Tuesday, November 8, 2016

An Open Letter to My Voting Daughter - 16 Years in Advance


My darling, sweet daughter,
I write this to you while my heart swells with hope and civic pride. We are just now seeing the end of a very long political campaign for POTUS that was one of the most contentious in recent history and I am relieved it's finally over. Today, I went with your mom to vote (something we hope you will do at every opportunity you have). In the history of our country, women were not granted the same right (to vote) as men until 1920 (144 years after our country was founded), and in some Southern US States, black women didn't have the right to vote until some 40+ years later (the 1960's). In truth, there are still many undercurrents of this inequality as I write this to you today (in 2016). The women's rights movement that fought for this did so for around 70 years, to get the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution passed. We are coming up on the 100th anniversary of this and you will only be 4 years old, still 14 years from voting age. But today, your Mummum and I got to cast our vote for a great number of things, the most significant of which is the leader of our great nation. I am proud to say that I voted for the first woman presidential candidate, and I am also proud to say I did not vote for her because she was a woman. I voted for her because I thought she was the candidate best fit for the position. No, I certainly don't love every policy, every platform, nor did I enjoy the process to get where we are today, but all of that will pale in comparison to the fact that she made it this far. Like any individual/group who is discriminated against (whether by the color of their skin, their gender, their sexual preference, etc.), she stood strong in the face of that opposition. I was quite astounded by many of her adversaries who openly tried to sway voters in a political argument by saying "you're just voting for her because she's a woman" which to me, in many ways, demonstrated that they themselves weren't voting for her for that exact reason (or why else would one attempt to bully with such a comment). The bottom line is this, Hilary is the first female (candidate), and she won't be the last. Once Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, it opened the doors to many other talented athletes to be considered. Sure, #42 had to endure a great many horrific things which included death threats, belittlement, and abhorrent treatment, but he felt it important to stand up against the face of bigotry and discrimination. It's why his number is the only number retired by all Major League Baseball teams. Hilary, at worst, has opened the door to the White House to any American girl who dreams of it, and at best, she's the pioneer who could be the first elected to serve in that oval office. Dream big, my darling daughter. The world is changing in many ways, but in my eyes it's a good time to be a strong, driven woman. You only need look as far as your mother to see a shining example of that.

In closing, I invite you to hold precious your right to vote, Bardot. Hold precious ALL of your rights, which includes your human rights, which say that you are equal to every man (no greater, no lesser) as you strive to be the best human being you can be. Always stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves. Always. Speak from your heart, and I will always be here to stand behind you win or lose.

I love you, I believe in you, and I am so proud to be your dad...


5 comments:

  1. This is so beautiful. Thank you.

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  2. Goosebumps, tears, and heart full of love and admiration.

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