This is the first presidential election I can actively participate in and it feels good. I was 17 years old the year President Donald Trump was elected. Although I had a lot of thoughts about who should be president, I had no say in the matter.
It was frustrating to watch the votes roll in and see the people who made decisions to not vote or throw their vote away for a third party. I felt helpless as these people basically handed Trump the presidency.
This year though, I can make my voice heard in the best way possible, which is through my vote. This opportunity means a lot because I will be voting against racism, sexism, xenophobia, islamophobia and the general idiocy of the Trump administration.
There is only one way to vote against all of that, though, and it is to vote for a Democrat, no matter who is on the ticket.
At this point, most people know that Trump is an incompetent leader. Others believe every lie he spews while refusing to acknowledge facts and live in the real world. Therefore, most people should be willing to do anything to get him out of office.
Some even say that there is no chance that Trump can get re-elected, especially because of how poorly he handled this pandemic. I do not believe that so easily though. I think we’re forgetting about how we thought he’d never get elected in the first place. We vastly underestimated the deep racism and misogyny in this country, and we cannot underestimate that again.
College students are the most likely to fall victim to this argument because there are those who are sheltered in a liberal college bubble. Many of my peers are convinced that no matter what happens, Trump has no chance of getting elected again.
This thought process is very dangerous, especially because so many Bernie Sanders supporters refuse to vote for anyone else. I will not take a stance on Joe Biden or Bernie, because who I support lends nothing to this article. I simply want to make the case that every person who wants Trump out of office needs to vote for the Democratic nominee regardless of who it is.
The lack of support for Hillary Clinton from Bernie supporters helped Trump win the White House in 2016. Trump is banking on this happening again, as NBC News points out, “If they can’t win over disappointed Sanders voters, the president and his advisers believe they can at least convince many of them to stay home on Election Day or vote for a third-party candidate rather than support the Democratic nominee.”
Some of Sanders’ supporters have even vocalized that they will not vote at all if Biden is the nominee. An NBC News exit poll on Super Tuesday showed that “15 percent of Sanders voters said they weren’t committed to voting for the Democratic nominee, regardless of who it was, compared to 10 percent of Biden voters who said the same.”
These people are literally going to repeat history, and they will be to blame if Trump gets re-elected. If the person you thought would make a good president does not get chosen as the Democratic nominee, you do not get to sit at home and pout because you did not get your way. You go out and vote against the person who is making a joke out of America and spent the last four years destroying everything the country stands for with embarrassing scandal after scandal.
If you are one of these people who claim to only support one person and will not vote should your candidate not get the nomination, you need to take a good hard look at your values. It is nice that you are in such a position of privilege that allows you to not vote and not be impacted if Trump gets another four years. But, there is a lot riding on getting him out of office, such as saving our planet.
There are people all over the world who would and have risked their lives just for the privilege to vote, and some of you stand here willing to throw that away. That disgusts me.
It is time for the Democratic party to unite and stand behind whoever gets the nomination. It is our only chance of getting out of this mess that has been the last four years. If you do not vote in this election, just know that you were not on the right side of history. Another four years of racism, misogyny, sexism and more is on you just as much as it is on Trump supporters.