Regarding “Giving Trump A Chance”
I wrote this email to a family member, who was worried about my position on Trump and his cabinet nominees as a result of the media making them out to be something they are not. This is my current thoughts regarding those calling for America to “Give Trump a Chance”, laid out here as much for the purposes of organizing my own thoughts as to provide some food for thought to those in a similar mindset as me.
I will say that I have not historically been much for politics, and I find it exhausting. However, when so many people across the country are set upon in their daily lives, I feel my own discomfort or aversion does not mean much compared to their very real and daily suffering. If I stand for the things I say I do, I am forced to act — and I should honestly have been forced to act a long time ago.
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This is going to be a large message, but I think it’s important for me to convey where I’m coming from. Much love and respect your way. There are many people around the country that would cut communication outright with people like me who are calling for scrutiny of those being put into office right now. Communication matters, and I’m glad that you’re willing to listen. I am trying more than ever to listen to those with view points different from mine, and hope that other’s will be doing the same — on both sides of the aisle.
I am concerned about some aspects of Trump’s platform more then others, and I can tell you for certain that I’ve been snapped to attentive diligence by some of the unacceptable things that he’s said. I appreciate that to many people around the country, Trump is the promise of change as an outsider. Something different, a shift away from the established course that many feel has driven away jobs, and generally made life hard for them.
I will support him and his cabinet in doing the things that I believe in, and will also fight tooth and nail against the things that violate my morals, values and beliefs — just like every other voter ought do around the country.
Some of the things that concern me the very most about Trump’s platform is whether he will respect our constitution, national and international law and whether he will be rolling back the civil liberties of american minorities. You and I need worry very little about these matters. As married, male, white, cis-gendered, straight, middle-upper class members of society, these things will likely be something we can ride out without too much hardship. For millions of our fellow Americans, they cannot ride it out and this is real in their lives every day.
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As an example of my concern about Trumps level of regard for our founding principles, his stance on immigration was found by the non-partisan American Civil Liberties Union to violate the first, fourth and fifth amendments of the Constitution, as well as The Immigration and Nationality Act, The Convention Against Torture, and The Refugee Convention. This is not all right with me. I understand that you and I have a different view of immigrants in our country, but taking it to the point of disregarding the constitution, domestic and international laws and agreements is not an acceptable course of action. We cannot survive as a democratic government if our national leaders do not pay any heed to the principles on which our country was founded. I am not okay with leaders setting the precedent that they can disregard our country’s laws to act against huge swaths of our nation on the basis of fear.
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I am very concerned by Trump’s rhetoric regarding minorities across the country and the kind of behavior that he either endorses or looks the other way about. As I said, these things will likely affect you and I very little, but I am acutely aware that many people’s lives have and will continue to deteriorate just because they are Black, or Muslim, or LGBTQ, or Mexican, etc.
There has been a rash of racist attacks that have broken out in the days following Trump’s winning the election. In a high school very near to my house, the disgusting remarks written on a locker room stall, including “Fuck niggers”, “#FuckAllPorchMonkeys”, “#WhitesOnly”, “#WhiteAmerica”, etc. Many people say that not everyone is acting this way, and while that is true, the end result for these minorities is exactly the same. Millions of people are currently leaving in fear for their lives for no other reason than being born to a certain race parents, and I am 100% NOT okay with that. I believe firmly that the vast majority of humanity is good, and that people are people regardless of their race or religion; I will not sit idly by and ride it out when members of my community are literally fearing for their lives and the lives of their children.
I think what it would be like if my wife, my son and I were Black, or Muslim right now. I would be terrified to my core about their literal safety Every. Single. Day. We have Muslim neighbors just down the block with a son the same age as out little peanut, and they are normal people just like you and me, who simply want the best for their family. They have hard days at work just like us. They have aches and pains, joys, triumphs and disappointments like us. They relished their child’s first step and first words just like we did. They pay their bills, and go out to eat, and listen to music just like you and me. They are people, and they are probably terrified for their lives right now. My heart aches just thinking about how many people go to sleep around the country not knowing if their loved ones will survive the coming day.
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Regarding Bannon and others being named for the cabinet, I am trying to keep an open mind. I am hoping for the best and preparing for the worst with a conservative Presidency, Congress, House, and likely Supreme Court for the above outlined reasons — a monopoly from either side in a democracy is a fragile position if the checks and balances of our country are undermined.
Regarding Bannon in particular, I am concerned about someone in a place of such power having a tacit approval of racism, sexism, and antisemitism. As with all articles, one must bear in mind the source, and although this article is from a left-leaning site, these are quotes from Bannon himself. In his time as executive chairman of Breitbart, he oversaw writers who penned hateful and incendiary articles which embolden white nationalist, sexist and anti-LGBTQ groups. Leaders of news organizations are responsible for the content their company creates and the culture they create, just like the leaders of corporations like Wells Fargo or Turing Pharmaceuticals are responsible for their corporation’s missteps.
In his engaging in this kind of talk, and supporting those who do: At worst, he has it out for certain parts of the population, and at best he is saying so in a careless manner and doesn’t mean it. The problem I have is that for a man with such tremendous power and clout to say things like this, whether he means it or not, the end result for the victims is nearly indistinguishable.
Long, long story short, I am open to the Trump presidency’s initiatives insofar as they do not encroach on the liberties of my fellow Americans, whether they be Black, Mexican, LGBTQ, Muslim, or any other set upon minority. I will continue to do my very best to be, by example, the change I wish to see in the world, and expend my resources to support those that need voice and power now more than ever.
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