“a change is gonna come” – sam cooke (1964)

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Finally, it has arrived.  Election Day in the U.S. is always a chaotic and special time.  For over a year, candidates square off each other for the toughest job in the world.  One by one, candidates get eliminated until there are just two left.  A veritable “Thrilla on Capitol Hilla.”  Two candidates enter, one President leaves.

I realized today that I have never voted for a white male President.  I was 17 during the 2004 election between George W. Bush and John Kerry.  So, my first vote went to Barack Obama in 2008 and then again in 2012.  With my vote cast for Hillary Clinton in 2016, my progressive politics streak is still alive.

Everyone is worried about the outcome of today’s election.   Donald Trump, as the Republican nominee, has disgraced not only his party, but American politics in general.  His history of assaulting women, bankruptcy, racism, insulting the handicapped, and the countless other bigoted, misogynist, and racist things he’s done have made him the most unfit candidate in the history of our country.  More than worried, I’ve been embarrassed.

I have been overly optimistic about the results of tonight’s election.  I feel like I have to be.  The safety and security of millions of Americans rely on Trump losing tonight.  I have friends and family that would be affected negatively by a Trump win.  I couldn’t let myself go down that dark road that fear paves.  So, with my natural stubbornness and faith in blind optimism, I’ve maintained an unmoved position that I would not be worried about the outcome of the election.  I’ve got so many things in my life to worry about and I couldn’t let this add to it.

Friends and loved ones haven’t always shared my optimism.  Polls and media outlets paint a picture that the election has be extremely close for some time now.  I refuse to believe any of it.  My belief stems from sound reasoning on polling trends and the fact the media thrives financially on a close election, but it mainly came from my unwillingness to give into fear.  If I allowed myself to worry about the election, I would contribute to the negative cloud hanging over everything and I could somehow be at fault if Trump wins.  I know that is a silly thing to think.  But, there is power in collective fault.  Worry and fret about something with enough people around and it spreads like a virus.

My stubbornness to give into fear and perceive Trump as a legitimate threat has resulted in my being called complicit, delusional, stupid, an idiot, moronic.  And these were from my fellow liberals!  How could you expect to have your candidate win when the voting base is so negative?  I fought against that as much as I could.

I’ve been more political this election cycle than I have ever been before.  When Bernie Sanders was in the race, I marched for him.  This past weekend, I was in Iowa canvassing for Hillary Clinton.  I wanted to contribute because it was another way I could positivity in my fellow Americans and help them regain the hope they’ve in the last year.  We are too strong to let fear win.

With the polls closing in the next few hours, I am more adamant than I have ever been that tonight Clinton will win in a landslide.  We all need her to win in order for this country’s voting populace to get their confidence back.  I’ve been so exhausted reading people’s social media posts and hearing arguments that are defeatist.  As much as it has affected me, I have to work harder to be positive and optimistic that things will be fine.

A change is gonna come.  Released 11 days after his tragic death, Sam Cooke’s timeless 1964 tracks has been a symbol of the civil rights moments and what people can change through the power of progressive politics.  “A Change Is Gonna Come” still powerfully resonates 52 years later as this country is hours away from potentially electing it’s first female president after our first African American president successfully completed two terms. That’s is no small feat.  It’s message is real and relevant.  Racism, bigotry, and misogyny are still rampant today and a candidate for the highest office in the land aims to exemplify and amplify those terrible messages.  While those awful things will always be here, the voters still have the power to keep them out of office.  We have the power to take that change and have it now.  A change is gonna come?  A change is already here!

Hillary Clinton will win tonight.  How do I know? Because I refuse to let anything else happen.  Plus, I’m 2-0 on voting for winning Presidents.

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