A Letter to Trump Enthusiasts, re: The Slippery Slope of Support

“I’m winning, why should I change?”

says our uncle, of whom we’ve always been slightly embarrassed, while he’s in the lead in a game of Scrabble as he plays 2-letter words no one’s heard of (but just happen to be in the dictionary). He has no idea why we aren’t laughing with him. He just wants all the bragging rights, as usual.

Somehow this year he seems a little worse, though.

And then, in our infinite effort to seek understanding, we realize that much of what he is saying is mirroring his prized presidential candidate, Donald Trump. We try to be cordial and excuse ourselves from the game before he plays the word “QI’ again. We look in the basement for another game. Any other game.

Where Do We Begin?

As most of us grow up, our parents strive to mold us into our best possible selves. At the same time, we endeavor to be a positive force in the world in order to meet our parents’ expectations. Eventually, we want to meet, exceed, and readjust expectations for ourselves. The end goal? Becoming a notable role model for others.

This is the gold standard of a life trajectory. If we can achieve this, we have reached a certain level of enlightenment that others may never touch.

As children, we are also asked many times what we want to ‘be’ or what world problems we want to solve. Among the future teachers, doctors, lawyers, and military personnel, many children will say they want to become the President of the United States.

This is the ultimate role model…

or at least it used to be.

Where Are We Now?

According to CNN, “[Trump] has always been an unabashedly crude, self-interested, self-promoting and self-regarding man.” The content, manner, and language contained in his speeches keep us on the edge of our seats, wondering what he will say to top the last comments he made. As he appeals to the darkest, least politically correct parts of Americans’ brains, he allows them to justify their ugliest thoughts. His ‘disdain for political correctness’ leads to a shockingly negative view on anyone that is unlike himself. His followers have already begun to internalize this and to use it as a shield against criticism regarding their actions and/or words.

Where Will We End Up?

If the ‘presumptive’ Republican candidate wins this election, his actions will sully the reputation of the presidential role for years to come. The problems children will want to solve in the world will be the problems that the president himself created. Decades of progress in our country will be reversed; racial tension will be at an all-time high; compassion will be viewed as weakness; and ‘strength’ will become intimidation. And all the while, his loyal supporters will feel that this is the right direction towards greatness.

Donald Trump is the exact opposite of what we are taught to be. He is the uncle with whom we cannot — and hopefully will not — carry a conversation. And if we’re not careful, he may become the most powerful man in the world.