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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.​

I grew up in a family of Catholic Republicans. I was raised in a private Catholic school where I was taught to be kind, donate and serve those in need, respect your elders and always do what is right.

But I think somewhere along the lines, my idea of right and wrong drifted away from the tradition with which I was raised. Blame it on the internet, television or video games, but as I grew with the generation who is criticized for our sensitivity and liberal beliefs, I grew apart from the people who raised me.

See, when my parents raised me to be kind and serve those in need, I thought that meant everybody. But as I became older, it became apparent that whitewashed America only meant a very select few were deserving of their “Christian kindness.” People who couldn’t control their circumstances—welfare recipients, people of color, LGBTQ+ people—were instead on the receiving end of jokes thrown around after work when you tossed back a few beers and cursed the less fortunate who “stole” your hard earned money.

When my mother gave me bars of soap to donate to the homeless at school, it never crossed my mind whether the person who received my soap was a single mother or a drunk on the streets. I just figured I was helping someone take a clean shower.

Those values I was raised with—kindness, creativity, respect—are now seen as weaknesses by older generations.

Related: I’m a Millennial & a Feminist, & I Voted For Trump

I feel as though I have to apologize for having compassion for other human beings. I’m made to feel bad about my passion for creation that began when my parents and teachers encouraged me to express myself with crayons or short stories in preschool. I am silenced by those who criticize “political correctness” when I attempt to show respect for anyone who may have a different lifestyle than me.

Although I am no longer Catholic (or Republican), I was taught the Golden Rule in Catholic school: “Treat others the way you would want to be treated.” It is the most basic rule that we learn as small children. Ask a four-year-old and they can recite it from memory. Even now at 21, I believe that should apply to everyone, regardless of the ways they choose to live their lives.

The generation that you created is a generation that wanted those same values to make America great “again.” All we asked for in this election was a chance at a country that could truly work together by respecting our differences and learning from one another.

However, the people who handed me the tools to be the person I am today are the same people who voted yesterday for a man that lacks any empathy or compassion for people who are “beneath” him. They voted for a man that believes it is okay to grab women’s genitals, objectifies them and calls them “bitches” and “sluts.” They voted for a man who is intolerant of other races and religions because they aren’t like his own. They voted for a man who wants to erase the progress made by the LGBTQ+ community and reduce them to living in fear once again.

We cannot settle for candidates who do not have the whole country’s best interests at hand. Please do not vote if you cannot be bothered to inform yourself beyond superficial mass media outlets and social media. We all have differing beliefs and values, but we have to work together to demand a government that represents the country. We are the United States, not the divided states. Ignorance cannot be bliss any longer.

Alaina Leary is an award-winning editor and journalist. She is currently the communications manager of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books and the senior editor of Equally Wed Magazine. Her work has been published in New York Times, Washington Post, Healthline, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Boston Globe Magazine, and more. In 2017, she was awarded a Bookbuilders of Boston scholarship for her dedication to amplifying marginalized voices and advocating for an equitable publishing and media industry. Alaina lives in Boston with her wife and their two cats.