Casting vote does not define you
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This election year many things are different; the most glaring difference this year is how personal someone’s politics have become. It seems like placing your vote in that ballot box says more about your character than anything else ever could.
A vote for Donald Trump or a vote for Hillary Clinton seems to carry with it a personal reflection of who you are. The host of stereotypes associated with each candidate are overwhelming and are especially negative this election cycle. While your vote does reflect what you believe in, to a certain extent, it is never the whole story.
This country is incredibly divided and this election cycle has only stoked the flames. If you vote for Donald Trump, you have to be a racist, xenophobic white person. If you vote for Hillary Clinton, then you have to be a misinformed supporter of the corrupt establishment.
This type of generalization is harmful and divisive. A vote for either candidate does not mean the voter has to be just like their chosen candidate. A vote for Trump may be a way to stop Clinton, or vice versa. In America, who you vote for is a serious matter. While your vote may not make the difference between your state being red or blue, it should still hold high value.
When you go into that ballot box, your conscious, culture, values and personality go with you. All of these components cannot be summed up into one derogatory group. Maybe you have voted for one party consistently your whole life, or your family has. Can we blame you for going into this cycle having some loyalty to your political party?
There are always the universally distasteful supporters for each candidate, and while that may seem to be happening more often in this cycle, let us not forget that to conflate that to the entire voting bloc of one candidate is both illogical and unfair.
Our generation has evolved; we are willing to talk about politics. Nowadays, it is not an inappropriate question to ask someone who they support in the election. However, the evolution stops there. We are willing to answer the initial question, but if you disagree with me, then I do not want to discuss it.
This rejection of open discussion only aggravates the problem. If someone says he is voting for Clinton, but is not willing to explain why, then the assumption is that he is a radical leftist who supports corruption and cronyism. If someone says he is voting for Trump without further explanation, then he has to deal with the assumption that he is a racist who hates women.
Whether you vote Republican or Democrat this election, do not forget that politics do not define a person.
Conflating the moral flaws of each candidate to their voters is close-minded and a hindrance to progress. Politics are just one part of our lives, which is something we forget during long presidential elections. How each person chooses to define themselves: their interests, pursuits and values matter more than who they vote for in the election.
So, we encourage that each person realize that their politics are simply that: politics. Being able to talk about why we vote the way we do is vitally important to the process of change and betterment. Whether you are someone who has strong opinions or not, respect the opportunity for each person to voice their opinion and do not be so quick to jump to conclusions.