I have let a few hints slip, if you're paying attention - some likes, the occasional partisan post. And if you're Facebook friends with me you probably have an idea of my political leanings anyway, because you know me in real life. Maybe you were even in high school government class with me, where we teenagers who identified as democrats in millitary-heavy Northern Virginia were outnumbered two to one by young Republicans. Maybe you worked with me on Leslie Byrne's campaign and helped become the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress from the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1992. The first woman congressperson from a (fairly large) state...1992. I couldn't believe it either. She lasted one term before a Republican man defeated her.
But I wanted to write today for posterity. Maybe one day my now-eight and five year olds will read this post and think, "What was mom so worried about?" Of course Hillary Clinton became the 45th president of the United States. How could she not, given her opponent in 2016! Trump dug one hole after another with his racist, mysogynistic (and many more adjectives, too numerous to mention here) comments. And through it all, Hillary was the voice of reason. The woman with the Plans. The smart woman who was really the best person for the job, hands down.
But I'm worried, and it goes back to my title. If this divided United States was posting a Match.com profile, looking for the next president, I'm pretty sure it would be "In Search of: Perfection." Being president is a big job, so we want someone who is charismatic, perfectly aligned with our views on key issues, and a smooth talker without seeming fake. We want a Washington outsider who will be elected and magically be able to get anything on their agenda (and ours) done. We want someone who looks and sounds presidential - preferably someone tall and well spoken, but not somone who "flip-flops" or ever changes their mind based on new information. We want someone who embraces the diversity of the United States, but not too much diversity, because we want to hang onto what is rightfully ours, and a lot of people in the United States seem to believe that diverse people have come to take things away from them and cause trouble, rather than to seek a better life for themselves and their families. In short, we want someone who's just like us - except a completely perfect version of us, and someone who's crazy enough to want to open their private life up to the entire country and allow everyone to riffle through it like it's their own closet.
What worries me, beyond the impossible search for the Perfect President, is that those people who decide neither party's standard bearer is perfect enough, so they're going to vote for a third party candidate. The Green Party (you can't call me sexist, look, I'm voting for a woman) or the Libertarian. And what if just enough people vote third party - maybe 7% - and the race between the two front-runners turns into a photo finish. And Trump starts yammering about how the election is rigged, and just enough people in power believe him. And we trade an admittedly imperfect but still pretty damn amazing woman with a Plan for a man for whom there are not enough derogatory adjectives in the world, in my humble opinion.
So, please vote. Vote your conscience. But also vote for the good of the county.
And just for the record, and for posterity: