Dear Friends and Family in the Battlegrounds

I write to urge you to vote for Hillary Clinton.

I hope you’re doing well this Monday evening and that life is good. You must be overwhelmed with TV ads and mail, and phone calls from red-necks and door knocks from liberals. Here in California, we’re debating pot and plastic bags and condoms in porn. Oh, democracy. Every few months our roads get clogged when Hillary or Obama come to raise money, but otherwise, our state is pretty much a blue get for Clinton and our 55 electoral votes are hers tomorrow. Yours, however, are still up for grabs. Which is why I write.

I have very purposefully stayed off of Facebook these last few months, even though I have been glued to CNN since April. Normally, I would be a graphic design machine and spit out logos and memes and all sorts of digital stickers that you could post to your wall to support my favorite candidate. But this year was a contest like we’ve never seen in our lives. And in the ugliness of it all, I thought my time and posts were better spent not weighing in on walls and servers and pussies (I’m never one to give an opinion about a pussy), but encouraging people to register to vote, making sure that whomever they support could count on them tomorrow.

Not because I didn’t have an opinion, but because my Facebook feed, unlike those of many of my friends, is almost evenly split down the middle. At some point along the way, it became apparent that my voice wasn’t going to change the mind of any of my 2,500 closest friends, and that if I wanted to use my keyboard for good, I ought to encourage voter turnout and participation in the process. May democracy thrive and gasp for air, as it’s being choked and beaten…and run over with a truck.

Tonight, though, I write to urge you to vote for Hillary Clinton. Yes, I’m a gay, West-Coast, Obama-loving, Prius-driving liberal. So you might have expected this plea. Welcome to my life. The Democrats were the only ones fighting for me and my rights since I became old enough to have a political opinion. They very adeptly owned the progressive social issues of our time and in the process have won over this voter since 2000. And while I have never been a registered member of the Democratic Party, I have voted with them since college.

But as we all know, this election has nothing to do with social issues. In fact, it has little to do with any issues. And that’s a sad statement on the state of our democracy. In fact, when you look at the issues, I have huge problems with Hillary — ones that go far beyond whether she used hill@statedepartment or hrc@house-o-clinton. Yes, of course I worry about her trade deal flip-flopping and her all-too-convenient adopting of Bernie’s ideas as if they were her own. Let us not forget that her husband, with her support, signed DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that banned same-sex marriage. She doesn’t talk in any detail about true economic justice, the dire need for economic literacy, or any of the income inequality and education issues that truly concern me the most. She voted for the war in Iraq, and I will never get on board with the idea that it was the right thing to do at the time. Anyone who empowered the agenda of George Bush and Dick Cheney is as responsible for the mess they made as they are. And, yes, I agree that Obamacare is a disaster. My payment just went up by $72 for 2017. I get it.

But this woman is a bad-ass bitch. And I fucking love it. She rocks that pantsuit and those pearls like a boss. She’s smart — crazy smart — and has a better understanding of national and international issues and dynamics than Bill and Barack combined. This is a woman who has been sitting and listening and working and maneuvering and calculating her way to the top, day-by-day, year-by-year, political wind by political wind. She’s strategic and patient and committed like no other figure in American politics. And she’s been waiting for over 30 years for the right moment to make her dream come true. Yes, I do believe running for President is as much about her as it is about us. But I’m fine with that. Because she’s an incredible role model for all of us. And for all of our children. Educate yourself. Be prepared. Work your ass off. Fall on your face if you have to. But get up and be who you want to be in this world.

Remember the late 90s, as the ultimate Good Wife walked across the White House lawn with Bill and Chelsea? Do you really think she wasn’t plotting this then? Don’t kid yourself. The Lewinsky scandal may have been the worst thing to happen to Hillary Bill’s Wife, but it was the best thing to happen to Hillary The Politician. Bill owed her. And he’s still paying. She moved out of the White House and into her own headquarters in New York State and began building the House of Hillary. Twenty years later, she’s about to cross the finish line, and every inch of me who had to watch my own mother humiliated by her husband’s similar betrayal — at the very same time — is now standing with Hillary, full of pride and love, shouting on the sidelines: “Go, Woman, go!” She’s a god-damned phoenix.

So, no, I’m not asking you to vote for her because I agree with all of her policies. I didn’t agree with all of Obama’s, but I still hang a “Yes We Can” poster in my home. And I’m not even asking you to vote against Trump. In fact, he has some very legitimate arguments that unfortunately get lost in all the circus-like bluster. But, let’s face it, he doesn’t have what it takes to lead 300 million people, and we all know it. I’m asking you to vote for Hillary because this woman is power. She is diligent and committed and, yes, off-puttingly persistent. But that persistence isn’t uncomfortable because we don’t value it. It’s off-putting because we all wish we had that kind of drive. She was disgraced in front of the entire world — and probably more importantly in front of her own daughter — and got up, put a band-aid on her knee, and pressed on. She is tough. She’s indestructible. She’s made of fucking steel. And, when all is said and done, she deserves to win. I would be honored to call her our President.

Good luck tomorrow. I’ll be at the First Presbyterian Hollywood at 7am to cast my vote for legalized marijuana, for a plastic bag ban, and for the bad-ass bitch known as HRC.

Julio Vincent Gambuto is a writer/director in Los Angeles and the author of “Freelance Heaven.” Learn more about him at www.juliovincent.com.

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Where the personal, pandemic and the political meet // juliovincent.com • @juliovincent

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