Dear Mr. Trump:
I want to sincerely thank you for running for president during this election cycle. You see, before you tossed your hat into the ring, I had become pretty apathetic toward politics. My friends and family would often hear me say that I “didn’t care” who got elected. Our divided bipartisan system has made it mostly impossible to get anything done in Washington these days, regardless of what party one represents. In fact, I have been guilty of not participating in some past elections because I honestly felt it just “didn’t really matter” anymore who won. But you have changed all of that.
You showed me that I do, in fact, care – and that there exist certain core American values in which I passionately believe! I discovered that these values had seeped so deep into my soul that I had forgotten that they were even there. Moreover, I naïvely believed that all Americans held these same beliefs and that each of us put forth our best effort to live by them at all times. I had erroneously thought that my long held beliefs were so ingrained in every one of us that there was actually no reason to even fight for them anymore.
We no longer debate whether exercise is good for you, or that cigarettes aren’t. These are just things we KNOW and therefore the only remaining discussion becomes one of nuance. We debate instead about “how much” or “in what way” a person should exercise, but that they should at all is a given, an unwavering fundamental truth. So too, I had thought of my American values. But apparently, I had it all wrong.
I had been asleep and you woke me up.
I now see clearly that I must continue to fight each and every day for those ideals and truths that I believe America stands for and upon which our freedoms are based: That EVERY person is created equal and ENDOWED with inalienable rights. To me this means that women are equal to men, black to white, gay to straight, disabled to non-disabled, Muslim to Jew to Christian… It means that we are a country that embraces and gives refuge to those persecuted for their religious beliefs… And that as long as a person obeys our laws, ALL are welcome here. I believe that in order to be the GREATEST country on Earth, America must lead with a strong yet empathetic hand and must seek solutions to problems with a perspective that is global and holistic, not insular and geocentric.
I still believe there is a lot of bullshit in politics and remain skeptical on how much any one U.S. President can get done during one presidential term, especially with a divided Congress who mostly vote along party lines. Despite your constant claim that you will single-handedly fix all our problems if elected, the truth is that all that any politician can do within the bounds of our laws, during a limited term, is to move the needle a bit to the “left” or “right”. Your power will be at all times gated by the checks and balances built into our system; a system that is built to be able to “reset” over and over again. So no, I don’t really fear what you can do by yourself.
But Mr. Trump, you have stirred a very deep, dark pot of your supporters filled with fear and hate, and I have no doubt that, just as you have awakened a passion in me, you have awakened a passion in THEM; it is their cancer which holds the power to do great damage to our glorious country.
Those of your supporters that are fueled by bigotry and fear want to use this fear to make our country forget what we truly stand for. Some are white men who seek to protect their long-enjoyed privilege and seek to put other races “back into their place”. Others are extreme-right wing Christians who want the government to champion their religious agenda by overturning Roe v. Wade and outlaw same-sex marriage. Others are those that are so afraid for our country’s safety that they would rather live in a cage that locks people at the expense of locking the rest of us in. And in exchange for votes, you have been more than happy to be their piped piper! You have given each of them a newly invigorated and legitimized voice and an honorable license to do whatever it is each of them feels is necessary to “make America great again.”
You have encouraged them to be angry and to hate. You have encouraged them to use their guns and to judge and crucify based solely on a person’s skin color, religion or origin. You have led by glaring example that it’s “ok” to grab half the human race by their vagina if you are part of the other half and appropriate to “just punch people in the face” when faced with criticism. You have told them that our democracy is a lie and our electoral process is “rigged.” And they have listened!
So tell me, Mr. Trump, where do you think all these disenfranchised, fearful people will be channeling their newly inflamed fear and rage? No-one is hopping onto a plane and taking their anger overseas to the Middle East or Russia? No!! They now see the face of the enemy in their fellow Americans. They want to stomp out anyone who does not conform to their version of what an American should look or act like. This bigotry is the true enemy of America.
So again, THANK YOU!! Thank you for reminding me how much I love this great country. Thank you for reminding me that I am an American who is willing to stand up and fight for the best of American values: those of individual freedom, gender equality, religious tolerance, diversity, compassion and celebrating our differences to be able to stand strong together.
Thank you for showing me that there are certain principles that I actually do care about more than my own wallet or more than my popularity on social media. Thank you for reminding me WHY I love being an American. Thank you for shaking off my apathy so that I now make sure that I am well informed on the current events effecting our nation and the world… and so that I will continue to fight with all my heart and soul against the possibility that a person like you will ever get to say that they are the President of this great United States of America!
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