I must be really brave because I’m taking another stab at politics.

Last week I explained that I changed my voter registration to Independent. Despite that change, I still check a lot of boxes on the Republican voting list: I live in Nebraska, I’m a Christian, and I’ve voted Republican in every election since I registered to vote. But this election, I won’t be voting for any Republican candidates. This wasn’t a conscious decision. I didn’t set out to vote against the party that I used to be a part of. But after an honest assessment of the candidates, I couldn’t vote for anyone with an R next to their name. Below are the reasons I made my choice, feel free to make your own.

For President: Hillary Clinton. 

Clinton is a very controversial candidate, especially among conservatives. My voting for her may upset a lot of people. Honestly, there are few things that would upset them more. Maybe if I said I murdered someone? I agree with a lot of the criticism against her. I don’t like her foreign policy that much. She is still very aggressive and under her time as Secretary of State she continued with the abominable drone strike policy. Her emails are potentially troubling and the fact that the primary may have been rigged is very concerning. However, a lot of what has been said against her is not proven yet and I believe in innocent until proven guilty. Also, no candidate exists in a vacuum and I have to consider her in comparison to her competitor.

Trump’s foreign policy scares me more than Clinton’s does. He has spoken out in favor of  dictators and war criminals, including saying this about the Chinese government’s response to Tienanmen Square:

 “I said that is a strong, powerful government that put it down with strength. And then they kept down the riot. “

I don’t want a president who thinks justified protests are “riots” that should be “put down.” Trump repeatedly scares our allies and talks positively about our enemies. Including potentially destroying the trust of our NATO allies which are key to reducing Russian aggression.

Trump’s response to terrorism is actually making terrorism worse. First, because his anti-Muslim rhetoric only gives terrorists more ammunition and recruits. We can see same thing this already happening in Europe. You can read more about the Danish “Aarhus model” on your own, but basically it argues “coming down hard on young, radicalized Muslims will only make them angrier and more of a danger to society. Helping them is the only chance to keep an eye on them and also to keep the peace in their town.”Trump’s rhetoric also increases a second kind of terrorism. By continuing to perpetuate the anti-Muslim hate, Trump is helping to foster a culture where hate crimes against Muslims continue to rise. Violence of any kind is a problem. We cannot only fear one kind just because it is the only one that impacts us. We have to chose a candidate that helps to reduce violence, not increase it.

Economically, neither Trump not Clinton have my favorite economic policy. However, it is not true that Clinton is increasing all taxes. I can pretty much guarantee that if you are reading my blog, you will not see an increase in taxes (unless I have some secret rich people in my friends group, in which case yes I accept donations). However, Trump’s economic policy would negatively impact our economy:

“A new analysis concludes Donald Trump’s economic proposals, taken at face value, could produce a prolonged recession and heavy job losses that would fall hardest on low- and middle-income workers.”

I won’t even spend that much time talking his expensive and ridiculous immigration plan. But there is no way we can afford to build/maintain a wall along the border. Also trying to deport all undocumented immigrants “would require at least $400 billion in new federal spending and reduce U.S. GDP by about $1 trillion.” There is also his unwillingness to accept Syrian refugees which I talked more about last post.

Obviously this isn’t everything. I haven’t talked about broader issues of racism and sexism (I’m already over 1,000 words and I like to keep my posts short if I can) and I’m not even talking about personal things that either candidate has said or done. Both candidates have done things that I don’t agree with. However, despite the disagreements I have with her, I will still vote for Clinton because I believe her policies are less damaging than Trumps. I believe that her mistakes have less potential to screw up our country in the future and I trust that her experience will help here where Trump’s lack of experience will only bring this country down further. I believe that we should not have a president running our country that gets so upset over  trivial things like a tweet. I can understand why some people can’t support Clinton. However, if you can’t vote for her, please consider voting third party. There are better options than Trump. He should not be the future of our nation.

For the House: Brad Ashford

I won’t go as in depth on this one as much, but I am against  Bacon for a lot of the same reasons I don’t want Trump. I disagree with him on his immigration policy, which is basically the same as Trump’s. His foreign policy is also too aggressive and I simply don’t trust him to resist the more crazy elements of the GOP. In contrast, Ashford is a conservative Democrat. He tends to vote with Republicans, creating some much needed moderation in a governing body that is far too partisan.

Referendum: Anti-Death Penalty

The death penalty is ethically questionable and expensive. It costs more than life without parole. In fact, one estimation places it at $14.6 million per year just to maintain the death penalty. No one knows how much it would cost to actually kill someone, because Nebraska hasn’t done it since the 1970s.  Then there is the problem that it isn’t really a deterrent and there is a risk of executing someone who is innocent.

These are the main issues on the ballot where I am voting. I cannot tell you how to vote, but I urge you to research and consider you position before making a decision. This is not as simple as party lines. We need actual leaders in our country, not just people who blindly follow the party leadership. Also, if you live in Nebraska, remember that Retain means get rid of the death penalty, and Repeal means to keep the death penalty. Because logic.

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Me waiting for the comments to roll in

*Note: Cover image taken from H2Whoa! on Flickr and modified by me under Creative Commons.

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