I'm a young conservative woman and I'm still voting for Trump
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With each new scandal this election, voters ask themselves if they are really picking the lesser of two evils. The recently released recordings of Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE have invoked this once again. His supporters need to determine if he still deserves their vote.

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As a young woman, Trump’s words forced me to question if I could still support him. Approaching a woman and grabbing her genitals without consent is sexual assault, there is no debate there. However, it is not clear if Trump was fixated on boosting his own ego around another male with “locker room” banter or if he actually did assault a woman in this way.

There is no excuse for the words spoken by Trump on the 11-year-old recording. “Locker room talk” or not, it was wrong and deserved the sincere apology Trump gave early Saturday morning.

During the fallout, dozens of high-ranking Republicans expressed their outrage and pulled their support from Trump. It seemed to me, that this campaign crashed and burned and had no chance of being saved.

What Trump said did not align with my moral values and I was ready to not vote for either candidate and focus on the down-ballot elections.

I turned on the second debate with a pessimistic attitude; like many others, I thought Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bernie Sanders records announcement video ahead of possible 2020 bid Overnight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants MORE had already won. And when I saw Trump walk onto the debate stage he seemed defeated, low-energy, and tired. It was noticeable in his body language and his facial expressions. But then Trump did something that changed everything — he apologized to the American people and went on the offensive, thus changing the focus of the debate to Hillary and all her flaws.

Unlike in the first debate, Trump shined by appealing to his base and taking off the gloves. He went after Clinton head-on by mentioning George Soros, Benghazi, the deleted emails, the infidelities of her husband and Clinton attacking the women who accuse Bill of raping or sexually assaulting them.

And Trump noticeably shook Hillary by staying on offense and not wasting his two-minute response time solely defending himself.

The most memorable moment was certainly the last question: “Would either of you name one positive thing you respect in one another?”

Clinton answered the question posed to her in about 30 seconds by saying she likes Trump’s children. The rest of her time she spent off topic ranting about the importance of this election and the vast amount of time she has been in the public sector.

When it was Trump’s turn, he answered the question head on. He said Hillary is a fighter and does not give up — something the majority of Americans can agree with after her lengthy public service record and long battles to remain in the public sphere despite her numerous scandals.

Trump answered this question with class and displaying the straight-forward attitude that he carried throughout the entire debate, something desperately needed to save his campaign. Overall, this question highlighted the massive divide in our country, and for once, it’s not partisan but a three-way divide: Democrats, the #NeverTrump establishment, and those who support Trump.

As sincere as Trump’s apology appears it is not likely he will be easily forgiven. It is likely more videos will arise, and more women will speak up about Trump’s foul words towards them — indeed, they already have. Voters need to determine what is more important — words or actions.

We should be cautious of allegations arising with only three weeks left until the election. Any accusations of Trump engaging in sexual assault bubbling up just before November can be seen as political weapons intended to smear his presidential race. If these accusations are true, why were they not exposed earlier?

While I believe our president should be held to the highest moral standards, British politician Nigel Farage said it well: “Trump is running for president, not Pope.”

Regardless, neither candidate morally aligns with the majority of the American citizens. One is dishonest, and one is egotistic.

After the debate, Trump came down hard on the GOP:

It is clear that the Trump campaign is using this tactic to appeal to voters frustrated with the establishment as a whole. And many Republicans have said this all along: Trump is in this election to win it for himself, not to help the Republican Party. But this makes me question if Trump understands that, if elected, he will need a Congress that supports him if he wishes to make any serious change. Attacking the GOP not only hurts his chances of winning, but hurts his chances of being an effective president.

The recording of Trump consumed the media so heavily that the recently released Clinton-related emails by WikiLeaks have hardly received any attention.

These emails, if credible, are more severe than any we have seen. They feature top Clinton staff insulting Catholics and Hispanics, as well as Clinton receiving help from a DNC official who informed Clinton of a question ahead of time during the primaries. An additional email even suggests that the Clinton campaign was in contact with the DOJ about the email investigation, which the Trump campaign claims “shows a level of collusion”.

In addition to the emails, the leaked transcripts of Hillary’s paid speeches at financial institutions are also concerning. She told the private audience that politicians “need both a public and a private position.” This furthers my distrust for Clinton and strengthens Trump’s argument that she is a crooked politician.

With the recordings giving both Republicans and Democrats more ammo to use against Trump, and with Trump attacking the party who gave him his nomination, it is clear this election is like nothing ever seen before.

Overall, as a young person who has just reached the age to vote, I am ashamed that my first time voting for president will be in an election with the two most unfavorable candidates in American history. However, after weighing the pros and cons and analyzing the Wikileaks emails, Trump still has my vote.

I’m picking who I consider the lesser to two evils, the rest of America will have to do the same.

Dillon is a junior at Mount Holyoke College studying International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies. She is the MHC College Republican President, the Massachusetts YAL state chair, and she is also the founder of LoneConservative.com She can be found on Twitter at @KassyDillon.


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