I grew up in the heart of Michigan, in ultimate MAGA land. 2016 was a very intense time in the Midwest, as I watched some of my very best friends be marginalized in front of my eyes. My best friend came out as gay that year and I watched as people who called themselves his best friends and mentors dropped out of his life completely.
I identify as liberal/Democrat because I care about my friends, especially the ones that the world is openly against. I vote left because I believe in a society where wrongs can be righted. I vote blue because I want to do what I can to provide a voice and bring to light the great intelligent, kind, compassionate and hardworking people who have been silenced systematically throughout history.
I know that I am incredibly lucky and am writing this article from a place of great privilege, and I try not to take that lightly at all. I grew up in a wealthy, white family with parents that are still happily married, but I know that this isn’t the case for everyone. The reason I vote left is because I recognize that not everyone has this privilege. Actually, very few have that privilege, which is why it is considered privilege at all.
I consider myself liberal because I recognize the immense privilege I have been given, and I want to fight against the generations of closed-minded, oppressive, and harmful voices that have had center stage for thousands of years. It’s time to hand the mic over to someone who has been overlooked for so long.
There is immense power in finally hearing someone who has fought for his or her whole life just to be heard. There is heart-breaking desperation in their voice, but also great hope and immense pride in themselves and what they are doing to make the lives of those who come after them a little bit easier.
I vote left because I care—that care includes caring so deeply about this big blue ball we call home. The conservative, self-serving, capitalistic idea of consumerism makes me sick. Their goal is to turn a profit for themselves, not caring about the consequences as long as they get away clean. The hard reality is that the outcome is anything but clean.
I vote liberally because the majority of party members support some sort of action and protection for nature. They see the problems of climate change and mass extinction, acknowledge them, and (this is the crucial step) attempt to make amends in some way.
All in all, I vote blue because I love to see leaders who care about the future. I love to see leaders rise up from less than ideal circumstances and fight for what is right. I love to see compassion, I love to see kindness, I love to see intelligence and I vote blue.
By: Michaela Brenne is a junior environmental science major.