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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

I’m Voting for Hillary Clinton

By Phil Plait

Well, here we are. Election Day is Tuesday.

I strongly suspect most people have made up their minds already, and so it seems exhorting someone to vote for one candidate over the other may seem superfluous.

Still, let me be clear: I am voting for Hillary Clinton, and will also be voting the straight Democratic ticket in my home state of Colorado. I urge you to do the same in your own home state.

The reasons for this are legion, and I’ll give you some details below. But in the end, Hillary Clinton has devoted her life to making things better for other people, has been a faithful and determined public servant, and a large number of her policies overlap with my own.* She is eminently qualified and will make a fine president. Donald Trump, on the other hand, is a dangerous ideologue whose fringe ideas are un-American and filled with hate. I cannot abide that.

Why state this obvious fact? Because of this not-so-obvious fact: Judging from history, only about half to two-thirds of the eligible population in the U.S. will actually get off their butts and vote. Moreover, young folks—millennials, if you prefer—tend to vote at even lower rates.

I know a lot of people in that age range read my blog and follow me on social media. That is why I am being as clear as I can right now. Millennials overwhelmingly support Clinton over Trump, by 2 to 1. Given how close this election is, even a bump in young voter turnout could make a huge difference. And yes, your voice can and will make a difference. If you don’t believe me, then listen to Hank Green, who confirms this with eloquence and passion.

If you are still undecided, then ask yourself this: Which candidate would you rather vote for?

Trump, who denies science, or Clinton, who embraces it? As my friend Bill Nye says:

Trump, who has consistently proved himself to be racist, misogynist, xenophobic, hypocritical, and someone who lies every single time he speaks, and who just put out an ad with a clear anti-Semitic message? Or Clinton, who wants to fight for the rights of everyone, and who carefully considers diversity in her decisions?

Trump, who flatly denies global warming is even real? Or Clinton, who has vowed to do what she can to fight it?

If you really are thinking about voting for Trump, think about this: If you vote with him, you are voting with the KKK. This is no hyperbole; he is supported by neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other white nationalists. Godwin notwithstanding, there are very good reasons to compare Trump to Hitler.

But there’s another vital issue here: Down-ballot voting for seats in Congress and state legislations will be critical Tuesday. As I said, I’m voting straight Democratic this election, something I generally don’t consider. Why? Because the GOP has proved itself to be incapable of governing and of protecting America’s interests.

Its campaign against women’s rights, science, and reality is clear enough. As awful as all that is, there’s more. For example, Republicans have refused to even hear arguments for nominating a Supreme Court judge, an unprecedented and shockingly cynical partisan tactic.

In many states, such as North Carolina and Ohio, they have gone on a spree of voter suppression (making false claims about voter fraud), trying to prevent predominantly black districts (which lean heavily Democratic) from exercising their basic rights as Americans. Trump has publicly stated he wants his followers to “watch” (read: intimidate) people at polling locations. In Ohio, a federal judge handed down an order to prevent that … which was just overturned by the conservative 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Read that again: The court gave Trump and his followers the ability to watch people trying to vote. Given how easily his supporters at rallies turn to violence, this is very, very worrisome.

While the House will probably stay Republican (though perhaps weakened), the Senate is actually in play here. If Trump is elected and the Senate remains in the hands of the GOP, the damage it will do is staggering. On the other hand, a Democratic Senate and president will still have to deal with a Republican House, but that’s why we have a system where powers are distributed. This will encourage compromise, something the Republicans have steadfastly refused to do.

I think Joss Whedon (with help from Alan Tudyk and Chris Pine) make this clear in a very funny and razor-sharp video:

The GOP created Trump, and the voting public needs to show Republicans just how badly they screwed this up. Over the years they have become the party of fear, misogyny, bigotry, and hate. Tuesday, we can do something about that.

Vote. No excuses, no baloney, no whining, no protesting by staying home. Staying home isn’t protesting; it’s helping keep things exactly as they are now, or perhaps making them far worse.

Get off your butt and vote.

*And before anyone starts screaming, “Emails!”, just Sunday the FBI reported to Congress that there was no mishandling of classified information. Again. The GOP has spent millions investigating Clinton and has come up with nothing against her.

Read more Slate coverage of the 2016 campaign.

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