Daiyaan, my twenty year old, is getting ready to vote for the first time in 2016; recently, she texts and asks why and how I am voting in the primaries, and I am delighted to help her with her thinking; her best friend Kimmy, is voting for Bernie Sanders and Daiyaan and I have already discussed Hillary Clinton.
I can tell that Daiyaan is not satisfied with her choice and wants more from her candidate. Welcome to adulthood, my beautiful daughter. I certainly wish we had a “lovable” candidate the first time you are ready to vote.
I have boiled my entire election choice in 2016 down to a simple litmus-test; who will protect my civil liberties and those of my children?
Typically, one looks at US elections from 3 vantage points:
- Who will protect my pocketbook (who will protect me from higher taxes)?
- Who will be a strong world-leader (who will be respected)?
- Who will ensure our freedom (protect Social and Civil liberties)?
If the thought was to just make a ton of tax-free money, I would migrate to Saudi Arabia or Singapore; but I chose to live in America because of its ability to re-invent and re-shape itself, over and over again. I chose the US simply to be the best I could be; to choose my own freedom, and define my own identify, on my terms. I have done the best I could – with what was available to me.
If I wanted Socialistic taxation structures (and extreme winters), I would move to Canada or Sweden. I like the balance of creativity, entrepreneurship and hard-work based independence that the US offers. At this mid-life juncture, I have accomplished what I wanted (and more); now it’s really about the future – and most importantly, the future of my two daughters.
Future cycles of elections are all about protecting their rights, liberties – to choose – to be women – to be educated and successful on their own merit and fill their lives with joy.
It’s not because Hillary Clinton is a woman.
I agree she is a flawed-imperfect candidate. However, given my choices – she is much better than anyone I have seen on the Republican side. Also, under a Democratic President, I feel my personal civil liberties and those of my children, are more likely to be protected, and possibly enhanced.
If you have a daughter, I am not sure, how you tell her that she should make 70 cents-on-the-dollar of what your son may make; or that she doesn’t have a right to choose what happens to her body, or to decide when to have children and that the state she lives in, controls this.
Under the Democratic Presidency of Barack Obama, my personal and professional goals have been enhanced; unemployment is significantly lowered (<5%), the US Stock-markets are stable/growing and we have climbed out of a really bad recession. I don’t think the world is any safer (or more risky) than what it was when he took over – or for that matter – twenty or even fifty years ago. I was 4 year old when Bangladesh fought a bloody civil war – I have accepted that there is evil in the world, and it manifests itself in terrorists (US or elsewhere); how we stand up to them is the key.
Another thing I am especially grateful for: we haven’t declared a war on someone else in seven years; we have not militarily intervened in Syria or Libya. In my 3 decades of living here, we have had a propensity to utilize military power to police the world; I just don’t want that responsibility for my children.
I can’t imagine Daiyaan fighting a war somewhere, for no reason; I don’t want any US parent to feel this level of disconnection toward wars they don’t understand.
If Obama was on the election ticket this year, I would vote him back into office.
However, since that’s not an option, my vote, this cycle – and probably for a few coming cycles, is now locked in the Democratic camp – however imperfect their candidate.
As divided as this nation is, at this point of history, and likely to remain this way in the foreseeable future, my main focus is the US Supreme Court.
I have complete confidence in the SCOTUS to adjudicate sound, solid legal direction based on the constitution . It’s not perfect, but it’s a much better way to upholding/rejecting laws, versus by the fickle public opinion. This is apparent from the Civil Rights laws of the 60s or the Gay-Rights promulgated in the last few years.
I am very much interested in the appointment of feminists to the court. I love both the Justices confirmed during the Obama period. I want more justices who will enhance a woman’s right and equality in this relatively biased society. Men have had their way in the US system of Government for over 300 years. Women need stronger protection and better checks and balances.
I have more confidence in the Democrats to nominate feminists to the Supreme Court.
One major frustration during this election cycle, is the feeling of helplessness from considering my options. In a country as smart as ours, I should be torn between two brilliant minds, competing on ideology, versus theatrics. Why can’t we get Collin Powell or Cheryl Sandberg to run on a ticket?
Maybe when Shania gets ready to vote in 2024, she will have options of leaders we will love, respect and want to follow; at this point, we don’t really have a choice.
Fractured, or not, this time, Hillary it is.
Madame President, we look forward to you in the White House.