A Letter to My (EX) Friend who Voted Red

There’s a post going around the internet that says something along the lines of “after this election, your neighbors will still be your neighbors” and all that.  

Yes, of course they will be. Be kind, always. But on election day, I was surprised by the number of my friends, especially fellow young women, who voted red. Your neighbor will still be your neighbor, but you had a part in making sure they might not have the rights they’ve fought so hard for. 

I’m not an expert. I know this sounds like a guilt trip as we wait painstakingly for the results of this election. But I am disappointed. And your neighbor might not tell you that, because they’re kind, and because you’ll still share summer barbecues and friendly conversations over the fence, but someone should.  

Some of you held your best friend’s hand in Planned Parenthood in high school. Or maybe you went yourself. And still, you chose to vote for a party that has stated in their platform that they oppose Planned Parenthood’s mission and will restrict reproductive rights. I understand if your religion forbids you from having an abortion, but why do you have to stop someone else from a procedure that could change their life? Restricting access to abortions won’t stop them from happening, it will only make them more dangerous. 

What about the gay couple next door? Or your neighbors’ transgender son? Or your non-binary best friend? There’s a lot to unpack with the Republican party in relation to the LGBTQ+ community, but you voted for a party that condemns the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage, according to the GOP platform. If you truly care for your neighbors, is that knowledge alone not enough for you?  

And what about your BIPOC neighbors? You voted for a candidate who openly told a white supremacist group to “stand back and stand by” in a presidential debate. How do you think that must feel, as a Black person in the year 2020, to have a president refuse to condemn white supremacists on live television?  

What about your neighbors who lost a loved one to the Coronavirus, only to have President Trump make fun of Vice President Biden for wearing a mask all the time at the first presidential debate?  

Some of you were worried about economic matters in this election. But is that really more important than your neighbor’s rights? Your neighbor to whom you’re preaching kindness?  

And this is just the start of the list of diverse people you’re surrounded by. Your American brothers and sisters. I could go on, but why should I have to? Why do you need to hear more?  

Even if Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States, you voted otherwise. You restricted your neighbors’ chances at the American Dream, and you have to live with that. Your neighbors will still be your neighbors, and I sincerely hope you are kind. But does being kind make up for the fact that their rights were not a deciding factor in who you voted for?