Opinion, Politics

OPINION: WE CAN’T KEEP EXPECTING HILLARY CLINTON TO SAVE US

Header source: Wikimedia Commons 

She was ready to be our champion, so don’t criticize her because America picked someone else


In a recent interview with Fox & Friends, Kellyanne Conway, advisor to President Trump, had this to say (unpromoted) about Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democrat nominee for President and former New York Senator, after being asked to address those who call Trump mentally unfit:

“Look at the crack-up of the major left. You’ve got Hillary Clinton, who, Democrats are whispering all over this town wish this book [Clinton’s upcoming book What Happened] didn’t happen, that she would just either make herself useful or fade out of the limelight…Where is her bipartisan effort to try to help with infrastructure and meaningful tax reform, or the opioid crisis that I work on in the building behind you every single day? We haven’t heard from her. She failed to make history and she succeeds at making excuses, and that is emblematic of the Democratic Party now that is so bereft of ideas and issues that they have to then play armchair psychiatrists. We’re not going to let it happen; it’s outrageous.”  

There are few people that make me as angry as Kellyanne Conway, the type of person, much like Mike Pence, who would submit people to undeniable tortures and struggles and claim that it was for their own good. I have no doubt that Kellyanne Conway knows how unhinged her president is; I have no doubt that Pence knows his own bigotry towards LGBTQ people and uses religion as a blanket shield. And I have no doubt that they ignore these truths and barrel on in the face of their own interests. Money, power, control.

“Where is Hillary?” Kellyanne wonders, on the opioid crisis, women and children, bipartisan efforts. Well, Kellyanne, she is not president. She does not have to do anything. That Kellyanne would even bring up Hillary’s name, blame her for any inaction or expect her to be spearheading anything is beyond ludicrous, it’s insulting.

Continue reading

Standard
music, Politics, pop culture, Things Happening RN

IMPORTANT NEWS FROM AN IMPORTANT PERSON—Feminism, Politics, Music

So I went over to my friend’s college last night, we got out, I got turnt (away from the Lord) and so I’ve spent today just, like, chilling and centering myself and Zen-ing out and just writing in my dream journal and dreaming in my writing journal. But since I have to put out a blog every Monday and Thursday (and a recap on Friday and sometimes on Tuesday or Wednesday, depending upon the circumstances, you get it) to fulfill my end of a Picture of Dorian Gray-type bargain, here goes nothing.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

Yesterday was International Women’s Day. Some women celebrated by not working, to show how much women contribute to our society. Others wore red. The Empire State Building in New York City went red for the evening. How do I know this? I’m very rich and I live like a pigeon in the Chrysler Building and could see it.

I found some great quotes from some great feminist writers, poets and politicians and thought I would stick some below.

“Your silence will not protect you,” Audre Lorde, a queer writer, civil rights activist, and a Black woman.
“To all the little girls who are watching, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams,” Hillary Clinton, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State and New York Senator.
“No woman should be told she can’t make decisions about her own body. When women’s rights are under attack, we fight back,” Kamala Harris, California Senator.
“I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all of my femaleness because I deserve to be,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian novelist, short-story writer and speaker.

And I know I make a lot of jokes and cut emotion with humor, but I want to say this unironically. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to the women in my life and in our world who inspire me and countless others, who use their strength to help others find theirs, who are selfless, unapologetic, and resplendent in their femaleness. Thank you for all you do, just by refusing to be anything but your whole self.

THE LATEST IN TRUMP NEWS

This probably won’t be the latest, because even as I do anything, Trump manages to punt another scandal into the media.

Also, sidebar, media: how about learning from your mistakes and instead of frothing over the latest scandal, try to look beyond the smoke at what Trump is distracting attention away from. Seems like it might be worth a try.

source

Source: Giphy

In addition to accusing Obama of illegally wiretapping his phones (oh yikes), Trump has threatened the GOP lawmakers with a “bloodbath” if the repeal-and-replace of the Affordable Care Act fails. GOP critics cite among the reasons for their dissent the new plan (let’s call it Trumpcare, to grind his gears) very similar to the ACA, but keeps Medicaid expansion (very expensive and draining) among other things, and leaves a lot of people without coverage. So this is drama.

MUSIC

Lorde dropped “Liability,” the second song off her new album Melodrama. It’s slower than “Green Light,” but is super dope.

 

TELEVISION 

Game of Thrones dropped its release date for the new season—mid-July. Real Housewives of New York dropped the teaser trailer for their new season. And the first 20 minutes of the newest RuPaul’s Drag Race season were leaked and the show (which is moving from Logo to VH1) looks amazing.

 

OTHER 

I met a lot of my best friend’s college friends, and kept referring to myself as “very hot.” No one, bless, corrected me and I want to thank y’all for that. It meant more than you will ever know.

*****

okay, I think we’re done. BYE.

Standard
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:I%27m_With_Her_(blue).png
Politics

VOTE

Vote.

What if that’s all I wrote? “Vote” over and over and over again. Like sixty times. That would be pretty funny, right?

This is going to be a short post. Firstly because I didn’t plan anything to write—I wasn’t even sure I was going to talk about the election. Secondly because I believe that I’ve already said everything I’ve needed to say. I’ve talked about the issues; I’ve talked about the candidates; I’ve talked about SNL. What else is there to add?

So in my last blog before the election—an election that will make history—I just have one last thing to say.

Vote.

Vote because it’s your constitutional right, yes. But vote because you care about this country. Vote because that vote is your voice, and if you’re not utilizing your voice to push America towards greater change, then what are you using your voice for?

This election will make history because it will show, definitively, what kind of country we want to be. Will we go backwards, settling for the oppression of yore, the xenophobia, the bloody foundations of American history? Or will we go forward, foraging ahead and showing that we as a country are constantly striving for better, for brighter?

It’s easy to talk but it’s hard to take action. Do the hard thing; make your vote and your voice heard. Don’t just whine or complain or get up on your soapbox. Prove that you care. Go out tomorrow and vote.

I wrote an article for the Odyssey talking about how on Wednesday morning, we don’t know what kind of world to which we’ll be waking up. Make sure it’s the kind of world that we can be proud of. Where all kinds of people are respected and welcomed. America wasn’t built on a foundation of the few; it was built on this weird idea that you can come here to find a better life; to make something of it.

That’s an idea but one candidate will push us towards that idea. One candidate will shove us further into cosseted racism, xenophobia, and homophobia. Is that the kind of world you want to live in: a world of the few? A world where if you’re not born into a certain amount of privilege, you’re undeserving of ever bettering yourself or getting equal treatment.

Make your vote. Use your voice. It’s tacky and clichéd because it’s true and it’s painfully pure. There’s this idea that we need to protect; that we all belong here and we’re respected here. That idea is under a lot of duress right now. But your vote will help it.

Vote. Vote. Vote.

Standard
Politics

NASTY WOMEN GET SHIT DONE

Written while being inspired by a Nasty Woman!!! #ImWithHer

I haven’t said it in so many words on this blerg, but if you noticed, I haven’t really talked about the presidential election here. I write about it pretty consistently for The Odyssey, but by and large, I’ve just run out of things to say. Unless I want to pick up a different language, there are only so many ways I can say, “Trump is a horrific bigoted misogynist and why won’t you just vote for Hillary so we can get this over with?”.

But the third and final debate was held last night in Las Vegas—btw, it would’ve made the debate 125% better if they had walked out to Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas” because some classique Hillary “boogie-ing down” would’ve brought some much-needed levity to what would undoubtedly be 1.5 hours of pain for Trump, and us—and I feel like even though I might not have anything crazy-brilliant to add, I just want to talk about it.

This debate marks the third time that Hillary has won against Trump. Three-for-three, people—mark it down. And this debate, compared to the madness of the first one and the weirdness of the second one, was possibly the most honest I’ve seen both candidates. Trump was in fine form, accusing Clinton of paying people to get into fights at his rallies, accusing her of rigging the election, of controlling the media, of going into abortion clinics dragging almost-to-term pregnant mothers behind her and forcing them to get abortions.

First of all, let me just say this: If Hillary has done all these things—started ISIS, rigged the election, controlled the media—girl, I do not want to get on the wrong side of her. Let her have this election; she’s a certified witch. And I don’t mess with no witches.

But, of course, she has done none of these things. She supports late-term abortions on a case-by-case basis, when the life and health of the mother is at risk. Donald said that he would appoint a Supreme Court Justice to overturn Roe v. Wade. Hillary has not paid people to get violent at Trump’s rallies. Trump has encouraged violence at his rallies. HILLARY DID NOT CREATE ISIS. I REPEAT, HILLARY DID NOT FOUND THE TERRORIST GROUP ISIS.

This debate made it all the clearer that Trump is intensely focused on being nasty, rude and ignorant. When the candidates were asked—in two minutes—to outline their economic policies, Hillary talked about bolstering the middle class, creating a comprehensive education plan, creating larger taxes for the 1%. Trump used the first 1.5 minutes to talk about Japan, China and Saudi Arabia, before briefly mentioning free trade.

Trump kept twisting Hillary’s words. When she mentioned that she was for late-term abortions—with conditions—he said, “Hillary wants to rip your babies out in the ninth month, the day before they’re due.” Which, honey, is basically just a C-Section. So no, Hillary isn’t sacrificing to-term babies to get to the Presidency. When moderator Chris Wallace brought up a paid-for speech Hillary did in which she mentioned “open borders,” Trump jumped on it saying that she would let the borders loose and there would be hell. Hillary gently reminded everyone that the full quote refers to “open borders re clean energy grids.” So, like, remember context maybe??

At this point, I officially don’t care if you think Hillary is a crook or a war criminal or from the goddamn moon. These are the facts: Hillary is wildly competent, wickedly smart, and incredibly savvy. She has thirty years of experience. She is dedicated to her work. She has cohesive plans that she wants to put in place. She has the stamina to withstand having to be in the same room with Donald Trump.

Donald Trump has no plans. He relies on bigotry and violence. He has said that he will “surprise us” on whether or not he will accept the outcome of the election, i.e. he hasn’t decided on whether he is for democracy. He treats women horribly. He is volatile. He has no stamina. He is mean; he is childish. He is a bully.

So stop pretending that both are terrible outcomes. One person might be someone you might not like. But the other person will be horrific for our nation. I’m tired of your bullshit “apolitical” opinions. To not pick a side at this point is to pick the side of Donald Trump. Do you really want to be on that side of history?

I’m a journalist, so I’m supposed to be “impartial” and “unbiased” or whatever. I don’t care. I’m smart; I’ve looked into these issues. That also doesn’t matter. You should know by now who is going to steer our country in a healthy direction.

Stand on the side of that “nasty woman,” who has worked tirelessly, endured your shit and disrespect and judgment for thirty years, all for the love of the country that you so easily disregard while you whine. Imagine that kind of love: the kind of self-sacrificing that Hillary has done, the amount of hours she’s logged, out of a desire to be a public servant. Other opinions aside, you can’t deny that. You can’t deny her deep love and devotion to our country.

I want that kind of perseverance in the Oval Office. I stand with her, fully and forever. I stand behind her, and I’ll follow her, because I trust in the direction that she will take us. Please, join me. Register. Vote. Support. Be passionate. Care.

*****

And to end on a light note, let’s focus on the true leader of America that’s already been crowned.

Standard
Politics, television

POLITICS IN THE MILLENNIAL AGE

“Ilana Rodham Wexler.”

In last night’s episode of Broad City, Ilana, after she’s been fired from her job, panhandles in the subway, and briefly moonlights as a bike messenger—a “BM queen”—she somehow stumbles into the Brooklyn headquarters of the Hillary Clinton campaign and becomes a volunteer. She thinks it’s a paying job, but Cynthia Nixon—still playing Miranda Hobbes essentially—tells her otherwise.

The fact that Broad City, a show who has managed to introduce the spelling “KWEEN” and “YAS,” was able to bring in a politician guest spot, and Hillary Clinton at that, and not have it be completely transparent is a massive feat. Yes, obviously, they’re stanning for her, but in the reality of the show, it doesn’t feel unrealistic. I believe that Ilana would support Hillary. I believe that she thinks Hillary is for the “caramels” and the “queers.”

In a class this week, we analyzed the rhetoric of Donald Trump. Spoiler alert, it’s incendiary. But after two minutes of attempting to discuss his words, the conversation turned into all-out political free-for-all. And it made me think about what politics means for millennials.

We are often painted as lazy. Phone-obsessed. Babied. Immature. Unrealistic. Idealistic. Naïve. Our forefathers point to social media and iPhones and the Internet as making us soft. We live with our parents. we expect things. The “everyone gets a trophy” generation.

But I’ve seen how we actually are. We process information laterally. We are searchers. We are clever. We are made idealistic but we are also reacting to the grim reality of what our forefathers have left us. We live with our parents because jobs are scarce and rents are high. We expect a lot from people, but we expect more from ourselves.

And so politics is an interesting facet of our generation. It feels like the trappings of our parents. I think of Nixon and Watergate and ‘Nam and George W. Bush. This is the first election cycle where I am an adult and eligible to vote. And so this is the first election cycle where I have educated myself.

I think that people think that millennials don’t care about politics. Or that we don’t “get” how it actually is. But I think that the fact that Hillary agreed to guest on Broad City means that millennials are interested. We are growing up in the fragments of the housing market crash, the recession, the dissolution of the traditional workplace and the burgeoning presence of an Internet age. More than anyone else, we exist in an entirely new environment.

Politics in the millennial age is a nuanced thing. We are more concerned with social issues than I think previous generations have been. We’ve grown up learning about political correctness. We care about it. The Internet has brought us closer, and created a greater empathy. We are trying to get jobs in an evolving workplace. We care about taxes, because they will affect our trajectory. We care about the promises politicians make about college. We want people to succeed. We want to succeed.

And beyond that classroom where we had a passionate, intelligent debate, I see how my peers are talking about politics. We care. We see what older people have done and how they’ve fucked up. We don’t want to make those mistakes. And so we educate ourselves. We talk about social issues, we ask about healthcare, we question taxes. We inquire. We’re passionate. We’ve become empathetic, and we want to help. We want to make things better.

And so I think Hillary on Broad City succeeded infinitely more than Trump on SNL. It didn’t feel forced. It felt cool and funny and weird. It felt authentic. Because it was.

Standard
Celebrity Sunday, Politics, pop culture

WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING: FBI, KANYE AND #FREEKESHA

This week has been somehow slow on news and heavy on bad news. Also I’m fairly certain I’ve blocked out this entire week from my memory for no reason, because I don’t know anything that happened. Why did I do this? Trauma? Drama? Llama? I don’t know if we’ll ever figure it out. But anyway, here’s your lookback and roundup of what you might’ve missed while you were trapped in that bathtub a la Howard Taft.

 

WHAT’S HAPPENING RN:

 

1). #FreeKesha: This is honestly heartbreaking. On Friday, a New York Supreme Court Justice moved to uphold Kesha’s deal with Sony Records for an additional six records. Kesha was asking to have the contract broken amid her allegations that her producer, Dr. Luke, sexually and emotionally abused her for years. She claims he drugged and raped her after her 18th birthday and bullied her so severely that she developed an eating disorder, for which she entered rehab in January 2014.

I think what I find most upsetting is the fact that Kesha, in this case, wasn’t even asking the judge to send Dr. Luke to jail. She just wanted to get out of her contract, because she’s legally obligated to make another six albums with him, which she won’t, and because she won’t, her career and livelihood will falter. Apparently Sony offered Kesha a deal to work with another Sony producer, but she says that that is a placation and that they will not promote her music unless it is made with Dr. Luke. Not to mention, that if she is mired down by lawsuits, her career is effectively over without the opportunity to record, produce and distribute music.

The Justice, Shirley Kornreich, said Sony would suffer irreparable harm if Kesha were allowed to break her contract. But what about the irreparable harm caused to Kesha? What about the irreparable harm of telling a rape victim that she is legally bound to her rapist? That her career, her everything, depends on a man who emotionally abused her to the brink?

Fans and celebrities alike are gathering around Kesha. Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga, Janelle Monae, and Kelly Clarkson have thrown their support behind her. And we should all step behind Kesha. This is tragic and scary and heartbreaking, that we could live in such a barbaric world. Because it is barbaric. It is fucking barbaric that we could allow this to happen. I hope that somehow Kesha will get out of her contract, because I know that if she cannot, then the subtle endorsement of rape will have won. And it can’t win.

#FreeKesha.

2). Jeb Bush Is Audi 5000: After disappointing losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, Jeb Bush has suspended his campaign for president on Saturday. I think Jeb thought he could ride easy on his family name and easygoing politics, but that came across as bland and uninspired. And against the flaming maxi pad called Donald Trump, Jeb became meek in comparison. After putting $100 million into his campaign, he stumbled and slogged his way through the other candidates.

 

I can’t say that I’m sad to see Bush go, but I’m sad for what it means for the GOP race. Bush provided a somewhat tempering, if passive, presence, and in the last Republican debate, relatively held his own against Donald Trump. Now, the race is largely split between Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio. Rubio is expected to pick up a lot of dejected Bush supporters, which may turn the tides in his favor, since he’s largely competing with Cruz. But the scariest part is that veritable politicians are dropping out one by one, and Trump is steamrolling his way forward. The hope that he would burn out has faded and soured into a fear that he might be unstoppable. It’s like when Phi Phi O’Hara made it into the top three of RuPaul’s Drag Race, even though she was literally the devil incarnate that season. Somehow, good things are happening to bad people.

3). Hillary Clinton Wins Nevada: More political news, because now I’m a political junkie. Hillary won the Nevada caucuses after losing New Hampshire to Bernie. The votes were split pretty evenly, with Hillary getting almost 53% to Bernie’s 47%. However, while this is a victory to Hillary, it also is kinda of not. Nevada was supposed to be an easy sweep, but with Bernie nipping at her heels, it’s proving that he’s picking up steam.

In her victory speech, Hillary talked about her new plan for immigration—a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and protection from deportation—as well as slicing away at Bernie’s plans. She focused on the young voters, basically saying that Bernie’s ideas of free college tuition are unattainable, but that she wants to work with young voters to create a better future. Bernie used his concession speech to basically say that while he may have lost the battle, he’s gonna win the war. But they were both cordial and nice to each other, which is nice. I like that Mom and Dad aren’t fighting.

4). Kanye West: I feel like I literally keep talking about him, but I’ll stop when he stops doing interesting things in the media. So The Life of Pablo is out, but apparently Kanye’s still tinkering with it, and it’s been called the messiest release in history. People who bought it didn’t get it; some people were charged twice with no product. Some people—me—claim satanic forces are at play. Additionally, he will never, ever, ever put TLOP on iTunes or anything other than Tidal. And I just read an article that said that only Beyoncé putting her album exclusively on Tidal will save the flailing music service. And if that happens, I s2g I will leave the country. Because I need that album.

But what’s the most interesting is Kanye’s Twitter. Apparently, he’s $53 million dollars in debt, and is asking for loans to produce his “art.” And I say “art” in quotes because it’s not music he’s looking to produce, but the jury’s out on what he actually intends to do with the money. Anyway, he reached out to Mark Zuckerberg for a $1 billion investment, claiming that he needs the money more than “a school in Africa” and, frankly, that’s some bad karma. But he wants to lower the prices of textbooks, which I can get behind. He says that he needs the money to provide for his family, but, like, his wife is Kim Kardashian West, who is worth allegedly over $145 million, I don’t think they’re hurting. Also he’s like “I can afford to keep my family in furs, but I still need the money.”

But, to be honest, I really like The Life of Pablo. PUT IT ON ITUNES SO I CAN BUY IT AFTER MY FREE 90-DAY TIDAL TRIAL IS OVER. Pls. I’m ultralight-beaming for your help, Kanye.

5). Deadpool: I don’t know what this is, but everyone’s talking about it. Apparently he’s omnisexual, which is cool, and breaks the fourth wall, which is cool. Also Ryan Reynolds is behind the project, which is cool. What if Deadpool was just a really long, convoluted fever dream sequel to The Proposal? Could that be real?

6). An Apple A Day Keeps the FBI Away: So here’s the hot gossip. The FBI is asking Apple to create a back door—dirty—into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, after they accidentally reset the password to the shooter’s iCloud. This means that the normal way Apple accesses data, which they’ve done in past investigations, has been blocked for them. Additionally, the iPhone was set with a special precaution by the shooter Syed Farook’s government employers to self-destruct after ten failed attempts at guessing the password.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said no, that it would set a dangerous precendent, and that Apple has prided itself on its security, and to follow the FBI’s orders would negate that security claim. The FBI is asking FBWhyyyy and saying that it’s “just one time.” Also, they originally blamed the password reset on a San Bernardino county official, when it was later revealed that this official did it on the behest of the FBI. So not cool.

7). Big Ang Dies: Big Ang died on Thursday. She was previously diagnosed with Stage IV brain and lung cancer, and after a false alarm earlier in the night, Big Ang passed away. This honestly hit me so hard, and I think it hit the world hard. Love her or hate her, Big Ang was vibrant and shocking and bold and funny. She was the breakout star of Mob Wives, she became a household phenomenon, and she was the icon of my senior year in high school. I’m sad that she had to go so soon, and that her decline was so rapid. I think we can only pray that it was quick and painless and that her family will, someday, be okay.

Side bar: I went digging through my old blog and the archives of old photos, until I found a cartoon I had drawn of Big Ang my senior year. I’ve been a Big Ang stan since 2013.

Rest in peace.

*****

This has been sort of a heavy news week, but it sometimes can’t be avoided. The world can be a really tough place, and not even I can spin it into something with levity all the time. But I think that that’s a good thing—that some things aren’t meant to be touched by comedy. Some things are just sad. Singularly heartbreakingly sad.

I hope that everyone who reads my blog has a nice week coming up. I hope everyone who doesn’t read my blog burns their tongues on a really hot Starbucks latte. But they won’t even know it’s coming because they don’t read my blog.

Also, to end things on a nostalgic, lighter note, here are some photos I found while digging through my past. Revel in High School Me. Also I’ve been looking through the photos and there are an uncomfortable amount of photos of hot guys that I’ve just saved to my computer. What was I saving them for?

 

Standard
Politics

THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY

On Tuesday in the New Hampshire primary, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump emerged victorious for their respective parties. Trump won 35.3% of the vote, with John Kasich following behind with 15.8% and Ted Cruz with 11.7%. Sanders won 60.4% of the vote, with Hillary getting 38.0%.

I was originally pro-Hillary, but as Bernie has risen in the polls and I have learned more about him and his politics, I have begun to research him and his politics, and I find that I agree with him on a lot of issues. And I think it was actually Bernie who said it best when, at the end of the Democratic debate against Hillary, he said that either he or Hillary would make a better choice for the country than a Republican. And I don’t even necessarily agree with that, but I do agree with his respect and general classiness towards Hillary and towards the entire presidential race. If he won the nomination, I would be sad because I support Hillary, but I wouldn’t be distraught.

A few weeks before the election, I went to a local bus station in Boston and interviewed New Hampshire residents about the upcoming primary. I asked them primarily why they thought Donald Trump was so popular, and whether or not that popularity would translate into votes in the election.

The answers were interesting. He was popular because of name recognition—The Apprentice—because of his strong opinions about border control and ISIS. Because he wasn’t a pushover. Because he wasn’t a career politician.

(Also this a total side note, but why is it bad if the President is a career politician? I know that the government can be corrupt sometimes, but in general, I want to believe that the people who dedicate their lives to civil service are doing it out of a desire to be helpful to their country. So what if someone has spent their career in politics? Shouldn’t they be well-versed in politics if they’re going to be, like, the head person in politics? I need someone to explain to me why that would be a bad thing.)

Most people laughed—uncomfortably—and said that while he was popular, they hoped that he wouldn’t gain votes in the election. As a journalist, I don’t think I’m supposed to have any sort of opinion, but I’m a bad journalist and a good human, and it makes me distinctly uncomfortable to know that Trump has the majority vote in New Hampshire.

I will be the first to admit that I don’t know everything about politics. I probably know 15% of what there is to know, but as a millennial coming to age in America in 2016, it’s fucking terrifying to think that a celebrity bully could garner the majority in any state. And that’s what Trump is; he’s a bully. He’s a bulldozing, immature, graceless bully, who’s used to getting what he wants.

Personally, I look at a few categories to see what I need to know about a candidate: civil rights, tax reform, gun control, abortion and drugs. As of October 2015, Trump would move to defund Planned Parenthood. Only a few months previous, he said that in general, he supported Planned Parenthood, but that abortions needed to stop. In a few short months, he went from qualifying to outright damning.

On same-sex marriage, Trump says it’s fine “for now.” But that, frankly, threatening statement is almost more terrifying than an outright damnation of same-sex marriage. At least with people who outright oppose it, I know where they stand. With Trump’s “for now,” I have the feeling that like a villain in a movie series, it’ll rear its head in the near future and come back with a vengeance.

I find it scary that I can live in a country where the leading presidential candidate for his party can propose to take away basic human rights—that we just got—and that that is not an immediate deal-breaker. How would people react if Trump tried to re-segregate schools? Or take away women’s votes? By threatening to take away one group’s civil liberties, it shadows over everyone’s civil liberties. Because when Trump threatens same-sex marriage, he challenges the idea that these basic human rights are up for negotiation.

It’s a common fact that to run for president, candidates often become more radical and more of an outlier than they would normally. And so it’s not necessarily surprising that the far-left option—Sanders—and the far-right option—Trump—gained the votes in New Hampshire. What is surprising is that we are allowing Trump to gain strength and momentum.

I want two nominees who are respectful and strong in their opinions and classy. I want nominees who respect the general population, who protect my civil liberty and who have my best interest at heart. I wouldn’t be comfortable if Trump gained the nomination. I would be afraid. What country has a leader who is banned from entering other countries—like the UK and Canada? What country has a leader who proposes banning an entire religious group, branding them as terrorists? What country has a leader who labels an entire population entering the country as rapists, criminals, and terrorists?

By engaging in hate-speech and fear mongering, Trump proves that he is not in this race for the interest of the people. I want nominees who, if they get into office, I wouldn’t have to worry about what would happen to me, or my friends, or my peers. I want a President who, even if we have differing politics, I can trust to protect me on the most basic levels. We shouldn’t live under the threat of something happening to us. And this isn’t just worrisome for same-sex couples, or Muslims, or Mexicans. This affects all of us. Because who our President is says who our country is. We can’t have a country that casts doubt and aspersions onto vast swaths of its population. We can’t have a country that threatens to take away the most basic, human rights.

And so as the primaries continue and the race gets tighter, I suppose my plea is this. Educate yourselves on the candidates. Educate yourselves on who they are, what they stand for. Separate yourself from the hate-speech, the fear mongering, and the emotional tugs at “a greater America.” Acknowledge that candidates, any candidates, will use things like ISIS and marijuana and gun control and hide behind bluster and savage words and strong promises. Separate the magic from the material. Seek the truth, and make smart decisions.

Standard