A lot has been said about history this election season. Some say we have historically bad choices. Some say we should make history by electing the first woman president. Some say Utah should make history by being the first state to give electoral college votes to an independent candidate.
A lot has also been said about fear. We should fear Donald Trump because he is a loose cannon. We should fear Hillary Clinton because she is deeply corrupt. We should fear Evan McMullin because he is a plant or a traitor.
But with the election finally here, we have a choice. The rhetoric has reached a fever pitch, but it all ends in the voting booth. We can choose to vote based on the history we hope to make or based on fear of one candidate or another or a third.
Or we can vote based on hope.
I choose hope. I don’t choose blind hope. I choose studied, considered, deeply pondered hope. In the grand scheme, I believe historically bad elections can become just that – history. We will survive this and continue to move forward as a nation, even if not in the ways and directions all citizens prefer. That’s actually how it works. One side will lose and be mad and demand answers – and then we’ll move on. This election will become a line in a history book. Hopefully it will be studied and understood and learned from. But it will be history nonetheless.
In the immediate scheme, I believe whatever candidate each one of us chooses should be based on our hopes and dreams for the future, not on history and fear. I hope we each deeply reflect on which candidate gives us that hope. For some, the fact that Hillary Clinton is a woman is all the hope they need to cast a vote for her. For others, the fact that Donald Trump says whatever he wants is all the hope they need to vote for him. For others, Evan McMullin’s last-minute entry is as “American” as it gets and that’s all the hope they need to vote for him.
Whatever gives you hope, I deeply pray that “hope” is your motivation when you cast your ballot. Please don’t vote out of fear. Please don’t vote just to make history. Please don’t vote to stick it to one side or another. Please vote with hope.
For me, I find that hope in Evan McMullin. I am registered independent, and I do believe his Hail Mary bid for president is about the most patriotic thing a person could have done. I have studied and watched and listened and considered my options, and for me, hope comes from a campaign built on core American values I believe know no party lines and know no partisan arguments. I am not a sheeple or a member of the mafia or a Mormon sucker. I’m an educated voter and I will vote for Evan McMullin because he gives me hope in the future of this nation.
And it’s o.k. that others will vote for someone else. I just hope that in our hearts and souls we can say we voted not out of fear nor in order to make history. I hope we can say we voted for hope in our future. As a nation, we are more good than we are bad, and we want what is best for America. And that is truly hopeful.
Whatever candidate brings hope to your heart, that’s who you should vote for. And if we let hope rise above fear, then we will win.