Today I vote for…

I have never been nervous before. Not for an election. But today I am. Because at stake are principles I cannot ignore. Today I will vote. Here’s why:

1. Today I vote for health care. Because I am a physician and I support the ACA. And because no one deserves to go broke just because they were unfortunate enough to get sick.

2. Today I vote for women. Because no one should tell me how to manage my body, or your body, or your daughter’s body.  And because I work just as hard as men do and I deserve 100% of the pay they get.

3. Today I vote for my gay friends. Sorry, let me rephrase, today I vote for my friends. Because it matters not one bit that they are gay. They are people, and they are my friends. And they have kids – beautiful, happy, thoughtful, smart, and well-adjusted kids. And they have families and relationships and love. And because no one has the right to tell them how to live their lives.

4. Today I vote for optimism. Because I want my children to grow up in a world where these values are celebrated, in a country where we are not denigrated for how we look, whom we love, or what we believe, but rather celebrated for how we behave and how we treat others.

I acknowledge that you will vote based on the issues which matter most to you. And you should. For some it may be the environment, clean energy, or the economy, gay marriage, health care, or women’s rights. Whatever your opinions, recognize that we are fortunate to live in a place where we have that luxury, where we are free to choose, free to vote without threat of violence, and without regard to skin color or gender. Not every one in every place is so fortunate. Even here, many will not voice their opinions today. Don’t be one of them. Whatever issues matter to you, make your voice heard.

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