I've never been one to talk politics, even though I grew up outside Washington DC, went to college in the capital, and lived four blocks from the White House. But this year, things are different. I founded POPSUGAR 10 years ago with the goal of giving women a safe place to learn about issues that impact their lives. Today, we reach one in three millennial women, and I feel a real and urgent responsibility to speak out on their behalf. America is faced with two — and only two — choices this election. We can elect one of the most qualified presidential candidates in history or invite the egotistical, dangerous reality TV host into the White House. The choice can't be any clearer. We have not just an opportunity but a moral obligation to make our voices heard and build a country that all Americans can be proud of and feel safe in. The only way to do that is by casting a vote for Hillary Clinton. That's why #ImWithHer.
As a female business leader and mother of three girls, the idea that America may elect its first female president excites me. But ask my daughters and they'll tell you it's no big deal that Hillary is a woman. They see women as leaders in their home, schools, and favorite books. They have no reason to believe that women can't run a company — or our country. My girls' genuine openness to diversity gives me hope for our country. Voting for Hillary is crucial to preserving America's values of inclusiveness and equality and creating a future that will make us proud. This election is our chance to come together and prove we really are the America Michelle Obama spoke about during her moving speech at the Democratic National Convention this week. "When crisis hits, we don't turn against each other," she reminded the nation. "No, we listen to each other. We lean on each other. Because we are always stronger together." What Michelle said is true. Because the only alternative to coming together in support of Hillary is watching our country divide under a Donald Trump presidency.
Voting for Hillary is crucial to preserving America's values of inclusiveness and equality and creating a future that will make us proud.
Hillary Clinton not only stands with young women on the issues that matter to them, but she has also dedicated her life to making this country a better place for all Americans. Since she graduated Wellesley College and Yale Law School, she has served as an accomplished lawyer, first lady, senator, and secretary of state. As the first lady of Arkansas, she helped found the Arkansas Advocates For Children and Families. And in her most recent job as secretary of state, Hillary carved out new ways to help women around the world. She respects a woman's control over her own body and has policy plans to make women on college campuses safe from sexual violence. Young women starting their careers know she will fight to ensure they are paid fairly for their hard work. When these same women think about starting a family, President Hillary Clinton would have their back. Some of her top priorities include paid maternity leave and capping the cost of child care at 10 percent of a family's income.
I understand the disappointment Bernie Sanders supporters — many of whom are part of our POPSUGAR family and audience — have felt. But it's important they do not discount the incredible role he played in shaping what is arguably the most liberal Democratic party platform in history. More than 80 percent of Sanders's requested changes to the platform were included in the final draft, including his demand for a $15-an-hour minimum wage and free in-state tuition for students with families making less than $125,000 per year. Those who voted for him in the primary can — and must — be proud to vote those ideals and policies into the White House with Hillary Clinton. To fail to do so would undo the very real gains and change his campaign helped inspire. Young people who might feel apathetic or angry about this election should also take note: 18- to 35-year-olds will make up 31 percent of the entire American electorate in the 2016 election. Millennials have an incredible amount of power to steer our country away from Donald Trump — but only if they decide to take it. And as a woman, I never forget the fact that women before me fought so hard and risked so much to earn the right to vote. To fail to show up to the polls would be an insult to their struggle.
And as a woman, I never forget the fact that women before me fought so hard and risked so much to earn the right to vote. To fail to show up to the polls would be an insult to their struggle.
This election presents not only an opportunity to vote for the ideals we share, but also a real risk if we do not. Donald Trump's troubling views on race, women, and immigration threaten the health, freedom, and well-being of millions of Americans. While it's understandable to feel apathetic about the bitter state of politics in America, it's not true that both parties are equally misguided. A look at the recently adopted Republican Party platform reveals just how alarming the party's positions are. Policies include continuing the fight against same-sex marriage, opposing gay parenting, language that supports "gay conversion therapy" and bathroom laws that discriminate against transgender people, banning women from combat in the military, restricting abortion access and defunding Planned Parenthood, and building a wall along the US-Mexico border. And on issues like equal pay and reproductive rights, the Republican ticket has proven itself hostile to women. When choosing Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Donald Trump tapped a running mate who has led the charge to defund Planned Parenthood and who supports some of the most extreme antiabortion and anti-LGBTQ legislation in the country. Pence also twice voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a law that supports women seeking justice for gender pay discrimination.
It's clear by now that a vote for Donald Trump is a vote for a more divisive America. But staying home from the polls, casting a vote for a third party, or opting for a write-in candidate will also make that regressive future more likely. It is imperative that young Americans who support innovation, equality, and diversity have a say in what our country stands for. The only way to do that is by registering to vote and standing with the candidate who supports progress and inclusiveness at the polls on Nov. 8. That candidate is Hillary Clinton.