We Need to Talk about the Presidential Election

So unless you’ve been living under a rock or pay no attention to American politics (I’m jealous), you are well aware that the two main presidential candidates this year are Hillary Clinton (Democrat) and Donald Trump (Republican). The two lesser known candidates - who, as of yesterday, did not qualify for the presidential debates, for which one needs 15% national support - are Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green Party).

There are a lot of rumors and misconceptions floating around on the internet that can lead to a lot of confusion. Each of the candidates is flawed. Each of the candidates have some merit to their campaigns - at least, I think because if I’m being honest, I’m not sure for two of them.  

There are some who are skeptical of the two primary candidates, rightfully so judging by Clinton’s and Trump’s respective histories. That being said, to me, there is a clear right and wrong answer to this election. 

I am fortunate - my parents were able to leave India and legally come to America back in the late 1990s through the H-1B visa program that was made more accessible by President Bill Clinton. I was born in Alabama, making me a US citizen, and eventually my parents were both able to follow suit, becoming naturalized in 2010. Both my mother and father have decent jobs, and we are able to live in a comfortable mid-sized house in a suburb of Northern Virginia. 

I can afford to pay tuition and residence fees for university, albeit with a little help here and there. I do not worry about excessive medical bills because we have health insurance and my family has not faced a major medical diagnosis thus far. I do not worry about having to make my minimum wage salary stretch out to afford rent, heating and food for my children. I do not fear that one day an immigration officer will knock on our door and take my parents away from me. I do not worry about being gunned down in the streets by a police officer simply because of the color of my skin. 

Not everyone is as fortunate. 

There is right and there is wrong. It is wrong to denounce the vast majority of people from Mexico as being nothing more than drug-dealers, rapists and murderers. It is wrong to trivialize workplace harassment and then align yourself with the guy who sexually harassed his female workers. It is wrong to spread hate and fear about a particular religious group and propose an "extreme vetting" process specifically targeted against such people. It is wrong to make sweeping and derogatory assumptions about what the life of a Black American is like in today’s society. 

If David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, supports you and your policies, you are doing something seriously wrong. 

I have my doubts about Clinton. Between the private email server and the general elusiveness that always seems to overshadow her campaign, I have my doubts about her honesty and the legality of some of her actions. However, there is no doubt in my mind that Clinton is the far superior candidate. The two third party candidates do not have her political clout or expertise, while the Republication candidate has proven time after time to be racist, misogynistic and classist. I know we are all angry. I know we are desperate for change and that we want someone who is not so ingrained in professional politics, but Trump is not the solution. If you truly believe that a Trump presidency would not affect your life that much, I ask you kindly to check your privilege and think of those that would be greatly ruined by such a future. 

I’m with her, and I hope you will be too. 

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