You Don’t Know Me: An Open Letter To Everyone That Tells Me I Voted Wrong

kristina-1

I waited until things cooled down regarding this election before speaking about it. I let people grieve, celebrate, speak their feelings, be confused, or remain indifferent. But in the process I have been stereotyped, ridiculed, judged, and verbally attacked based on who I voted for. Now before I continue, I want everyone reading this to understand that I’m not looking for arguments, hate, or any of this “my candidate is better than yours” nonsense. I’m simply defending myself, as I feel compelled to; and hopefully sharing a new perspective on this election as a whole, and on the people who voted as I did.

I gave you your time, now it’s my turn. This is my time.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve always been into politics. When I turned eighteen I was overjoyed at the fact that I could register to vote and have a say. At one point I even wanted to be New York Senator (but then I took a politics class in college and realized that maybe direct politics wasn’t for me and I was better off being a journalist and promoting change through other means; but that’s a whole other story for a whole other post). Some of the inspiration for that goal at the time came from Hillary Clinton. The idea of her running for president one day was something I couldn’t wait for. And yet, my vote in this past election was proudly for Mr. Donald J. Trump (plot twist, right?).

I believe in equality for all people, of all races, gender, sexual orientations, ethnicities, and backgrounds. So even though I’m a registered Democrat, I don’t restrict myself to only vote for Democratic candidates or side solely with a Democratic stance on issues. Because of the values and morals I have, I honestly vote for whoever I think is the better choice given the circumstances present at the time. So yes, I chose to stand with someone who wants to make America great again.

When I first found out that Trump was running for president, I had similar thoughts to all those who strongly dislike or hate him, though I didn’t have anything to go on other than what I thought I knew about him. I thought there was no way this man could have any inkling of the American people and their struggles. When I found out Hillary Clinton was running, originally I was very excited. However, as more news came about last fall regarding the deletion of emails, the careless mistakes, and most importantly Benghazi, I started researching more about her. I came to my own conclusions taking what the media said with a grain of salt; and I was not so gong-ho about her winning anymore. So as the election process began, I started paying attention.

As I said, just because I’m a Democrat I don’t restrict myself to only giving Democrats a chance. Therefore, I listened and followed the debates for both the Republicans and Democrats. I paid attention, gave each candidate the benefit of the doubt, and formed my own opinions. Truth be told, from the very first Republican debate I was leaning toward Donald Trump. It was the second they were all asked if they would run as Independent candidates if they didn’t receive the Republican nomination. Trump proudly raised his hand that he could not promise that. It was that moment that I thought well here’s a guy who isn’t going to follow the crowd, and for me that settles very well.

In the beginning of the election process, before the nominations for each party were even selected, I paid attention to everyone’s response on the issues that I feel strongly about, one of them being women’s equality. I kept waiting for Hillary to say something that would make me gasp with excitement and make me secure a vote for her. Unfortunately she kept coming up short. I’m a huge feminist (which I make very clear), and I so badly wanted to vote for her because she was a woman.   If I did that though, that would have been the only reason I voted for her. Being a feminist doesn’t mean you want women to be superior, it means you want them to be equal; so if I voted just to have a woman be in a superior role rather than the right candidate in a superior role – I would go against my own values and that’s something I won’t ever do.

I know what you’re thinking, “How are you a feminist if you voted for Trump.” Well, that’s a question turned attack I’ve gotten a lot and as I stated, I won’t vote for a woman just because she’s a woman. I know, “Trump said all those disgusting things about women though.” Well, while he may have said things, and by no means is he perfect, it was words. I’m human enough to know that men and women alike say things sometimes that are out of line but mean nothing by it. Actions speak louder than words. Hillary Clinton is married to a man she has stuck by, who has acted in ways that are demoralizing, disgusting, embarrassing, and simply wrong to women. If she was truly a feminist, she would have made a statement and left him; a fact about her that I realized as I got older and learned more about relationships; a fact that kept coming back in my head whenever she spoke about women’s rights throughout the election. Yes, her husband wasn’t the one running – but you are who you surround yourself with and the bond of matrimony makes them a unit. If she stood by him after those acts, she inadvertently supports him and thinks it’s okay. And let’s not forget the fact that she defended a 42-year-old man who raped a 13-year-old girl back in the day. “She was just doing her job.” Okay, you can say that – but did her job include having to laugh about it on audiotapes years later admitting that she knew he was guilty? I don’t think that’s in the job description. And shaming all of the women who your husband cheated on you with, that’s not in the job description of former first lady either. Please explain to me how exactly this all makes her a role model for females?

While Trump may have said mean things, he also has the most female executives throughout his companies. He also clearly respects his wife, and his two daughters (one of whom Trump supported when she converted to Judaism for her husband, so your arguments that he doesn’t like Jewish people either is also irrelevant). His oldest daughter, Ivanka, is a charismatic, intelligent, hard working, badass female who is highly respected. Trump never said that she couldn’t make her way because she was a woman, he said she could make her way if she worked hard. A true feminist would respect that and agree that it’s about the hustle. Because as much as I don’t want to be rejected for being a woman, I most certainly do not want to be praised and given a pity vote simply because I am a woman. Sure Hillary is a woman so she could say she’s been discriminated against, rejected, and demoralized (possibly by her husband), but she also didn’t do anything but pull the “I have a vagina” card to help women’s rights in her 30 years being in politics. Again, actions speak louder than words.

Another issue that holds very near and dear to me is immigration. My father and my grandparents came to this country legally and became legal American citizens. My father was only a year old and they lived in Canada, where my two aunts were born, waiting to be sponsored so they could do so much as step foot in this nation. They didn’t search for a way to rig the system; they went about everything the right way, respecting what America stood for. They didn’t know English – they had to learn it. There was no “press 3 for German” option. They took their citizenship test, were all called in front of a judge, and were so proud to pass and call themselves Americans. My father always says the one question he remembers the judge asked him was, “If we were at war with Germany, would you fight for Germany or America?” My dad said he didn’t hesitate to say he was American, this is his country, he would defend America. While yes, we still have family in Germany and they all will always have a tie to the country they were born in – they are proud Americans who earned every achievement through pure hard work. America is a melting pot – that’s how our nation formed, but what people forget is that back in the day when America earned the nickname of the melting pot, it was when people were coming here the right way. All of the people who immigrated here in order to make this country the diverse nation that it is – all had different backgrounds, spoke different languages, had different reasons for immigrating; but they all had one thing in common – they wanted to be Americans. They didn’t just want to live here, they wanted to be here – physically, mentally, emotionally, and yes legally. I fully support immigration and this country continuing the diversity – but go about it the right way.

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Hence, this is another reason why I supported Trump. “Build the wall,” a line his supporters would chant, his enemies would mock, and the general public would roll their eyes over – is actually a great idea. What people don’t realize is that him building a wall isn’t him blocking out people from coming into this country and becoming citizens, it’s his way of blocking out people from illegally coming here and taking away jobs, money, housing, and benefits from other legal citizens either born here or who worked hard to get here, like my father. Hillary Clinton wanted to grant amnesty to millions of people who are in this country illegally, just because. Just because what? Because they beat the system long enough and didn’t get caught? I’m sorry but after hearing the stories from my grandmother about how she clung to my dad as a baby on a boat ride where she had to be separated from my grandfather, where people were packed in like sardines in a can, I’m not okay with granting amnesty just because. We must remember that the word illegal is not a racist term.

Small businesses and trade are also things that I pay close attention to and feel strongly about. My parents own a small business, an injection molding company (so it’s a plastic manufacturing company that makes things like displays, the purple hearts for the government to give out, etcetera; an industry that my father has been around all his life since his father owned the same type of business). Everyone thinks that owning your own business is so luxurious, that you can take off whenever you want, go on vacation wherever you want, and that you have money coming in by the load. That’s not how it works. Anyone who owns a business can tell you the amount of stress, hard work, personal investments, and time it takes to run a successful standing business. Not only having my parents as examples, but having also worked for two small businesses throughout high school and college, I became very aware of how America as a whole can seriously impact them specifically. Though Hillary Clinton said she wanted to help small businesses, her plans of doing so would not have done that. The taxes they would have to pay and the raising of minimum wage would make small businesses drown. She also believes in open trade, and while that’s fine and dandy, it’s not good for American manufacturing companies. I don’t think we should be so focused on other countries being so prosperous in business while companies on our home soil are being forced to close down because they can’t make ends meet. Donald Trump wants to keep business in America; he wants to charge a tariff to people who outsource their manufacturing jobs. Not only is this helping those businesses, it’s also creating more jobs. It’s creating opportunities for those who might be one ATM withdrawal away from getting evicted. His focus is on America and the American people thriving; and even though globally we are interdependent on the success of other countries, we shouldn’t be putting them first. Trump wants to fix the problems here, and there are many, before voluntarily helping out everyone else.

Among other issues, like healthcare, taxes, and education; I side with Trump because he’s putting America first. He really does have an inkling about the average American and their struggles and he dropped his luxurious lifestyle to try to fix those problems and eliminate those struggles. Regardless of whether or not you like him, you have to be able to see that he didn’t need this position, not for money (he’s not even taking a presidential salary), and not for fame. He took on this task because he wants to make a difference and I think if you’re human you should at least respect that.

It’s also very clear how biased the media was in reporting this election. Trump was a different type of candidate right from the get go; and people either flock to or flee from different. It was very clear that the media was quick to flee their support. Trump said mean things that were rehashed over and over again. Hillary didn’t answer the American embassy when they called 600 times saying they were being attacked and when she was asked about it in court she said “what difference does it make?” but that was only mentioned maybe once throughout the year long election process. There was a target on Trump’s back and media portrayed him to be a type of person that you would know he’s not if you actually gave him a chance and listened. People are calling him a racist. Newsflash – he doesn’t care if you’re white, black, purple, or blue polka dot – if you’re American, he’s on your side. He doesn’t have a problem with the LGBTQ community and has no plans on overturning the same sex marriage law. The media took things he said, took them out of context, and then spiraled them out of control to make him look bad. Not once did they mention the fact that Trump was given the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in celebration of his patriotism, brotherhood, and diversity; or his Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation Commandment’s Leadership award either. He’s got a vision for this country including unity, prosperity, and strength; and he plans to see it through. If you’re an American citizen, you should be willing and ready to have a country with those three qualities, and deserve to give the man who wants to make that happen a fair chance.

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After Trump won, people protested, demanded a recount, threatened Trump and his family, burned the American flag, and said they were leaving the country. Well, aren’t all those people the same people who claimed the world was “stronger together” and that “love trumps hate” and that we need to be more accepting? Where is your acceptance? The silent majority spoke and overruled you, and that’s just how the democracy ball bounces. Instead of being ignorant and saying he’s this and he’s that, listen to what he has to say, give him a chance. Some people are even criticizing him for his slogan of make America great again. People really had the argument that, “We already are great, he’s implying he’s not supporting this country.” Really? This coming from people who didn’t get their way that are pulling other people from their cars and beating them because they have a Trump for President bumper sticker. You’re going to tell me we’re in great shape? I don’t think the most optimistic person on the planet would say so.

For those saying that Trump is not your President and this is not your America, then please see true to that and leave. There are people who are banging on the door to get into this country and become citizens, trust me your spot can be replaced. The man hasn’t done anything yet, and you already hate him? That’s a reflection of your character, not his.

So to everyone who says that I voted for the wrong candidate, that I voted against acceptance, that I voted for hatred – please inform yourself of where he stands on the issues, not with what the media stirs up (even watch his interview on 60 minutes).

Finally, to conclude I will say this:

I didn’t vote against equality for races.

I didn’t vote against LGBTQ.

I didn’t vote against women’s rights.

I didn’t vote against immigration.

I didn’t vote against helping other countries.

…………………………………

I voted for unity within our country.

I voted for the belief of hard work.

I voted for security within our nation.

I voted for the reinforcement of legal immigration.

I voted for helping small businesses.

I voted for the hope of making America great again.

 

So don’t act like you know me because of who I voted for. And as you complain about Trump, about the system, and about the people who didn’t vote the same way as you – please remember that it is the freedom of this country that allows you to do so freely. And President Elect Trump is actually someone who wants to keep those freedoms in tact.

As President Obama said, we are all ultimately on the same team.

 

God Bless America.

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