I am writing to you because for four years, you have worked tirelessly to upend policies, progressive legislature, and diplomatic relationships with our foreign allies. Your administration is packed full of people who have no prior experience with their career field (like Betsy DeVos), yet they hold some of the most powerful political positions our country has to offer.
A businessman by trade, you understand how to sell things. Whether that is a fraudulent university or your failed attempt at an airline company, each business venture has been packaged with positive idealism and grandly displayed to your loyal customers. However, what follows, and what always will follow your large endeavors, is failure. Take the two class-action lawsuits in California related to Trump University, or your three filings for bankruptcy on your Atlantic City properties as examples of such.
This presidency is no different. You ran for office offering empty promises to your customers of “let’s make America great again,” but you failed to realize what makes America great. But I am not quite ready to talk about that just yet. I have to give some background information.
America is riddled with problems. We are so divided politically that the future of this country is uncertain. We are one of the youngest countries, but we have the oldest unedited constitution worldwide. This country was built on the backs of slavery and cultural genocide of Native America peoples. You probably won’t understand this, because it takes a kind of empathy that I don’t think you possess, but needless to say, I will continue. Our country was created by people looking for a better life for themselves and their loved ones. They traveled oceans to get to these shores and attempted to create a country that was equal for all people (unless you were a person of color, Native American, or a woman).
Since the writing of our constitution at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, our country has proceeded to progress as a society in the “two steps forward, one step backwards” kind of way. January 31st, 1865, the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery was passed through congress: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Yet the segregation of people of color in the US and lynchings of Black individuals continued well into the 20th century. August 18th, 1920, the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote was ratified: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Yet women of color and Native American women weren’t allowed to vote until the latter part of the 1900s. July 26th, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) preventing discrimination for people with disabilities was passed. June 26th, 2015, same-sex marriage was legalized in all fifty states.
This is what makes our country great. We have kind, caring, big-hearted people who are dedicated to fighting for change for both civil rights and human rights for all people. These individuals have been here long before you became president and will exist long after you are gone. They have been slowly working to bring equality and equity to all people who live on these shores, regardless of how long it takes. The policies your administration has worked to undo will take work to rebuild. Lucky for us, we have dedicated, smart, compassionate people who will look at what you have dismantled and will rewrite the policies better than they were written before. For you have exposed all of the cracks in our country’s foundation. It is understood that for real change to occur, whether that’s on a personal or national level, every single problem has to be revealed before the entirety of the issue can be treated.
Right now, this country has taken one giant step backwards. Your presidency has exposed the underlying racism, sexism, and xenophobia that exists in our country. These four years have also shown us what it is like to have an incompetent person as the figurehead of our country. Now that we know what that feels like, our country has had a record-breaking number of early voter turnouts this year in preparation of the election. We the people of the United States do not want you as our leader. Through your pandemic response, you have managed to let thousands of Americans die unnecessarily through inadequate leadership. More interested in your Fox News ratings than providing safe spaces for children of asylum seekers crossing the border, your ICE employees have violated basic human rights at our internment facilities under your guidance. Take the forced sterilization of women at a Georgia detention center and the involuntary sedation of detainees as examples of this.
It’s kind of funny, because the division of our American people falls on the lines of patriotism vs. nationalism. The patriots have deep love for our country. That patriotism was founded on the ideas that all people are created equal, that they have unquestionable rights given to them at birth, that they are free to practice whatever religion they choose and engage in free speech always. To be a true patriot, you have to work to uphold those ideals for all people. Through time, our country has slowly been accepting the broadness of the definition of “all people.” This has grown to include women, people with mental illness, people of color, and immigrants. We are working to grow that definition even more to include trans people, Native Americans, and asylum seekers. Those folks that are working on behalf of all people, to change laws to reflect that progressive definition of total inclusion are true patriots. They are the ones propelling us two steps forwards.
You and your followers are nationalists. Nationalism is defined as “exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations.” It is no wonder that your policies reflect this belief, especially in your treatment of “illegal” immigrants. You and your followers have blind worship of Christianity, the American flag, football Sundays, beer, and all other things “American.” Because you are a businessman by trade, all you know how to do is package something so that it looks appealing to a target audience but has no actual substance under the surface, which is why your campaign is decked in pseudo-Americana. But what you and your followers fail to understand is that stereotype of America is not what America actually is. We are so much more than that, and your presidency has attempted to reduce us to what weak caricature.
I am writing to you on behalf of the lonely, the scared, the lost, and the marginalized. I am writing on behalf of the children stuck at the border who are terrified and wishing they could be in their parent’s arms. Donald J. Trump, you have no business running our country. As a nation, we deserve so much better.
A Girl with a Voice Who Isn’t Afraid to Use It