
But I digress and my soap box is groaning.
I was 18 years, 2 months old, and a 1st year university student at Queens when I got my first chance to vote. I was excited. It was September 18th and I didn’t even know my way around campus yet, but I found the voting station and, with a half-proud half-smug grin I went inside to cast my ballot for the Conservative Party.*
Before you judge me too harshly I was barely 18 and had spent high school binging on Ayn Rand novels. Need I say more? I’d embraced her fiction as philosophy, and decided that I believed in small government and big business. So when I got my ballot I knew how exactly I intended to vote. But when I looked at the ballot there was a list of about 10 candidates with NO party affiliations beside their names.
I panicked. I’d expected to be able to vote by party. I didn’t know who the Conservative candidate was in Kingston. Queens was 300 kilometres away from home, and it’s not like there were smart phones to look things up with back then.
I couldn’t bear not voting. So I racked my memory for any scraps of local news I might have seen in one of the campus papers lying around Vic Hall or Leonard Hall cafeteria. I took a deep breath and chose a name, a woman, hoping to heck that that I’d got it right. Hoping that I hadn’t inadvertently voted for an NDP candidate.
The next day I rushed out and bought a paper. I had to look up the results. I had to find out who won and who I’d voted for.
I did NOT end up voting for the Conservative candidate. Instead, and to my shame, I was one of 61 people in the Kingston riding who cast their ballot for the Communist party. So please…
DON’T BE A JANE!
THINK BEFORE YOU VOTE.
And for your friends, neighbours, and family member who are female, Mexican American, disabled, Muslim, LBGT, or low income… PLEASE think about them when you vote, and protect them from Trump.
I won’t even go into the craziness of letting nuclear launch codes into the hands of a man that can’t turn the other cheek on a Tweet.
* Canadian Political Primer: For my American friends, the Conservatives are comparable to your Republicans, while our Liberals most closely equate to your Democrats. But we have a third largish party – the NDP which is quite left of centre – as well as many smaller political groups.