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I Know 27 People in Ohio and Don’t Know if They’re Voting for President
By Allison Moon
There are 27 people in Ohio, 3 in Florida and 1 in North Carolina who I know well. I don’t know if they are voting for Donald Trump for president or whether they are voting at all.
This is an open letter to those 31 people and anyone else who cares about who becomes the next president.
By “people I know in Ohio” I mean my mom, dad and brother for starters. My parents don’t generally vote, they aren’t political people.
I’m not a political person, but maybe 16 months in DC has changed me.
Long story short, my mom grew up wealthy and my dad grew up “not rich.” My dad paid his way through college and my mom’s parents paid for hers. Now my dad is rich and my mom is a teacher. She thinks it’s right to help the poor and she likes Obama. She thinks he’s nice and she likes Michelle. On paper, my mom’s a Democrat with Republican parents in Florida and my dad’s a Republican with a big, Democratic family in Ohio. But can you be a Republican or a Democrat if you don’t vote?
I asked my grandma why her and my grandpa vote Democratic. She was born in the 1930s (don’t do the math, she doesn’t like people to know her age) and learned how to text on her iPhone this year. She texted me back “we are union people, only way to go, and not rich.” When I was in junior high, I asked my Republican grandma why she voted for Bush. She said “I know it’s silly, but he comes from a good family.” My mom likes Obama’s family. I don’t know who my Republican grandparents are voting for and I’m too afraid to ask. I don’t think they are with her.
I voted for Obama in 2012 because Mitt Romney had nothing about women’s health rights on his website. That made me mad. I was happy to vote for Obama and my parents were proud that I voted. They didn’t vote. Like I said, they never do.
I have two “other brothers” that I was raised alongside in Ohio. I have no idea whether they usually vote or not. One of my brothers doesn’t like Obama and says Democrats don’t support the military. He thinks I’m liberal because I went to college. He’s probably right. I can see his point, but I support the military and I’m a Democrat. I think if you’re president, you have to support the military. But what do I know? I hope he doesn’t vote for Donald Trump.
My first friend and colleague I met in DC died unexpectedly in her bedroom this past June. I only knew her for 11 months, but she changed my life. She was 25 the morning she died, with her clothes and makeup on, ready for work. No one knows what happened. She was a Fierce feminist who advocated for body positivity. She was fat and proud and had lots of followers on the internet. She’d never met many of them, but she changed their lives, too. She would’ve given anything in the world to see the first female president. Her name was Caroline and I’ll miss her forever. She’s with her.
My friend, colleague and journalist Zack loved Caroline very much. He has autism and just got his first novel published (and it’s selling on Amazon!). Zack is the most feminist biologically male person I know. Without trying, he’s taught me how to be a better feminist. Some of my friends I grew up with think being a feminist is bad or crazy because they forget feminism means equality — I don’t really know if they are voting either. Zack and his wife would give anything in the world to see Caroline again. So would I. They’re with her.
I’m not a political person, but 16 months in DC has changed me.
My boyfriend and I have the front page of the Dayton Daily News from Obama’s 2009 inauguration framed and hanging up in our little DC English basement. The headline reads “We have chosen hope over fear.” We weren’t old enough to vote in 2008 (and also didn’t know each other), but I watched Obama’s inauguration from my Catholic high school gymnasium. I kept looking away from the TV. I was worried Obama would be assassinated. I was afraid — he wasn’t white and the president had always been white. In 2012, Matt and I both got to vote for Obama. I wasn’t afraid for him anymore. I chose hope over fear. Obama and his wife are with her.
Matt recently got a new job helping homeless veterans find, apply and secure jobs. He could lose his job if a Republican becomes president because his program might not get renewed. I’ve learned it takes money to run these programs. The president and people he/she appoints get to decide which programs get money and which don’t. Matt will find another job. The homeless veterans in DC may never find a job. He’s with her.
Matt’s from Ohio, too. He knows a lot of people in Ohio and also doesn’t know who most of them are voting for or if they’re voting at all. Many people from his hometown, maybe even some of his family, plan to vote for Donald Trump. They wouldn’t claim to be racist or sexist, but I think they’d rather see a white male in the White House. I hope they decide not to vote for Trump. So does Matt.
One of my first housemates in DC (who grew up “not rich” like my dad and paid her way through college and law school) is a child advocate for children who were trafficked by illegal organizations like the Cartel. These kids have been raped, drugged, mentally and physically abused, and forced into illegal acts. Once the children get caught in the U.S. or they escape and get turned in, they are placed in detention centers for minors. Yesi visits the kids and plays games with them at the detention centers. Sometimes she’s able to help get them out, returned to their families or back to their home country before they turn 18. Sometimes she can’t. Once they turn 18, they get transferred to adult detention centers that are even more like prisons.
If Donald Trump becomes president, Yesi’s organization will likely be defunded and she’ll lose her job. Like Matt, she’ll find another job. But the kids won’t have visitors anymore — no more Connect Four. At least four more years without freedom for these children, who may never know what freedom is. I’m sure they’ve forgotten the feeling, but that just makes the whole thing worse. Yesi is with her.
I’m not a political person, but maybe 16 months in DC has made me one. I do know — I’m with her.
I’m with her because she is with women. Donald Trump is not.
I’m with her because she has experience — more experience than any presidential candidate to date — and she has clear plans and stances. Donald Trump does not.
Maybe you want to take a chance on Donald Trump because he has business experience or you’re “tired of the way things have been in politics.” Even though I may not be a political person, I don’t think Trump is the one to take a chance on.
If you can risk Donald Trump becoming president by either not voting at all or voting for the Republican presidential candidate, I urge you to take a chance on me and on my grandma. Take the chance for Caroline, take the chance on Zack and on Matt and on Yesi. Take a chance on Hillary. Take a chance on the first female president of the United States.
I’m not a political person, but I’m with her.