(as appearing on Medium: https://medium.com/@theburbman/dad-for-choice-and-i-choose-hillary-clinton-2b979c3e0f6d#.a4mfb37zh)
By all statistical demographic accounts, I should be a Donald Trump supporter. Middle-aged, white suburban dad. Middle management job. Living in the middle of a one-way lane toward impending retirement.
But I am not, and never could be. The simple reason… my daughters.
I am a father by choice, the greatest one I have ever made… and a man for choice. That means my daughters’ complete and unrestrained control of their lives, their futures, their bodies.
My wife and I did not bring them into this world to be subjugated, diminished or regulated to earn less than the boys next door. They are the very best of us, and deserve all the rights, liberties and freedoms guaranteed by our laws and the Supreme Court. They don’t deserve to be led by a man that would grope not only their bodies, but their spirits.
How could I support a man who boxes them in by weight and height, bra size and waist measurements? A man who sees limits and gender stereotypes when I see their unlimited capabilities, unfettered possibilities? A man who only sees black and white while they respect and embrace all the colors of the rainbow coalition?
Roe vs. Wade changed everything for the young women of my era who grew up after its passage. Women who could go off to college, becoming doctors, lawyers, chief executives… and stay-at-home moms legally protected in the difficult decisions they sometimes may have to make.
I still have so many women friends – older, wiser, Democrat and Republican – who have loving marriages and thriving children who would have had to severely alter their life’s trajectories, their current happiness because of an unwanted pregnancy when they were in high school and college. Where would they be today at 50, 55, 60 if they had been legally forced into motherhood decades upon decades earlier?
Young women and men should be able to express themselves creatively, physically sexually without government intrusion into their personal decisions, as hard and life-changing as they may be. They should soak in everything the world has to offer, not be forced to be anchored to a decision they are ill-prepared emotionally, physically or financially to handle.
I may be graying but my gray matter has not constricted with age. And our daughters cannot be constricted by archaic rules or misinterpreted religious doctrines decried by blasphemous men. Who gave them the right to tell my daughters what is right… or wrong?
Hillary Clinton understands this. When she exclaimed “Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights,” she gave voice to billions of men and women who believe in a just and equitable playing field. Where my daughters can run as fast as any son, and can run businesses, homes and their own lives.
When she said “I believe that the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century,” I know nothing I could achieve in business sector or personally would equal the achievements of my daughters and that’s why equality of the sexes is the bottom line in this election.
While I work tirelessly to put a roof over their heads, shoes on their feet and love in their hearts… while I work enthusiastically to support their educational pursuits and global dreams no matter how big or small… while I relentlessly offer comfort, care and unwavering commitment on good days and bad, only my single vote can possibly help ensure that their minds and bodies remain within their control.
And that is why I am voting for Hillary Clinton.
I am voting for Hillary Clinton because of her experience, her empathy and her judgment.
I am with Hillary because she has the foresight and insight to see beyond the horizon, and is not narrow-minded, thin-skinned and myopic.
I am standing with her because she stands not in front of, but side-by-side with the women in my life who I treasure, admire and respect.
And yes, I am voting for her because she is a woman who is for choice… and understands all the choices my daughters will have to make day in, day out for the rest of their lives.
So come this November, I will be up bright and early to cast my ballot for Hillary Clinton. I will wear the pin, carry the sign and happily shoulder my responsibility to be the father I need to be if my daughters are to have their choices legally protected, morally valued and future-ready.
And I hope there will be dads like me, shoulder to shoulder, doing the same. Because if you really love your daughters and truly support their right to choose, is there any other choice but Hillary?