Sometimes, defending our Constitutional rights is difficult. If you truly believe in the 1st Amendment, then you have to defend the right of a major presidential candidate to stand at a podium and vehemently deny ever saying hundreds of things he is on tape saying. You have to defend his right to mock disabled reporters, to call for the deportation of millions of people, to even say that American isn’t great anymore. You have to defend his right to lie outright about his opponent.

You even have to defend his right to stand at the podium and say he wants to take that freedom of speech away from journalists who did nothing but report truthfully on his behavior.

The most difficult part of being an American is acknowledging that the people we disagree with, even people with no principles and deeply flawed values, have the same constitutional rights as everyone else.

Donald Trump would love to take those constitutional rights away from people that don’t agree with him. He would take freedom of speech away from journalists. He would deny due process to Hillary Clinton. He would deny freedom of religion to those entering our country. 

First and foremost, I am an American. I believe in the U.S. Constitution and in our democracy. I will always defend our Constitution and our political system, and I will never cast a vote for anyone that poses a threat to the core principles and values that I hold dear. I will never cast a vote for someone who I feel would be a threat to our democracy.

Donald Trump has a constitutional right to spew hatred, bigotry, and misogyny. I’ll defend his first amendment rights, but I refuse to vote for him.

That is why tomorrow, Tuesday, November 8, 2016, I will be casting my vote for Hillary Clinton.

I may disagree with Secretary Clinton on some policies and ideals, but we agree on many more issues. We both believe that the United States of America is, has always been, and will always be, great. We both believe in upholding the Constitution (even if we disagree on the interpretation of some parts of it). We both agree that the most dangerous thing that could happen to this country in our lifetime is for Donald Trump to become our next president.

I have spoken out against Donald Trump several times during the election… when he said things so sexist and misogynistic that I wasn’t sure how to explain them to my 12-year-old daughter. When he insulted the family of a soldier that died protecting our country, because of their religion. When he admitted to sexually assaulting women and bragged he could get away with it because he was famous. When he advocated for torture and the murder of the families of terrorists. Donald Trump embodies everything that I would not want to be as a role model for my children, as a human being. He is morally reprehensible and when I think about the principles I strive to live by, he is the exact opposite.

Honesty. Integrity. Compassion. Fairness. Equality. Loyalty. Respect. Accountability.

Donald Trump is the polar opposite of the values I believe in, of everything I strive to be.

Hillary Clinton is not perfect, but she has spent her life trying to make our country a better place the right way… by serving as First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, by making compromises, and by working to pass legislation and build relationships.

America needs a leader, not a bully. America needs a role model, not a misogynist racist. America needs to send a message that we are better than this. We deserve better than Donald Trump.

There will be a day in the not-too-distant future when history will look back on this election and draw a line. I want to be on the right side of history.

I endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. Tomorrow, I will cast my vote for the first female president, and I will cast my first vote for a democrat in a presidential election.

As Ronald Reagan might say if he were alive today: I didn’t leave the Republican Party. The Republican Party left me.