Why I Voted for Her

I'm proud of my vote and involvement in this Presidential Election.

I didn't vote for Hillary Clinton just because she's a democrat or a woman.

I voted for her because she had the most proven political, educational, and activist accomplishments under her belt.

I voted for her because she was a champion for all minorities. I love and respect my friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family members and the spectrum of different medical, racial, sexual, and religious beliefs they represent. With my vote, I wanted to be able to look them in the eye and say my vote stood up for them - not just myself and the privileges I was lucky enough to be afforded growing up.

I voted for her because she believed in innovative scientific research - especially cancer. My dad has stage IV PMP cancer - an orphan disease. An orphan disease is a form of illness that affects less than 200,000 individuals nationwide and whose root cause is unknown. I voted for her because she would continue to safeguard my family through health insurance coverage today, and actively seek new medical advances for tomorrow. Today, I fear any government spending going toward researching my dad's rare form of cancer might be extinguished based on the beliefs and priorities of our new, majority government.

I voted for her because she respected my right to make decisions about my body - and all the other women in my life, regardless of their political or religious beliefs. Every woman should have a choice just like I have mine.

I voted for her because she believed in supporting new technologies - particularly since I work for a company that beta tests the latest in technological advancements.

I voted for her because she would have supported my academic achievements in my undergraduate and Master's programs, and not make me doubt my self worth by doing a double take of my reflection in the mirror.

I voted for her because I could picture her going overseas and building bridges with world leaders abroad, as well as with opposing political leaders at home.

I voted for her because she was passionate about protecting our environment. Being awestruck from trips to our country's National Parks are some of my most cherished memories, and an experience I want continuously preserved for future generations to come. I wanted environmental conservation to be a priority, and to not have it get swindled to turn quick profits today.

I voted for her because I felt she was the best role model to children. She was the candidate whose eyes lit up talking about our nation's history, and her potential role in helping shape its future as President. She was the candidate who would have inspired the next generation to do anything and be anything so long as they worked hard.

I voted for her because she was imperfect, but willing to fall on her sword.

I voted for her because she was the most decent human being. When I'm 80 years old, I can justify my vote for her when my grandchild interviews me for their paper on, "Who did you vote for in the 2016 presidential election and why?" He or she will be wide-eyed looking up at me - with all the facts - and enough time will have passed for the dust to settle on this moment in our nation's history. When that moment comes, I'll be proud to stand by my decision.

I'm proud of who I voted for despite her losing. Social media has already taught me I have many friends who said they were voting Hillary, only to endorse pro-Trump posts. All I ask of Trump supporters is to be proud of their candidate and their support of him. If you ever felt like you had to hide your support from a known Clinton supporter, then maybe you missed an opportunity to engage them in a meaningful conversation that could have lessened the divide currently felt within our country. And if you still feel you have to hide your true self and beliefs after a win, then maybe you didn't really win at all.

Regardless of your party, I hope we're all weary of how a one party system in this country jeopardizes our democracy. Ours is a system of lively debate - checks and balances - so concessions are reached and opposing voices are heard. Today's one party system is an eerie repeat of a dark chapter in our world history, and an unbalanced system we should all be concerned about. Yes, the people have spoken - but that doesn't mean there won't be serious repercussions within the political discourse of this country with the adoption of a basically blank check system for the next two years.

As of January 20, 2017, he'll be our Commander in Chief, and I value the respect, honor, and history that office holds. I think myself, and other Clinton supporters, can humbly accept defeat alongside Trump supporters' gracious respect of our loss in this race. Please understand where we're coming from - we saw through the media and made our own character assessments of your candidate. Yes, we know you're excited and feel heard as a political body. Please alter your perspective and acknowledge we are bewildered, heartbroken, and scared for the security of ourselves and loved ones - particularly minorities.

We can't come together without patience, time, and empathy. It isn't going to happen overnight, but it will happen. Until then, Democrats need to be assured that the best interests of the whole country were at the heart of this vote, and Republicans need to empathize as we regroup as a party - and ultimately a nation.

As a kid, I remember watching my first Presidential Election in 2000 on TV and asking my parents (of two daughters), "Why are there never women?" and they replied, "Maybe someday during your lifetime." I hope we continue to share stories of how Presidential candidates' platform positions personally affect and inspire our families and friends, so everyone can understand the full weight of their political voice in the future. I voted and volunteered for the losing candidate, and that's OK because this is my story. Regardless of party lines, I hope you can respectfully share your story too in an effort to come together for the greater good.