Voting is a Constitutional Right

by Lorana Hoopes

This year has been something else, and not in a good way. What started as an election I would be proud to vote in has turned into a circus act. Sixteen decent men and one reality TV star began a journey. No one could have expected we would end up here. Where is here?

Evidently back in the middle ages!

Last week a tape emerged of Trump spouting more vile things about women and bragging about his sexual assault of them. Then Republicans began jumping ship, and I thought finally these people were going to wake up and realize they had to abandon him. Instead, it led to Trump stating “all men talk this way” and both men and women agreeing with him. This is a horrible generalization of our country. All men do not speak this way, and we should not be brushing it off lightly just to win.

But then there was the debate, and many said Trump “stuck it to Clinton.” Things appeared to calm down for a few days until a threat to the RNC began circulating from Trump supporters. This letter threatens to avoid the down ballot or even vote against them if people don’t start supporting Trump again. Correct me if I’m wrong, but when we were given the right to vote by the founders (said five times in the constitution), I’m pretty sure it was for whomever we please. Then the circulation of the video of Trump supporters chanting, “hang her in the streets.” This refers to lynching people, which is what used to happen to African Americans in this country. Never mind that this is completely offensive to that race and to women – further alienating Trump in the polls – but it’s completely taking us backwards in society.

Now today, I pull up Twitter to see #Repealthe19th trending. In case you aren’t familiar, that is the amendment that gave women the right to vote. Evidently these Trump supporters have been told that if women were not voting then Trump would be winning. Instead of trying to win these women over, they are advocating for taking away their right to vote. What’s next? Taking away the African American right too? They certainly aren’t following Trump. Or how about the millennials? They are flocking to Evan McMullin in droves (probably because they see what a circus this has become). Do we now only allow people who vote the way we want to be allowed to vote? Did I fall into a black hole and wake up in a dictatorship? It is starting to feel that way.

These supporters are claiming women are only voting for Hillary because she’s a woman. Let me assure that is not the case. I am sure there are some, just as there were some who supported Obama simply because he was black, and they wanted to destroy the glass ceiling. But for the most part, women are supporting Hillary because they believe in her or because she scares them less than Trump. Also, not all woman are supporting Hillary. This woman sure isn’t. I know she will probably win, but seeing Evan McMullin taking over the Utah polls has stirred my hope again that maybe we can keep them both from the White House.

As an educated woman, I am appalled that this is happening. I am even more appalled that we are vilifying everyone standing against Trump while still continuing to declare him a savior. I teach History, and today I was discussing with students how Hitler came to power. It is so eerily similar it scares me. Now, I am not saying Trump is Hitler. I don’t believe he will massacre millions of people (though I’m no longer sure about his supporters), but what I am saying is that Hitler was able to come to power because the people accepted the lie that the country was in ruins and that only Hitler could save them. Trump himself espoused this lie during the RNC when he said “only I can save us.”

I know many people are thinking about sitting home this year because you don’t care or you dislike both of these candidates. Believe me, I hear you, but I cannot urge you enough to vote. It was a right given to you by the founding fathers, and if we don’t pay attention, it will be taken away.

There’s an old saying: You have to stand for something or you’ll fall for everything. Right now our country is on the verge of falling into uncharted waters. We are on the verge of stripping people of their rights. We must stand up against tyranny at all costs before it’s too late.

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