I have never been one to follow the crowd.
But as a writer, I feel I should discuss how I feel about this election for the sake of my personal journalistic ethics.
Politics have never been something I have cared for.
We rarely discussed them in my house, because we agreed on everything.
I was taught to never ask someone who they voted for, as it was none of my business. I still live by that rule.
Previously, I have voted in two local elections, but those did not compare to the tremendous amount of pride I felt when I walked into my polling place in rural Providence, Alabama.
The right to vote is something we are truly privileged to have as Americans.
As a woman walking into the polling place, I felt extremely privileged and humbled as my right to vote is something still relatively new in our country’s history.
At first, this election felt like one big joke, where we all waited for someone to jump out and yell “GOTCHA.” But as time went by, it became evident we were not being fooled.
The two major political parties nominated Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to compete for the highest job in the country – President.
My home state of Alabama has always been and will always be a red state. But my particular area, The Black Belt, has always been blue.
The term is said to have a double meaning; the most popular coming from the type of soil found in the area.
Additionally, the area was heavily populated with African-American slaves and sharecroppers.
Some of the most important moments from the Civil Rights Movement happened in the area such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Bloody Sunday, and The Voting Rights Act of 1965.
I do not conform to the idea of a two party system because there are elements of both that I can get on board with.
I am also extremely neutral in almost every opinion I form because I can always see both perspectives.
I do not like Donald Trump.
That being said, I do not like Donald Trump. Of all the qualified candidates the GOP could muster up, they chose him?
A reality TV star, an actor, and a sketchy businessman? Trump successfully mastered the art of a bad deal.
From unreleased tax returns to failed business ventures (i.e. Trump University, Trump Steaks, Trump Airlines etc.) he has proved he cannot be trusted with responsibility. How can a man who is offended by a Saturday Night Live skit, have the strength it takes to defeat one of the world’s biggest and dangerous terrorist organizations?
He also finds joy in making fun of those who are not affluent white men.
From disabled reporters, to immigrants, and women who do not conform to his standards, he is insensitive and just plain rude.
I also do not care much for Hillary Clinton.
While I adore the fact she is a woman who ran for office with all the odds against her, I am uncomfortable with her role in foreign affairs.
I do not doubt her knowledge (as she knows more than I), but it is what she does with that knowledge that scares me.
Foreign policy is not why the Black Belt is blue, though.
Simply put, the area depends on the democratic view of Clinton’s social policy, which helps the majority of the area’s population.
Democratic views on public housing, education, healthcare, and other social aspects are the main reason why Alabama’s poorest counties are blue.
The presidential election of 2016 will be something that we one day will look back on and laugh.
But for now, we need to keep a close eye on our country and our friends.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Kinsey Haynes