Vote, if only to save yourself

This is an editorial that shouldn’t have to be written. At this point in the Trump presidency, we as Americans can collectively agree that we have enough evidence to assess who he is and the clear agenda of his administration.

Where we diverge, however, is the actual assessment. For a segment of the voting population, Trump is the straight shooter who tells it like it is and is making America great again. But for Americans who maybe aren’t better off than they were two years ago, it’s time to take a hard look at ourselves, the reality of our lives and the diminishing prospects for a safe future as citizens respected in a representative democracy. 

The news is full of reasons to vote Democrat this year: immigrant children being put in cages; endless wars Trump pledged to end; the overt murder of journalists; tax cuts only for the richest among us, a hyper-conservative Supreme Court, and so much more.

Yes, the country is falling apart in some ways. But forget about that for a minute. Don’t vote Democrat just because of the bigger picture. Vote because you yourself are suffering under this administration. How’s your health insurance? Do you have a pre-existing condition? Do you feel safe in a same-sex marriage in today’s America? How secure is your job? How much do you have in savings? The top three reasons for bankruptcy include a medical crisis, a reduction in income and job loss. How prepared are you for any of these events? How much vacation time do you have? Stress levels? Anxiety for your own future?

For LGBTQ people, already among the most vulnerable because of a lack of federal protections against discrimination, these issues are amplified. At this point in Trump’s rampage across democracy, you don’t have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to find reasons that Trump is awful and you must vote. Just look in your own.