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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Column: Why I’m voting this election season

After four years of a Trump presidency that felt more like a two-term presidency, I am tired. My mental state has been depleted, and my sense of optimism has diminished.

But this will not stop me.

For this election season and for future elections to come, I am voting.

I am voting because I understand that voting holds great responsibility. I am voting because I understand that not everyone has the privilege to vote. I am voting because I feel the need to fight for those without a voice.

The pandemic showed us an ugly underside of the country. Asian Americans are still facing racism due to the virus’ point of origin in Wuhan, China.

The seriousness of the pandemic has been downplayed and resulted in more than 200,000 deaths that could have possibly been prevented if the U.S. had taken COVID-19 seriously in the first place. These bouts of racism and ignorance have so far been encouraged by Trump.

To be a Filipino American working on the frontlines at a hospital, worrying about my patients and about my own safety is incredibly exhausting. I am voting because I want change.

On top of the pandemic, hate crimes have been increasing. This includes both racially charged incidents and homophobic incidents. Trump’s constant hateful and ignorant rhetoric has been fueling hatred the last couple of years which lead to an increase in these racist fueled hate crimes.

According to the Seton Hall Legislative Journal, “The Southern Poverty Law Center reported 867 hate incidents in the ten days following Trump’s Election,” whereas during the Obama administration, “there were several laws and executive orders that enhanced protections for members of the LGBTQ+ community or increased their rights in the United States.”

I am voting because I want to see this country move forward, not backward.

Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican should not matter when thinking about who to vote for during the upcoming election. It is a matter of morality and logic.

The gap between the parties has widened during Trump’s reign and made the idea of bipartisanship a foreign concept when we should be coming together to move forward from this.

I am voting because I still have hope for us to recover. I still have hope for us to heal from the damage that’s been done, even if it may take a while for us to come back. We need to be resilient. We need to vote.

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