LOS CHINGANDOS NARANJOS, ARIZONA — Ana Maria Torres is a thirty-three year old Mexican American resident of Arizona. Ana Maria teaches third grade at her local elementary school, is married, and has two children of her own. Her husband, Jonathan Torres, owns a construction company that currently employs about twenty-five people. Today, as she headed into her local polling place, Ana Maria tells us she was “pretty certain” who would get her vote for president, but she was still doing some “deep thinking” on the issue as she was handed her ballot.
“You know, I was pretty certain who I was voting for before I got there,” Mrs. Torres told our reporter, “but you just never know sometimes. You get into that booth and you start having all kinds of thoughts before you commit to voting, you know?”
Torres said she thought long and hard about the ramifications of each potential presidency. She weighed Hillary Clinton’s lifetime of experience as a public servant in which she has made some admittedly large mistakes against Donald Trump’s career as a businessman in which he’s had multiple failed businesses and filed bankruptcy on several occasions. She thought about Mrs. Clinton’s troubles with the Republican Party over the last 25 years and wondered if Congress would ever be able to work with her. She also thought about how, in her estimation, “people treat Trump like walking, talking AIDS in a suit” and that he’d likely have even less of a chance of working with Congress.
“Neither candidate is perfect,” Torres said, “that much is true. I was really weighing it all in my head, right up the very moment before I stepped into the booth.”
Then, Torres said, she suddenly felt a “light bulb go off” in her head. She said it was an epiphany the likes of which she’s never had before. One, singular thought, clear as a bell, rang out within her mind.
“All of a sudden,” Ana Maria said, “it hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m a Mexican American. My parents came here from Mexico before I was born. They worked hard, taught me what hard work and values are, regardless of which country you’re born in.”
And with the clarity that she’d not expected to have, Ana Maria says the last thought she had just before she went into the voting booth was “tremendously instructive” to her.
“I realized,” Torres told us, “I’m not a rapist. I’m not a murderer. I’m not a drug dealer. I’m a goddamned American, just like everyone else. And I have a right to vote how I want to vote, to shape my country the way I want it to be shaped. So I called my husband over, just before I went into vote, and I had him verify for me that I’ve never raped, murdered, or sold illegal drugs to anyone. He confirmed that for me. So I went into that booth, and I voted like a motherfucker.”
So who did Ana Maria vote for?
“I believe everyone’s vote is a sacred thing, and if you don’t want to tell people who you voted for,” Ana Maria said, “you don’t have to. That being said — I’m not a piece of human garbage who thinks people’s skin color is a baseline indication of their ability to work and be productive members of society, so you glean all you want from that, right there.”
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