On September 18th, President Barack Obama gave a riveting speech at the 2016 Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) awards dinner.
During the speech, he mentions meeting people who say they wish they could elect him for a third term, four more years. I personally love Obama, and know many people (including myself) are sad to see him go. He was a wonderful president — charming, charismatic, and did a lot of good for this country despite haters saying otherwise.
But what he really wants, according to his speech, isn’t another four years. He wants his fans to go out and vote in this election.
“If you care about our legacy, realize everything we stand for is at stake. All the progress we’ve made is at stake in this election,” he said. “My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Good schools are on the ballot. Ending mass incarceration — that’s on the ballot right now!”
It’s heavily implied that when Obama says he wants us to go out and vote, and that all progress is on the ballot, he means we should fill in the bubble next to Hillary Clinton’s name this November.
Clinton’s CBC speech was right before Obama’s. It was wooden, dull, and uninspiring, especially compared to Obama’s electrifying one. Yes, President Obama is something special and Clinton would be a bland replacement aside from being the first woman president. But at least Clinton is willing to admit her mistakes, such as her hand in increasing mass incarceration rates during the 90s. She’s willing to evolve with the American public, such as her views on marriage equality.
Compare this to a certain orange-faced buffoon running who never admits to being wrong. When he claimed to have “finished” the rumor he started about Obama not really being born in America, he never apologized, never said the words “I was wrong.” Instead, as he retracted that lie, he just started a new one, claiming Hillary Clinton started the “birther” rumor.
While this country has made a great deal of progress under Obama in the last 8 years, the election of Donald Trump as president won’t only erase the last 8 years, but potentially the last 50. Obama was a step forward for our nation, and Trump would be 10 steps back.
So in the words of Bill Maher, “Am I ready for Hillary? Yes. Am I excited? No.”
Even Bernie Sanders, the Democratic candidate people were actually excited about, doesn’t believe in protest votes for third parties in this election.
In my opinion, if this was a run-of-the-mill election between boring Hillary and a boring Republican like Jeb Bush, for instance, sure — go vote for a third party. But this is Donald Trump we’re talking about. Someone with no political background who has a history of lying, scamming, and spouting bigotry. A vote for a third party only stands to divide the outcome now, which is a really scary thing for many Americans, especially those belonging to marginalized groups.
At the end of the day, if you love Obama and think he’s been a good president, please go vote for the only candidate who stands a real chance at defeating the King of Bigots. This is an important election. Don’t let your vote go to waste.
Featured image: Gage Skidmore (Flickr)