I am going to make my case once and for all. I am not here to judge any of my friends who are voting for Donald Trump. I am here to tell you why I am voting for Hillary Clinton. My political history goes way back and my belief in justice, even longer.
I am, as you all know, a Filipino-born citizen who migrated to the United States with my family. I migrated to the US at the time when the Philippines was at the height of a potential revolution. The year was 1984. A year prior to that, my eyes were opened when I heard of a politician named Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino. He was assassinated at point blank after arriving from an exile in Boston as he walked off the plane with Philippine military soldiers. I have never meddled in politics before, nor did I ever have a reason to. But hearing of this news of a man being assassinated at the tarmac got me curious.
Remember, I went to a Catholic University known to the country as one that is very vocal about its protection of human rights. Particularly, advocating its students to peacefully fight for the rights of the Filipino poor and despondent. I remember students organizing rallies and protests against government power abuse. There will be screenings of the assasination tape in our audio visual centers for students to see what had transpired that day. The current administration at that time was that of President Ferdinand Marcos. A regime tied to many human rights abuses and killings. Not only did the government overstep its boundaries, they stole from the people as well. With insurmountable corruption by government officials from the top down to the bottom, the Filipino people were left without hope of a better future. At the same time, I had a Theology professor at that time while I was a freshman at the University who believed in his heart that we, as students, should learn to defend the weak and the abused as witness to the life of Christ. One time, he cancelled his class just so that we can attend a prayer vigil for the late Ninoy Aquino. These events would spark my interest in protecting human rights.
When the Filipino people had a peaceful uprising against the Marcos government and won, I was ecstatic! I wished that I was still there to participate in the jubilation after the Marcoses had fled the country. To me, President Corazon Aquino represented all the things that I believed in. Although she lacked the experience to govern and propel the country into prosperity, she still became the symbol of change for many Filipinos.
That was my background as far as politics go.
Then, I came to the US. When I took the oath to become a US Citizen, I also registered to vote as an Independent. I wasn’t sure whether I fit into any party just yet, Republican or Democrat. During the 80s, Ronald Reagan was the most popular president. I did have an admiration for John F. Kennedy since I was young (not because he is good looking but it’s a part of it.. hehe) and I also loved Jackie Kennedy. As time went by, I learned about the different issues that each party believed in. There are some Republican ideals that I agree with and some Democrat ideals as well. As I watched both parties, I realized that my beliefs and moral compass are more in line with the Democrats. I was not a Democrat until President Bill Clinton. I thought at the time that he was the coolest president. The economy was doing well. I didn’t like the way the Republicans grilled him on the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Every year, I became more engaged in participating and watching what each party does. Gay rights, Immigration reform, fairness, justice, and human rights. These were more front and center with the Democrats than Republicans. I started to see the hypocrisy among Republicans who condemn us for being gay and are up and ready to take away our rights when in fact many of their members are closeted homosexuals who hide behind religion to condemn others. I started to hate their “high-horse-thinking”. The “I-am-better-than-you” attitude is one that I despise the most. That is why in 2008, as an Independent, I voted for Barack Obama. I did the same in 2012. I believed in the work that he has done and I consider him one of the best presidents of the USA.
Let’s look at the choices we have today. I don’t hate Bernie Sanders and in fact, I like him. I just did not believe he could carry the election to a WIN against any Republican nominee. I was a supporter of Hillary Clinton in 2008 but when Barack Obama became the nominee, I voted for him. I vote Democrat because I agree with most of the issues that they support and the plans that they put forward. In my eyes, the Republicans are simply finger-pointers and they don’t get anything done. President Bush was the laziest president I had ever seen and to see Republicans say that President Obama has not done anything for the country is hilarious to me.
Now, we have Hillary Clinton as the nominee for the Democratic Party. If they had anyone better than her on the Republican side, I may consider reviewing their agenda and credentials and maybe, a very small maybe, I may be swayed to vote Republican. Yet, that is not the case. here are a few reasons why I will not.
- I am an immigrant to this country.
- I am homosexual.
- I believe in human rights.
- I believe in the power to choose.
- I want to prosper.
- I believe (real) people in need should get help from their government.
- I believe people should be able to marry the person they love.
- These are just a few of my beliefs…
Here’s the problem. We have Donald Trump as their nominee. A racist and divisive individual who is unstable in his ways of speaking and thinking. He has zero experience in politics. That is his appeal to many people. He is not part of the establishment. These are the arguments of people who will be voting for him. Imagine how this country will be if we rely on Donald Trump’s experience. It will be a total disaster. We will have people hating Muslims, Mexicans and other races because their leader says some awful things about them. Building a wall to close borders does not solve the problem. We need total immigration reform to understand what is necessary to keep everything in check. I wouldn’t want children to grow up listening to the words of a president who incites violence and speaks a lot of untruths!
Hillary Clinton may not be the most appealing candidate because of her history. Being in the public eye for over 30 years can carry a lot of baggage. And that is unfortunate. I believe though that she is best suitable to govern this country because of her experience in leadership and in politics. Yes, some of her actions may be politics as usual but that is how politics is! I don’t like it either but if I am given a choice to select the person who will lead the greatest country in the free world, I will not select Donald Trump. This is not because I am a Democrat. This is because I am a human being who cares about the future of the world. Forget Democrat versus Republican. Try Right versus Wrong. Try Justice versus Injustice. Try Gun Violence versus Peace.
I wrote this not to convince anyone voting for Donald Trump to stop and vote for Hillary Clinton. Because if you have already decided to vote for Trump, nothing I can say can sway your decision. Just like nothing you can say to sway my decision to vote for Hillary Clinton. For those who are undecided, please look deep down in your hearts and understand what’s at stake here. What do you believe in? Are the values you hold dear to your heart in line with the person you are going to vote for?
Think about that.
Until next time…