The following message is not entirely positive, but it’s real and necessary. My intent is not tear down the new president, but to remain honest about who he is, what his campaign is still doing to this country and express some hope at the end.
If you, dear reader, promise to keep an open mind, I will do the same.
It’s true that the deepest part of my id wants the new president’s administration to implode and the GOP to be left more shattered than they were after Bush’s eight years in office. I admit this as a selfish fancy, one motivated by my own bias and narrative, but I feel it needs to be on the table, even if I don’t want it to be true. It’s just a sentiment that represents my anger.
First and foremost, I don’t blame Trump’s supporters for his election. He spoke, you listened and were motivated, and he won. That’s the way it works. In this, there are no hard feelings. So, please believe me when I say I don’t want Trump to fail. That would be selfish of me and it would do this country, and the world, no good if he did.
Before we move on, however, let’s set the record straight. No amount of success is going to wipe away the sort of person Trump is. Nothing he does over the next four years should make us respect him as a person. He deserves none of that, but our respect isn’t needed to do his job.
He ran a campaign on some of the most divisive and vitriolic rhetoric we’ve seen in a presidential campaign in generations. His plan, which worked quite effectively, was to stir up the sort of anger, racism, sexism, xenophobia and fear many people claimed was a thing of the past.
He didn’t create this sentiment among us. He exposed it, normalizing and legitimizing its existence. It became integral to his campaign.
It may not have started with his demonizing Mexican immigrants as mostly criminals, which isn’t true, but that moment sticks out.
In the ensuing months, he didn’t explicitly tell his supporters to attack certain groups, but his rhetoric stirred up bigoted sentiments and violence towards Muslims, gays, immigrants, minorities and even plain detractors.
He did encourage his supporters to beat up protestors at his rallies, though, and many, not all, happily obliged.
He also openly made fun of a reporter with a disability.
He belittled women throughout his campaign, calling them pigs and rating them. He accused Megan Kelly of bleeding out of her “wherever” because she was asking him hard questions. He even remarked that his opponent was “such a nasty woman” during a national televised debate.
He’s admitted to forcing himself on women, purposely walking in on underage girls getting dressed for beauty pageants he owns, and laughing it off while he grabbed them by their genitals.
It’s okay folks. When you’re famous, they let you do it.
I suppose we should overlook personal character flaws when we elect a leader, but there’s more to it.
He’s lied or made up just about everything he’s said and deals far more in conspiracy theories, more likely to be found in tabloids, than in facts.
He is a science skeptic and denies the overwhelming evidence for climate change; it’s ostensibly a hoax engineered by the Chinese.
I urge you to fact check all this as I did.
What about the thousands of Muslims cheering in New Jersey when the World Trade towers fell? No, it never happened, but we glossed over that, too.
He won’t disclose his tax returns, is likely lying about his wealth and lost nearly a billion dollars of investor’s money in the mid-1990’s. He filed for bankruptcy, writing off his losses and had us taxpayers bail him out via the government. Afterwards, he proceeded to not pay federal income tax for nearly two decades.
You and me, dear reader, would never be able to do that.
Several of his “successful” business ventures have tanked thousands of contractors and other employees, leaving them high and dry.
He’s refused to pay other contractors for their work, taking them to court instead, when they wanted their money.
And…all those immigrants he wants to deport? He employed and abused people like them because of their tenuous worker status in our country.
His excuse for screwing over people as he takes them to court is that they must’ve not been winners like himself.
This is what he calls gaming the system.
I could go on but I think you get the point.
This is not just meant as an angry rant about president-elect Trump, especially when we need unity. We do need to come together, but we need to understand Trump and be honest about what he did to get elected. He swindled us, inciting our worst instincts and we still put him into office.
Neither am I suggesting that his administration will enact racist, bigoted laws that persecute certain groups of people, but I fear that the movement surrounding him will endanger people who don’t fit into the old white hegemony.
I now fear for my biracial daughter, women and minority groups in this new America. My fear is not unfounded—his campaign has made it real.
I would implore my fellow Americans to remember these facts in the coming days,and resist brushing it off. This man has done some serious damage, but this is his moment to redirect our collective hate and rage. We must hope that the office he will soon occupy will encourage him to be far more than who he was and is.
So, the game is over Mr. Trump and you won. It’s time for you to leave the ridiculous celebrity behind and become president.
I don’t want you to fail, but neither can I forget who you are.
Your move, Mr. President.
A concerned father and citizen
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