Everything I'll Tell My Future Daughter About The 2016 Election
I'm 24. I first voted in the 2012 presidential election in the state of Wisconsin.
Though Wisconsin hasn't gone red since Reagan, I felt my vote for incumbent Barack Obama mattered more in Wisconsin than my home state of New York. It was invigorating to re-elect the first African American President, who I'd campaigned for on our campus in 2010 and 2012.
I consider myself an educated citizen. I try to balance the constant stream of cooking videos on my social media feed with a hearty helping of world news.
I value our right to vote and the freedoms we were born with as Americans. I'm definitely not a political junkie (unless binge-watching "The West Wing" counts), but the idea of voting excites me. I'm the girl in the office who reminded everyone when the last day to register to vote was, woke up early to vote in the primaries and then proudly wore my "I Voted" sticker all day.
This election hits me in a way no other political event has.
Maybe it's my obsessive personality, the fact that I'm the product of a lawyer and history teacher, or maybe it's because this election just hits me in a way no other political event has.
Today, this year, and this election, makes me feel like my voice needs to be heard. Because this election has the ability to change my life, and to change all of our lives, no matter how “in” to politics you are, or how much (or little) you think the issues of this election impact your daily life.
I don't think I need to say this explicitly, but I am 100 percent, completely and totally in support of Hillary Rodham Clinton as our next president of the United States. This November, we are going to make history.
In 10 years, I want to tell my (future) daughter that I voted for our first woman president. I want her to know that she can be a ballerina, a teacher, a lawyer or a doctor. I want to tell her that she can run a Fortune 500 company or she can run our country.
When I tell her about this election, I'll tell her how I voted for her future. That I voted for equality, freedom and safety. I might think of the expression, “I voted for the best man for the job,” but I'll stop myself and laugh, because today, in 2016, the best man for the job is a woman.
She'll live in a world of shattered glass ceilings.
I'll talk of how the world was a different place when I was younger and how we didn't always have to take our shoes off at the airport. I'll recount the hours, days, months and years following the attacks on New York City in 2001, of the pure fear we felt daily, what it meant to grow up in a post 9/11 world and how our candidate represented my home.
My future daughter will be safer because of my vote, and my future son, he'll be smarter. Although I've inherited my mother's worrisome genes, I won't worry about another Newtown, San Bernadino or Orlando when my children go off to school.
My daughter won't live in a world where it's easier to get a gun than a driver license, or a country whose leader makes light of sexual assault. She won't wonder if it's the norm for women to be diminished, victimized and silenced because she'll look up to her role models, to the women and men in power, and know it's not.
She'll live in a world where she has control over her body.
She'll live in a world of shattered glass ceilings, a world where we voted against racism, sexism and every other -ism. She'll live in a world where she has control over her body.
She'll recognize diversity and welcome differences. At a young age, she'll learn about her ancestors and our heritage, and when she learns that once a man wanted to rid the world of our people, I'll show her why tolerance is so important. I'll tell her in 2016, our candidate's opponent wanted to ban an entire group of people from our country because of the way they prayed. I'll teach her that we cannot build walls to keep people out, in every sense of the meaning.
I'll share how this election helped solidify my political views, at a time in my life when almost every other thing was fluid.
When she asks where I was in 2016, I'll remember singing along to Beyoncé at Citi Field when Hillary Clinton made history and watching the DNC at the gym as a 100-plus-year-old woman cast Arizona's votes.
But most importantly, when she asks where I was in 2016, I'll proudly say, I was with her.