By Bria Horsley, Contributing Writer
Posted 12:40 PM EST, Sat., Nov. 12, 2016
At 20-years-old, I officially exercised my right to vote for the first time. Aside from not initially registering for an absentee ballot, the process was relatively simple. I stood in line, sweating in the unexpected November heat with a proof of D.C. residence in my hand. For a vocal “I’m With Her!” supporter, I began to question whether I was really with her or if I was just against him. I could feel the weight on my shoulders to vote in this election whether I was well-versed in the issues or not. As I held the pen above the circle to make my choice, I had to evaluate what was important to me. I care about seeing America resolve the issues that have been “skated” over and set the foundation for a secure future.
As someone who aspires to live in a country where I’m comfortable raising my children, I had to side with the candidate who insisted on tightening up on gun control. Not only that: I had to think of who had others in mind when creating their campaign’s platform. Hillary Clinton, I felt, was a strong advocate for the use of body cams, while Donald Trump claimed “We have to give power back to the police, because we have to have law and order.” Trump continuously promotes laws in favor of the wealthy, conservative male. His policies include the deportation of Muslims and Mexicans, termination of gay marriage, and annulment of taxation on the rich. Of the few plans he has, none of them affect him or anyone like him. However, for me, my choice was clear. Trump’s stances on these issues revealed to me that he is a selfish candidate whose lack of political experience has hindered him from building a viable platform for presidency.
After voting in this election, I came to the conclusion that I was truly “For Her.” While both candidates have their shortcomings, I felt that there were far too many on the Trump campaign for me to allow him to make changes to my country. The power behind my vote is truly a civic duty that will go a long way. It is an opportunity to make an imprint in history. I slid my ballot into the machine and felt pride in my country as I walked out of the polling location. I realized that I wasn’t voting because of peer pressure. The responsibility that I felt weighing on me was my conscious letting me know that I wouldn’t sleep well if I allowed my vote or lack thereof to be the one that tipped the scale the wrong way. All in all, my first trip to the voting booth will remain historic in my eyes and in the country’s eyes as the results come out.