Bottle Bitches Round Table: Who Are You Voting For?

We’re one week out from election day, which means we’re only one week from rebuilding our lives after the flaming shitstorm that has been 2016 politics.

But, as we’re pretty sure we learned from a book in elementary school, you can’t go over or under or around this particular flaming shitstorm—you have to go through it. And the only way through is to vote.

More than 22 million Americans have already cast their ballots, and a remarkable 200 million are registered to vote in this election. Among them are four Bottle Bitches, each supporting a different presidential candidate, who want to take this last chance to explain their reasoning.

Take their advice or leave it, but whatever you do: vote. The future belongs to those who show up, and we believe in a future that belongs to young women like us.

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Tara: Gary Johnson

I’m voting for Gary Johnson because I am so sick of the political duopoly. Johnson is offering what the American people should be looking for, regardless of his party affiliation. He has had executive government experience as the governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, and his libertarian policies on—in particular—term limits, the war on drugs, and education are all in line with my American values.

Johnson advocates for term limits on politicians to ensure they are doing their jobs instead of always focusing on fundraising and being reelected. He wants to end the war on drugs, beginning with legalizing marijuana, to save billions of dollars and save thousands of lives every year. Those dollars would otherwise be spent on policing and those lives otherwise squandered in prison. As a future teacher, I also strongly support his policy of eliminating the federal Department of Education and allowing the states take back control of their own community schools.

I’m taking a stand by voting for Johnson, saying “Hey! We need a change in our government, and the way to do it is by voting for a third-party candidate.” With Johnson, I get two things I want—a vote for a candidate I actually believe in, and a vote to end the two-party system. Gary Johnson is the change I can believe in.

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Samy: Jill Stein

I support Jill Stein because I care deeply about the environment, and, as the Green Party nominee, Stein is the only candidate to make environmental issues a central part of her campaign. But there is a deeper reason for my support: I feel that Stein is the only candidate who doesn’t have a vested interest in continuing dangerous policies because she doesn’t accept corporate funding.The biggest reason I support Jill is her Peace Offensive; she wants to become a country that advocates for peace instead of war and I find that an admirable and vote-worthy goal. I realize that it is quite possible that Jill will not win the presidential race,

In policy terms, the biggest reason I support Stein is her Peace Offensive; she wants to become a country that advocates for peace instead of war, and I find that an admirable and vote-worthy goal. True debate about foreign policy has been dangerously absent from this election cycle.

I realize that it is quite possible that Jill will not actually win the presidential race—but I still feel compelled to vote for her. I think it’s essential that we work to break our broken, two-party system centered on moderate, semi-conservative politics. If Stein gets even five percent of the vote, the green party will get federal funding for 2020. That would be so important for breaking the two-party system!

Overall, as someone who is progressive, I feel that Stein and the Green party represent my interests and, as such, voting for her is the only ethical choice.

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Bailee: Donald Trump

No, I am not a white male.

No, I am not a bigot, or even close to being racist.

And no, I am not the first image that pops into your head when you think of an average Trump supporter.

But I am one. I support Donald Trump because I believe in my future.

Thinking of the candidates this year doesn’t always conjure a pretty image. Many describe the decision facing us as “choosing the lesser of two evils.” But while I do not approve of all the words that flow out of Trump’s mouth (at all), I do believe in someone who has the courage to say what is on his mind and cannot be categorized as the typical political cheeseball.

As someone whose mother is a cancer survivor and whose brother has been diagnosed with leukemia, healthcare cost and availability is a very important issue for me. Trump believes every American deserves healthcare that is not only affordable but of good quality, and he wants to foster patient-based healthcare plans with better benefits. As someone who is always looking into my future, and someone who plans on being a mother at some point, the high cost of raising a family is also a key issue for me. Trump has a plan to lower childcare costs. And as a Christian, Trump’s pro-life stance—with exceptions early in pregnancy for rape, incest, or cases that endanger the life of the mother—is something that weighs heavily in my decision. All of the candidates are looking at the same puzzle: How do we fix America? But Trump is the only candidate to be holding the piece I think is most important—re-centering God and religion in our national culture.

Yes, I am a female. Yes, I am young. Yes, I do believe in equal rights. And yes, I am a Trump supporter.

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Daye: Hillary Clinton

If you follow the pundit narrative about Hillary Clinton, you’d hear that she’s uninspiring, poorly liked, her supporters unenthusiastic. Yet it was Hillary Clinton who inspired me, at 16, to watch every Democratic primary debate in 2008. I was taken with Clinton: her confident grasp of the issues, her fighting spirit, and, yes, as a woman in the arena, going toe-to-toe with the old boy’s club.

Being 16, I couldn’t caucus for Clinton, and when she lost, I wished I had at least volunteered. Not wanting to sit things out again, I volunteered often during the general election. Volunteering led me to develop even more interest in politics, and it eventually led me to my major in Political Communication and my first post-college job as a field organizer. Watching Clinton pointed me in that direction. Role models matter.

My views are more complex now. I have serious concerns about our country, like many who care about social and economic justice—about U.S. imperialism, corporate power, structures that perpetuate inequality—but these are systemic problems with our entire government and culture. To uniquely single out Clinton for criticism about these problems seems reductive, and yes, sexist.

We need major paradigm shifts to address these issues. In the meantime, we need to pick a president, and Clinton will be a great one. She is graceful in the face of loud detractors. She has listened to marginalized communities and offered detailed, progressive policy proposals. She has a staunch commitment to women’s rights, including perhaps the most besieged of these rights—the right to choose.

It will be gratifying, after eight years, to finally (and enthusiastically!) cast my vote for the woman who will be our first female president—and one of the best presidents we’ve ever had.


Tara Zuern is a 23-year-old Master’s student in secondary education at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where she was born and raised. When not at school, she is usually spending time with her horses or participating in liberty events. She is a proud member of Young Americans for Liberty, and she met Johnson and other members of the liberty movement this past summer at Freedom Fest in Las Vegas, NV.

Samy Hentschke grew up in Columbia, MO and is a graduate student in Russian Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is passionate about education and works as both a teacher’s assistant and a tutor.

Bailee Taylor lives in rural Arizona where she is a high school senior and community college student. She plans to study pediatric psychiatry in the future and combine it with her passion for art to work in art therapy.

Daye Pope was born and raised in rural Iowa and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2014. She has worked as an LGBTQ advocate and organizer in Iowa and Pennsylvania and is now based in Washington, D.C. She is on the steering committee for Trans United for Hillary.

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