By Mark Naison
The Democratic Party did everything possible to alienate me since the last time I voted for a Democrat in a presidential election in 2008: demonizing teachers, privatizing schools, passing national health-care legislation that hurt almost as many people as it helped and gave huge powers to insurance companies, signed off on foreign-policy initiatives that led to thousands of unnecessary deaths in countries the U.S. has intervened in, deported huge numbers of immigrants; the list goes on. If I have to, I WILL vote for Hillary Clinton in the upcoming election — as much as I despise her greed and dishonesty and her support for all the policies i mentioned above — to keep Donald Trump out of the White House.
I am disillusioned by how many of my Republican and Libertarian friends plan to vote for Donald Trump, despite his demonstrated record of personal instability and continued exploitation of racial resentments against immigants and people of color. If I thought that they would vote for a third-party candidate, I would, too, because doing so conforms to my conscience and beliefs. Since most of them will hold their noses and vote for Donald Trump, I will hold my nose and vote for Hillary Clinton.
I refuse to let my students, members of my family, and my Bronx community partners stand alone and face what they regard — justly in my opinion — as continuous attacks from a candidate who exploits and foments resentment against them because of their race, religion, and national origin. The thought of someone in the White House willing to do that day-in and day-out fills them with fear and anger.
I will not stand aside and let that happen without a fight. Since I failed to persuade enough people who know how much Trump’s racism hurts people of color to vote third party, I will vote for Hillary Clinton.
I could not sleep if I didn’t do everything in my power to keep someone who appeals to a deep resevoir of racist and nativist sentiments to become President—including voting for someone I will declare war on the day she enters the White House.
After spending a lifetime fighting racism, I am not about to stop now.