I darkened the Joe and Kamala bubble as hard as I could without tearing through the ballot.

It’s never meant this much to me before. Never brought my under-control anxiety to the point of needing a smidge more of my Effexor. Every election I’ve voted in has been a reflection of what candidate I felt better about. But I always knew, regardless of the outcome and initial disappointment if my candidate didn’t win, that it would still be alright. Life would still go on as normal for the most part. That there would be ebbs and flows, but at the end of the day, our country’s leadership could still be counted on for the big things.

Even as awful as I felt about Hilary losing to Trump, I thought our nation’s system of checks and balances would keep things in line; the gravity of the job of president of the United States and the sheer volume of people calling this nation home, who were counting on their president to wise up and fly right, would have made the man do so. We were so wrong. So unbelievably wrong.

The Handmaid’s Tale—a preposterous story 10 years ago, feels like an actual possibility now. For the collective soul of a nation that includes people from every faith background, every walk of life, every color and creed—there has to be some united call to move forward, try harder, hope, and work for better days to come.

I’m not naïve. The Democratic Party has its share of problems with its own crew of charlatans and hucksters. But we have do a team on the ticket who can be held accountable, who will listen to advisors and the voice of the people. And we’ve got to still do our parts to follow through when it seems they aren’t delivering the way we need them to.

I did my part today and voted with enthusiasm against the sitting president of the United States. I want our country to address its ugliness and do better. I want women to have the empowerment, safety, and opportunities deserved. I want our country to be known for integrity, compassion, and intellect on the world stage. I want this virus eradicated and our people properly defended against it before another quarter of a million are gone from us. I want our leader to be parodied on SNL for silly personality quirks or vocal inflections instead of a truth that has become stranger than fiction. I want all children to be safer, better cared for, better educated. I want healthcare that makes it possible for all Americans to get what they need when they need it. I want our scientists and doctors to be able to deliver the truth without being ridiculed. I want to travel again and enjoy the beauty and culture of other nations of the world. I want this country to work in a way that Black lives matter every single day of all of our lives. I want people who are different from others to feel safe and respected and able to live their lives to the best of their abilities. I want people to love who they love and be free to be committed to them. I want our military to not be treated as expendable and for our vets to be treated like kings and queens. I want empathy and decency to emanate from the White House, not cruelty, indifference, and abject lunacy.

I did what I could and I hope you will as well.

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