And yes, #Imwithher
My grandparents are staunch Republicans and undecided about their votes. Below is the appeal I wrote to my grandparents in an attempt to help them understand my reasons for voting for Hillary Clinton and to convince them to do the same.
This note was prompted when my grandfather sent me this article, and my response is as follows. (I removed some names and added some context not included in the original email because, well, my grandfather knows everyone in our family and you do not):
Thank you for sending this article along, Big Daddy.* I appreciate where you’re coming from and understand that supporting Hillary Clinton is not easy for you to do—you have real disagreements over policy, her past decisions, her party, differences I respect and with which I can sympathize—but I worry that this election has gone beyond differences in opinion or policy.
It’s dangerous to pretend that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are comparable in any way. Yes, Hillary has had her share of scandals and skeletons, but, with respect to this article, she has been investigated, most recently by the FBI. And they didn’t convict her of anything. Her foundation has been investigated for conflicts of interest, and as hairy as some of her decisions look, time and again, investigations don’t turn up anything actionable.
("The emails, which came from the account of John D. Podesta, who had a leadership role at the foundation and is now Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, have not contained evidence to support Republican contentions that Mrs. Clinton performed any favors for foundation donors.”
-The New York Times.)
We cannot say the same for the allegations against Trump, his foundation, or any of his business ventures. But I’m not interested in debating the scandals because, when you look at our two candidates objectively—ignoring party or policy—we see one person who is the most qualified individual (even if you disagree with her) to run for president in recent years (yes, more qualified and experienced than Obama, Bush, and even her husband) and a man who has made a name for himself through celebrity feuds, reality TV, and sexually assaulting women.
I am terrified of the prospect of a Trump presidency because of the implications his rhetoric has for the people in my life and in your life. My brother has cystic fibrosis, and he needs healthcare. His best shot at coverage is the ACA, which Donald Trump intends to fully repeal should he be elected.
As a woman (and for every woman in our family), I worry that should Trump be elected, I will not retain the right to make my own healthcare decisions because he plans to defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that I myself have visited because they provide safe, low-cost, and nonjudgmental health services for all women.
For my Thai step-mother and adopted brothers and for my mother’s family who escaped Hungary during World War II, I fear that his comments about immigrants will open the door to blatant racism and xenophobia. I don’t need to tell you how much good those people bring to our families and respective communities, and yes, they are also immigrants, who Trump has made clear he does not welcome in this country.
For our LGBT friends, people you have welcomed into your home and your life, I worry that Trump's and Pence's prejudices against gay people will create a society in which they do not feel comfortable walking down the street and holding their partner’s hand, something that you or I will never have to fear. And I worry that with a Trump-Pence White House, they may lose the right to marry the person they love.
Big Daddy, I understand how hard it is for you to vote for Hillary Clinton, but this election isn’t about you or me. It’s about all of us, and a Trump presidency does not leave room for all of us.
*I call my grandfather Big Daddy thanks to my older brother. My mother's family is from Hungary, and growing up, we learned to speak Hungarian and English simultaneously. In Hungarian, we called our grandfather Nagypapa, literally translating to "big" "father" (or "daddy," if you're a child). My brother, only a few years old at the time, didn't know the word "grandfather," so he translated Nagypapa as best as he could. Twenty-five years later, it stuck.