My Vote

Today was the first day to vote early where I live. I stood in line. Standing in line was new to me. I’ve voted since I turned 18. I have never had to wait in line before. Some would say that shows my privilege.

Over the years I have voted both sides of the aisle. I have been a registered Democrat and a registered Republican. I have voted across both of those registrations. Today I am a registered Independent.

Why does that matter?

Hmm, well, for credibility. I have voted across any party lines. I have always voted my conscience.

But, there’s some guilt. I’m guilty of some things. From like a long time ago.

Hillary Clinton. Where do I start with her? I will never forget when she said that she wasn’t home baking cookies. Shortly after, a cookie baking contest was started in some women’s magazine. I was a housewife at the time, and remember cringing. What was so wrong with what she said? Why did she have to be reduced to domestic qualities? She was an attorney. But her comment started a cookie baking competition that continues to this day. She became a Senator, Secretary of State, a presidential candidate, but bottom line is she had to tow the line and give a cookie recipe.

Why do I feel guilty? Because I never forgave her for saying she wasn’t home standing by her man. I never forgave her for standing by her man. She was so much better that. Before, in my opinion, she became corrupt AF.

Then there was Sarah Palin. In my opinion, again, she sold her family down the river. Her daughter, her very young daughter, was pregnant. An engagement was announced, because, well, family values. I remember hating her, at the time. Her daughter was not ready for marriage. The father of her daughter’s baby was not ready for marriage. Time has proven me right, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t need time for that.

Oh, and the vice presidential candidate who campaigned on family values and would have forced a marriage between her very young daughter and her very young daughter’s baby Daddy, is now divorced, or getting a divorce.

She campaigned on family values, meaning no divorce, no pregnancy outside of marriage…

I sympathize for her, as someone who is divorced. I just wish that she wasn’t such an asshole to her kid who was pregnant, who had more kids outside of marriage, because, her kid should know that her parents love her unconditionally, like, even when she does things that don’t fit that “family values” narrative.

For me family values means that I love and accept you no matter what. I think that should be all families, but I can only speak for mine.

So the guilt? I feel guilt because maybe there was some sexism in my thoughts on Hillary and Sarah. Maybe I held them to a higher standard. But I’m a woman. I’m a mother. I expected more from them. Yes, I expected more than I expected from them than men because I believe that instinctually mothers have different instincts. Mothers protect, especially our own.

I voted early today. I had a choice between two white guys over the age of 70. I believe both are out of touch. I believe neither understands what I went through as a single mom. I believe neither understands what most of the country has gone through. Still, I voted, because it is my right. It is my duty.

One day I hope to be voting for president and having to choose between two people who understand me, who understand so many in this country.

One day I hope that my vote is for someone who has lived a life that was not privileged, or if it was privileged that he or she knows what the rest of us have lived, us single moms who have had lights shut off, struggled to feed our kids, and that they know what others who were worse off have lived.

One day I hope to vote for someone who represents the entire country, not just red, not just blue, but ALL of us. Sort of like what the Founding Fathers wrote when they wrote, “all men are created equal,” except they include women. Oh, and people of color.

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