Over the past seven years, the nation has come back from the brink of utter collapse. We’ve watched health care become available to all who seek it, love win with marriage equality, women progress leaps and bounds within our armed services, and this is only to name a few things. Very few things. Our economy has bounced back to pre-recession levels. Unemployment is dropping. People are once again feeling confident in their economic outlooks, both at home and at work.
Why has all of this happened? Why have we been spared from complete economic collapse? Because in the fall of 2008 the American voting public voted in a Democratic president alongside a majority Democratic Congress in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Then, despite losing the House in 2010, Democrats maintained the White House in 2012. Now that Democrats have lost the Senate as well, it is imperative that a Democrat win the White House in 2016.
However, divisiveness between Democrats has become rather alarming. There are, quite literally, people who claim they won’t vote for Hillary Clinton if she were to win the Democratic nomination. As it stands, she’s the clear frontrunner, so for a large chunk of the voting populace to say they won’t vote for the presumptive nominee, that’s cause for concern. Choosing not vote for a candidate out of spite isn’t only childish and naïve, but it has harsh consequences that reach far beyond the little self-joy one may feel by watching Hillary lose to a Republican.
If a Republican wins the White House, it will be devastating for not only the economy, but for the lives of not thousands, but millions. Millions of immigrants seeking to work hard and have a better life for themselves and their families. Millions of LGBT Americans who would like to stay married to their spouses. Millions upon millions of citizens who need desperately to keep their healthcare that has been granted under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. And if an extremist like Donald Trump wins, millions of Muslim Americans won’t feel welcomed in their own country.
Elections have very real consequences that go beyond your favorite candidate winning or losing. It goes beyond catchy slogans and campaign promises. It goes beyond petty differences to life-changing ramifications.
If you’re “Feeling the Bern” — good on you. If you’re “Ready for Hillary” — good on you, too. If you’re one of the handful of people who think Martin O’Malley is your guy — well, good on you as well. However, no matter what, come November 8, 2016, those who lean towards the liberal progressive left must vote blue. I know it sounds terribly undemocratic to tell anyone who to vote for, but a vote for a third-party candidate is a vote for a Republican. That’s one less vote for a Democrat who has the potential to win, as opposed to a third-party candidate who doesn’t stand an ice cube’s chance in hell. If you’re a conscience voter, please choose to be a conscious voter, and be fully aware of the decision you’re making and the lives you’re affecting. To be blunt — don’t be an ass.
We must unite as one liberal voice. We must make sure progress keeps moving forward. We must make sure we don’t fall backwards and send our country into a downward spiral of despair once more. We can’t allow pettiness to rule our ballot box. This is our moment, our time, to come together and be the bigger, better people we know we are as liberals. Liberals are the ones who stand up for others when no one else will, and that’s what we need to do next November. Vote blue!