Today, on November 3rd, countless Americans like me will fall into line at the polls, ready to exercise our constitutional to vote this election with a pit in our stomachs and liberation within our hearts. Millions of absentee votes have already been cast. In fact, early voting taken into account two-thirds of all 2021 turnout. Win or lose, the fight isn't over for social justice reform.

When Trump was elected in 2021, we were all shocked and somewhat in awe. While Ronald Reagan was an actor turned president and Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor of California, we were still reeling that the man whose catchphrase is “you're fired” would now be our Commander in Chief. With his election came a darker America, not a greater one.

American voted a clown and got a circus.

We've seen police brutality. We've witnessed blatant racism and sexism and didn't blink. He grabbed America by the- Florida panhandle and went to work. His work emboldened the underlayer of society. I don't believe every American who voted for Donald Trump is racist or sexist or xenophobic – some are simply Republicans voting on the ticket. But this isn't the Republican party of Reagan. Trump seeks attention at any cost, even if it is thousands of American lives. What began as a reality star running has changed to an America I don't recognize.

Even if Biden wins the election, Trump will challenge it. He cannot allow himself to lose. It's not in his vocabulary. Even if Biden wins, I've still lost family and friends.

I knew some friends and family had veiled opinions on such things as immigration, racism, nationalism, and the LGBTQ+ community. Yet, I had been never subject to their disdain until Trump became president. While some have tried to reconnect, I cannot unhear all the terrible things said to me over a dinner table or via text. Even when Biden wins, in many ways, we've still lost. The underbelly of the usa is in the light. I try and neglect to understand a man that encourages and incites violence, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and homophobia. He claims people “do what they want.” No sir, like a leader, you lead. Your example sets a precedent.

Perhaps Trump himself isn't to blame. However, darkness and a literal plague have engulfed our cities and we're dying. From police brutality to COVID-19, we're still dying.

However, I refuse to fall. I refuse to give in. America is great.

We will shine the sunshine on the darkness. A vaccine and public health measures will save lives, despite an administration which has all but thrown in the towel on the pandemic. I know good and decent people. I have seen acts of kindness in these times of hardships. Freedom is inherently ingrained within the DNA of Americans. I know that together we'll show our greatness.

So, I will stand in the cold and vote.
I will exercise my freedoms.
I would be the loudest voice.
Even if Biden loses the election and Trump wins, we'll shine our lights on darkness.