This article may well be completely pointless, but as someone who is deeply concerned about the future of America and the viability of the human species on this planet, I feel compelled to make a last ditched attempt to reach anyone still on the fence about who to vote for tomorrow. In the past, I may have disparaged you, labeled you an idiot and believed your inability to see why Hillary Clinton is the only rational choice for President of the United States was due to extreme ignorance. For that, I apologize — it has been an emotionally draining election and covering it so closely has been taxing to say the least.
Some of you might still be sympathetic to Donald Trump’s policy positions — his outsider status, his willingness to speak his mind, and his brash claims of being the only person who can “make America great again”. Some of you on the Left may think Hillary Clinton is a corrupt crook bent on political power at all costs, and that voting for her is tantamount to condoning some of her more hawkish policies.
While I may disagree with you on this, I can understand your frustration with the political system in America. I can relate to the feeling of helplessness as the country changes far faster than we are psychologically geared to withstand. I can relate to the anger you feel over the political elite that are almost completely removed from real life, and I know that at some point, the system must change.
But this does not mean that you should vote for Donald Trump, or not vote at all. And it is important for those of you still unsure about who to vote for to understand exactly why.
The United States controls the world’s largest and most potent nuclear arsenal, has the economic and military power to radically change international events, and is still the world’s reserve currency. America will overwhelmingly determine the world’s future economic stability, just as it will dictate whether global environmental treaties are properly enforced, and whether we move to a path of sustainability and green energy. The US is the greatest superpower the world has ever seen, and its leadership is more important than ever in a time when humanity is wrecking the planet at break neck speed and our population is growing just as fast. The more people there are on planet earth, the greater the risk of conflict there is. And given the weaponry we now possess, the cost of future conflict will be immense.
America can slow down this suicidal trajectory and reevaluate how we go about organizing ourselves as a species. Progress is being made on this front by politicians committed to engaging peacefully with the outside world, listening to scientists and creating policies that benefit us all. We are moving rapidly on green technology, signing up to incredibly important environmental treaties, and working to lessen conflict around the world. To continue on this path requires listening to our better instincts — compassion, openness and tolerance.
Donald Trump represents the polar opposite of these instincts, and has tapped into the very worst aspects of our psyches. He has relentless focused on fear of immigrants, fear of Muslims, hatred of women, and hostility to the natural world. Trump’s vision for America is the same vision he has had for his businesses — growth at all costs, the domination of competition, and a complete disregard for anyone or anything that gets in his way. Trump is and always has been a bully, and he will use the presidency to exercise power for its own sake.
As imperfect as she is, Hillary Clinton has spent a lifetime working in government for causes that have overwhelmingly benefitted the most vulnerable people in society. Of course her record isn’t unassailable (and that’s why I supported Bernie Sanders in the primaries), but compared to most Democrats and every single active Republican, Clinton is a bonafide progressive.
Policy positions aside, the most compelling argument for voting her in tomorrow is her message. Clinton has repeatedly appealed to our better instincts. She has refused to engage in Trump’s vicious war of words, and has crafted a message of tolerance, dignity and hope. Clinton’s policies are not discriminatory and are aimed at reducing inequality, promoting tolerance and building a greener, more peaceful future for the country.
In times of great uncertainty, the world needs positive leadership. It is easy to succumb to fear and blame Mexicans or gays or blacks for all of our problems, and leaders who encourage this know this all too well. History is littered with demagogues who have used our worst instincts to attain power and mold the world in their own, damaged image. With 7.4 billion people on the planet and the capacity to blow the earth off of its axis with nuclear weapons, the last thing we need is a narcissistic politician who spends hours engaging in petty arguments with former beauty queens on Twitter, has a track record of extreme misogyny, racism and bullying, and is uniquely unqualified to hold office at literally any level. You wouldn’t want Donald Trump running the mail room in the White House, let alone giving him access to the nuclear codes.
If anything, Americans must vote on temperament tomorrow, and there’s no other option than Hillary Clinton. Change will come, but it can’t happen by tearing the system down overnight. Clinton is not perfect, and she does not represent radical change. But she will listen, adapt and work towards a better future for us all. That counts, and it is worth voting for. The world is depending on you to make the right decision, so listen to your better instincts and vote for the candidate who is speaking to them.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.