To my conservative friends and family
This year has been a year of ugly, ugly politics and so much hatred. The current candidates for the presidency are some of the least popular in recent memory. The amount of hate and vitriol is something that I’ve found completely alarming, and I haven’t been perfect, but I’ve tried to be reasonable in this election. I haven’t always succeeded, but I hope that you’ll give me enough of the benefit of the doubt to read this.
This year’s politics has been one of hate. One in which the most visible figure in the major conservative party is actively and openly instilling fear, hatred, and approval for violence in his followers. He’s said he would pay the legal bills of his supporters who physically hurt protestors. He’s said that Mexicans are rapists and criminals. He’s made fun of a reporter with a physical disability and spewed misogynistic vitriol at more women than any other political candidate I can remember. His speech at the Republican convention last night was full of the same.
And his followers have listened. Hate crimes are up. The worst mass shooting in U.S. history happened against an incredibly marginalized population in one of the few public places they expected to be completely safe. A former leader of the KKK is running for the U.S. Senate. There are so many examples I can barely comprehend the horror.
Look in my pleading eyes
But I am not asking you to think about that now. I am asking you to think about me. A living, breathing person who you love. A living, breathing person who is becoming increasingly terrified about the future, and whether she will be allowed to live in peace in it.
Right now, I am in a position of weakness. I cannot help myself. I am Mexican American. I am queer.
It might sound alarmist to you, but this letter is not alarmist to me. I’m growing increasingly nervous for my own safety, and that of the people I love. And I’m in a position of extreme relative privilege: my face doesn’t betray my minority identity and I have the luxury of paying the absurd prices to live in one of the most liberal places in the country.
But how many other people do not have that ability? When the hateful people come for them, where will they hide? It doesn’t matter whether it’s a person fueled by the hate spewing from the mouth of a candidate or government employee on orders. Imagine that it’s me they are calling racial slurs, or beating, or denying entry to the U.S., or taking away to camps.
It’s a real possibility. We’ve seen all this before. Jews, homosexuals, the mentally or physically disabled, and the Roma in Germany. The Japanese right here at home in America. Countless other examples from around the world about the power of hate and division to kill, maim, or just deny basic rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of a small sliver of happiness.
Cast your ballot
I am asking you, with an open heart and on my knees to not vote for Donald Trump. I am asking you to talk to your friends and neighbors, and to warn them of the danger of letting that man into power. This request is so much greater than liberal versus conservative values. He not only betrays the very core of conservative principles, but poses a very real and very imminent threat to me and those that I love.
I know many of you vehemently disagree with Hillary Clinton’s policies and political history. You may even strongly dislike her personally. And I’m not asking you to change that opinion. But please, please vote for the outcome that more accurately reflects your values. Because I can’t believe that you think that Trump actually represents a kind of conservative value system you want in the future.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
If you live in a swing state, I’m asking you to vote for Hillary. Actually, I’m not asking, I’m begging. Because the consequences are just to severe. I didn’t agree with Bush, or Romney (I kinda thought he was an asshole). But I didn’t think that they would take away freedom of the press, deport thousands of people, or reverse legal precedent on the equality of access to marriage. I didn’t think that they had the emotional maturity of a petulant toddler, but with the nuclear codes. And I certainly knew that their campaign managers didn’t have close ties to Vladimir Putin.
I am asking for your help, because you are in a unique place to give it. We may have our differences of opinion, but we can sort those out later. I don’t know if we’ll have the chance if you don’t act in November.
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