THE BLOG
07/27/2016 08:13 pm ET Updated Jul 28, 2017

Make An Educated Vote This Election

Michelle Obama owned the ‪#‎DemsInPhilly‬ Convention! Speeches like this give me hope that our country is able to head in the right direction.

During her speech, I realized that there's one call-to-action people aren't hearing this election season: Make an educated vote.

Emotions are high and a lot is at stake, but here are some things I hope my peers understand on the road to November.

The path we are on will define who we are as Americans.
Will we choose to spread hatred, bigotry, fear and repeat history with Trump? Or, will we choose progress, forward-thinking and education with Clinton?

Elections are not about picking sides.
Elections should not be about Republicans vs. Democrats, red vs. blue, right vs. left. Elections should be about how we want to evolve as a country and work together for a better future.

Who I am does not define my vote.
I am gay. I am Mexican. I am a Texan. I am Jesuit educated. I am many things, but I am not dedicated to one party. I refuse to put myself inside a box and blindly vote because "that's the way I've always been" or "my family always votes this way" or any other excuse for not making an uneducated vote.

Consensus: I can live with that and support it.
None of us have to like this election or these candidates. None of us has to vote. However, it is our duty to vote. It is our duty to vote for a candidate who is best able to serve our country.

Don't assume. Listen!
I ask you to listen to Trump and Clinton. You'll hear a difference. One takes us back as a country and another continues to take us forward. Swallow your pride and put aside your party hat.

My call-to-action: Make an educated vote this election.

In closing, I share my favorite line from the First Lady:

"Don't let anyone ever tell you that this country isn't great, that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this right now is the greatest country on Earth. And as my daughters prepare to set out into the world, I want a leader who is worthy of that truth."