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So I am sure you're completely sick of reading about this past election or you feel your voice was never heard in the past election season. For that there is an easily understandable reason. Have you ever lived somewhere where everyone around you believes you live your life in darkness and the opposition of what they feel is "right"?
The world as a whole watched without explanation as the states lit up blue and red on the tragic night of November 8, 2016. As the time ticked by and the swing states turned red, many wondered with the Democratic Party having so much support and millions of people backing it after eight years of great policy moves, how can this happen? Well as my article is titled I grew up in a the great state of Alabama, one of the most Republican states in this incredible union. I, myself, am known to be a fierce supporter of the Democratic Party, but I was not always so liberal, even as a gay man. The world around me taught me to view things as the Republicans did, even if they did not benefit my interests, because it's for the best of the country and the stability of those around me. That was simply not true.
The policies in place and the people around me as I grew to be the man I am today condemned me for the decisions I made to live my life all through my childhood. As an eighteen year old who wasn't as educated in the variety of culture in this great nation, I was a national finalist for DECA (a high school marketing and business competition) and I flew to the City of Angels. My trip there show me that being someone that was urban, in skinny jeans before it was a phenomenon, and being more open on policies for abortion, immigration, and LGBT 🏳️🌈 was not a sin. I learned to finally accept myself. After that week I cried the entire plane flight home. For six years following that I worked to get my courage and shake the fears everyone I knew gave me of failing in what they called "misfit island", better known to me as California. Once my courage was built I left on my way, to remove myself from living in a place where my daily life was uncomfortable to me. From paying for gas to hanging out with friends. I felt like everyone had predispositions as to who I was, just because I had a trait or two that showed my sexual preference. I was subconsciously judged constantly.
I knew in Alabama my voice would never be heard. As with most deep red states, they will never vote any way but Republican and my voice is unfortunately wasted, even in a presidential election thanks to the electoral college.
After my relocation and to California I noticed even the things I expected to be the same were quite different. The news even covered different topics, more relative to the liberal way of life. These same news outlets however failed to cover a lot of the racism and negative antics I had grown up witnessing and being a part of. I saw that there was a golden wall around the Golden State that hid some of the nasty turmoil I had seen in my travels to California and experienced most of my life.
As the election time came, I saw the defeat coming thanks to this blatant denial that not everyone has a life similar to those in the strongly Democratic states. I felt like I was in a different country. When you see this happening, it's a scary thing. To see how disconnected one coast can be from the other, and the disconnection both sides experience from the middle of the nation.
This is why the Democratic voice is silenced. I watched democracy work against itself. Not just Democrats, but anyone who voted against the new President-Elect. There's not a way to rectify the fact that my voice actually lost more power when I moved somewhere that was aligned with my views and made me feel safe.
As I had been in California for almost two years by the time of the election, networking and meeting people for work had become my strong advantage thanks to my accent and outgoing personality. In all my meetings and events I attended though, as different as each was, we all shared one thing. Most of the people I met were not from Los Angeles or even California. Most of the people I met were running from the same thing I was. Our views were not being supported and we did not enjoy the mistreatment for our views in the midwestern or southern state in which we were born. We were not happy with the future offered to us there. We were not going to just sit there and take it. We all left something behind in our home Republican states to make a better life for ourselves, our families, and to further our career in a place we felt appreciated.
This knowledge I have gathered, based on facts from hearing the voices of hundreds of people, makes it very clear to me that I understand why the current President was not a legitimate win. That my vote actually loses value because of the electoral college system, not because I'm a minority or an illegal immigrant. It's not voter fraud. It's not an issue to even be considered. You want to know why areas vote so blue, it's because you ran us out of our homes because of dissatisfaction with our state of living.
To say that because of population California voters only get 1 electoral vote per approx 500,000 people yet states like Wyoming get 1 electoral vote per 150,000 is ridiculous. Every person is made equal. Every voice is equal. I'm sorry but back in a time where it was harder to have a reliable voting system, I can see the electoral college being a benefit. But not now. Now it's just here to defend the Republican states that have less Americans in them. Even though we relocated from those states we are still Americans, even in "misfit island" California. Give us our voice back. The voice that every American deserves when voting for the future. Putting the decisions back in the hands of the popular vote for president will engage more voters and help build on the democracy we represent.
I'm not your fun, gay friend. I'm an American and I call for the electoral college to be abolished. You may have tried to muffle my voice in the Presidential Election, but I will not be silenced.
Thank you for reading and please never stop standing up for what you believe in.
All of my information is provided from research done on my own as well as known facts related to the electoral college and vote counts.
(Source: If you'd like more details on the electoral college and the power of certain states votes over others, feel free to read this great article by Slate)