When it comes to voting, I don't think about silly memes or viral videos — I think about my kids. Right now, my two toddler sons know that superheroes help people and bad guys are scary. However, they don't yet understand that Mommy and Daddy (and all the other grown-ups in their lives) have a say in who gets to wear the metaphorical red cape and make decisions for their future. But I do.
I like to think that I'm a pretty logical thinker. Researching different points of view to seek out the truth was basically Journalism 101. But in today's world, conspiracies tell us not to trust the media and tweets are easier to read than news articles. Instead of letting those things (or family members or anything else) sway me, I simply think about my kids. What kind of world do I want them to grow up in? What values do I want my president, governor, mayor to hold dear when in office?
The answer is simple: I want a leader who cares about humans. Who isn't afraid to say, "Black Lives Matter" (and take action to prove it). Who supports LGTBQ+ rights and promises to protect them from discrimination. Who know that women should be treated equally and with respect. You know — basic human decency that I want my kids to emulate.
People ask if I'm a Republican or a Democrat, and I tell them what I believe. I say, I'm for the candidate who teaches sex education in schools, because one day my sons will go to those schools and learn about consent and safe sex. I will vote for the person who cares for immigrants and models respecting people different from him- or herself, because that's what I want my kids to do when they come across other kids from all walks of life. I support the individual who has a plan to take care of the environment because climate change is real, and I want my kids (and my future grandkids) to grow up on the same beautiful Earth that I did.
Most importantly, I am going to vote for the person who cares more about the future than TV ratings or polls. I want to know that my boys will grow up to be kind, respectful, caring adults who help others, take care of the planet, stand up for their beliefs, fight side-by-side for those who are treated unfairly, and aren't afraid to be feminists. I know those values are first learned at home — but having the president of the United States model them would help reinforce those lessons in profound ways.
Oh yeah, and I also want to vote for someone who will take care of my kids right now by helping our country navigate a global pandemic. This means everything from wearing a face mask to supporting widespread testing, protecting and informing the public, and taking action to stop the spread of COVID-19. Safety isn't an option for my family — it's a necessity.
Whether you are thinking about your kids, or yourself, or your country, it's important to get out and vote. You can visit vote.gov to register.