Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not represent the views of Babble.
The election day for our next president has come and gone, and to say this was one of the most intense election cycles we have seen in the last several generations may just be the ultimate understatement. But these days, we have new ways to get our message across thanks to the power of the Internet. As a result, it seemed you couldn’t avoid it because it was being force-fed to you at every turn.
I have seen so many of the political tactics that arose in 2016 before. In fact, I have promoted many of these tactics before.
I spent a good chunk of my teen years in politics after my father ran for a local position, and I supported him fully. We are Conservatives and we are proud of it. Yet while I was terrified of what that meant for me personally, I kept that to myself and forged on for him. By the end of the campaign, he was elected into office.
And so, the madness continued. As a family, we went through the typical struggles that arise when you’re related to a politician. The endless questions, the hounding phone calls, the lack of privacy, the traveling, and by extension, the stress.
In other words, I know both sides of the election process all too well.
As I watched the news these last 18 months and read article after article of the candidates that were running for POTUS, I drew my own conclusions and formed my personal opinions. In the end, I’ll admit that my party nominated someone I NEVER would have selected. In fact, he was originally at the bottom of my list for candidates. He could have easily been a great asset to another candidate with his business experience and connections … but president? Nope.
Over the next 18 months, scandal after scandal emerged for both major party candidates. I did my homework on each one. I prayed and thought about what this meant for my family and myself. Indigestion was constantly causing me issues.
How could America want either of them? I thought. One cackles at anything she has been accused of and seems to lie about it all, while the other gets red in the face and defensive as a rabid dog backed into the corner.
You’re probably asking yourself right about now just how this mom arrived at a vote for Trump. (Am I right?) It’s honestly a question that took me up until a few days before the election to answer myself. In my state, we mail in our ballots. I sat at my table for nearly an hour before I could finish filling it out. Answering the local initiatives and politicians was quite easy. But once it came time to fill in that little bubble that would determine the fate of our future, I paused.
One candidate would support everything I am against and would systematically disassemble my rights that I and my family have fought so hard to maintain. The other candidate would repeal the actions of our current President and secure the beliefs I have maintained my entire life.
One candidate has years of experience working in politics, but with that comes both positives and negatives. She knows what the job is and what it entails. The other was a businessman that hollered out absurdities that will make your head spin, giving you cartoon question marks for your eyes.
It ultimately came down to this: Who would I feel protected my personal beliefs and the rights given to me by our founding fathers?
For me, Trump was that answer.
“But haven’t the things he has said about women made you angry — both as a mom and a woman?” I’ve been asked. Yes, they did make me upset. But they truly didn’t make me more upset than a candidate who expected my vote simply because of my DNA and has reportedly covered up her husband’s countless scandals.
For my family, the right to bear arms — and the potential threat of losing that if gun control laws are amended — was also a huge part of our decision. We hunt for a great deal of our meat on our own property in a humane and legal way. Would we lose the ability to still do that? My husband also travels frequently for his job and I’m often left home alone. On two separate occasions when I was younger, someone tried to break into my home. Would I lose the right to defend myself in my own home?
The rising cost of living and health care for our one-income family also weighed heavily on my mind. So was the issue of abortion. We were blessed with a rainbow baby after a very painful and gruesome loss, and it hurts me deeply to see women having abortions when there are some who may never conceive.
Social media has been cruel to both sides. While I have seen many say, “promote love not hate,” I have also seen many turn around and spew cruel things at others. It is not even remotely true that words can’t hurt. We are humans, we are designed to have emotions. While I am not one to want to see others hurt, I will not let someone try to hurt my family. We all made a choice this election and we did it out of selfishness. I don’t bid harm or ill wishes to any who voted for Hillary Clinton.
All I ask, is that you continue with what you so wildly chanted during her campaign and promote love not hate.More On