The phrase, “neither candidate is perfect” has been repeated countless times this election, mostly as an excuse for people to not vote, or to turn the other cheek in the face of deeply disturbing information that has been brought to light during the election.
The truth is, a perfect presidential candidate is a myth.
The beauty of this country lies in its diversity. Diversity brings a million different needs, values, and priorities. It breeds an infinite number of opinions, personalities, and obstacles. It is this diversity that makes it impossible to have a “perfect” presidential candidate.
Diversity brings challenges. It forces us to face our fears and listen to one another, to learn from one another, and to acknowledge differences without shutting each other out. It pushes us to try and understand something that is unfamiliar, and it forces us to look inward and notice our own flaws.
But diversity brings a wealth greater than all of that. It brings community, new voices to old problems, and empowering possibilities for change. Diversity brings strength and wisdom. It allows us to step back from the narrow focus on our own lives and see the role we play in a community much bigger than ourselves.
It is diversity that brings our country and political process to life; and it is diversity that is under threat during this presidential election.
No one person can placate the demands of a nation so vast and varied. But one candidate openly devalues the diversity that makes this country so vibrant and free, and believes he can fix all of the problems on his own.
He does not ask for feedback from his peers. He doesn’t try to understand the plights of those who are different from himself. He believes he alone has it all figured out.
Believing one person can be a perfect match for such a variety of different people is simply naive, and believing you are that person requires a level of arrogance and ignorance that is as alarming as it is absurd.
It is this reason that we must choose the candidate who, though imperfect, understands the importance of diversity in all forms. Pitting people against one another, belittling differences, and widening the distance between groups is not a path towards progress; finding strength within our differences, and using those differences to create innovative solutions, is.