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My Own Best Interest

Today I am going to do something I have never done before, when I go to the polls to cast my ballot I am going to vote against my own best interest.
Ever since I became politically aware I have considered myself a conservative and while on occasion I have disagreed with some of the social stances of my party the fiscal policy has always far outweighed that. It's not that I no longer believe in fiscal conservatism or that I would no longer stand to benefit from a revised tax plan. I have done the math and the reality is Shaun and I stand to benefit very well from a president Trump tax plan, Well enough that we could take our dream vacation next year, well enough that we wouldn't need to worry about what kind of salary increases we might expect before we can say yes, we can totally afford a mortgage, student loans and child care expense. A Trump would make a pretty sweet impact on our life, but it comes at too great of a cost. Maybe I've become more sympathetic as I've become older, maybe as I've increased my income I feel like I can afford a little more or maybe it's just that as I look towards starting a family I wonder what kind of world I would have that family in.
As a white, straight, married women I don't personally fear changes in my life under a Trump presidency. I fear that a loose cannon representing this nation is an awful idea but I don't really feel like Memphis , TN is a hot terrorist target and I could live four years not traveling abroad as Americans become the most hated people on the planet. What I do fear however is the fear I see in others - and by others I mean my friends, my co-workers, my neighbors . . . you know, people I care about.  Ironically as much as a Trump presidency would make the decision to start a family a faster and more confident one from a financial standpoint the idea of it makes me a lot hesitant to do so. How could I have a child and look them in the eye and say sorry sweetie, but being able to have you and pay your daycare bill was more important to Mommy and Daddy than the freedoms of others. One day when my kids ask me about this election  - as regardless of the outcome I do believe we are living in what will one day be a historical period of change in our country - how could I possibly explain to them that I was only concerned with myself and how the world impacts me.
Now I know a lot of people , in fact most people I know , are going into the polls with deep regret in their heart and voting for the candidate they believe is the lesser of two evils and I get that for some that vote is a vote for Donald Trump. I would never presume to tell someone how they should or shouldn't vote - the right to vote is an important one and one that Americans should take seriously. But I think we have to remember voting is a small (teeny tiny like a grain of sand really) on the potential we each have to make an impact on this world. One day when my kids don't clean their room saying "but Mom, I posted about it on Facebook" isn't going to be a good enough excuse and it sure enough shouldn't be the excuse we give when we're knocking on the door of Heaven. Voting for candidate A or B (or you know there are options C, D and E) shouldn't define our civic contribution, it should be a reflection of it. We shouldn't vote for taxpayer dollars to support causes that aren't important enough to support on our own , we shouldn't vote to legislate human actions that we never put any heart into on own  , and we shouldn't vote expecting that the world, or ourselves is the government's responsibility.
Look I get it, we have some really shitty choices this year and it's easy to say well if party A didn't have such a shitty candidate than I could have totally voted for a reasonable person they presented against my candidate I do not like but this is politics folks - we are always going to pick apart the candidates and criticize every aspect of their life, we are always going to find an excuse to not vote for someone. When we were kids our parents taught us when faced with a tough decision to make a list of pros and cons , yet this election I see so many people who have forgotten that approach and are justifying their vote based on one issue - and this is happening on both sides. The problem is America doesn't get a President who focuses on the one good issue voters hoped for - we get stuck with the whole package. I've always believed and continue to do so even in these tough political times that one should be proud to cast their ballot and if you can't articulate why you voted for a candidate you have no business voting. If your pro / con list leads you to Donald Trump and you find that he has enough positives to outweigh your concerns than that is absolutely who you should vote for, and the same if your list leads you towards Hilary Clinton. The important thing is that you vote and that YOU respect the vote you have made.

I hope that lots of my fellow Americans will turn up and vote today and I hope that they can find peace and confidence in their vote. But most of all, I hope that each American will remember that regardless of how they vote there is a cost to the outcome of this election. For my vote though, the costs are clear and the price of extra money in my account is not enough to replace the world I want to live in. 

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