Photo by Alex Moya

Dear President Trump

You were able to achieve a historic victory by garnering support through your promise to “Make America Great Again,” a claim that I truly hope will become a reality. Over the last few months, there have been some accomplishments for which you can take great pride. Your pro-business rhetoric has instilled confidence in U.S. investors, and as a result, the Dow Jones and NASDAQ stock indices have soared to new records each week. Your attempts to prevent illegal immigration are without question in the best interest of the country’s security and safety.

However, the manner of your execution of some of these policies has exposed our nation’s deep underlying divisions, class divide, and degrading of women.

Your repeated promise to build a wall along the Mexican border, for example, was cheered in many communities throughout the country, but it also sent a clear signal to minorities: stay out. Your cruel and ignorant remarks labeling Mexicans as “rapists” who bring “drug and crime,” have not only reflected poorly on your leadership, but also caused Mexicans to feel more alienated than ever. Your executive order banning travel from several Middle Eastern countries reinforces feelings of hate and hostility towards Muslim communities. After running into a local community member of downtown Los Angeles on his was to jury duty, Adrian, he shared with me his thoughts on your presidency, “I think it divided us and that we are no longer as united as we once were. At the same time, though, it’s important for him to be there because for the same reason as his division, it’s shown that we are divided as much as we said we weren’t.”

I understand that your goal is to protect our country by decreasing illegal immigration and preventing terrorism, however, there are ways to accomplish this without fueling such widespread division. I believe that an alternative, less extreme approach to this issue is as straightforward as “enforcing the law” (The New Moderate). This means punishing illegal immigrants and deporting those with criminal records. Although somewhat strict, this approach will effectively decrease the illegal immigrant population without demonizing and disrespecting various minority groups. Your unnecessary racist remarks and continued promises to build a wall are not only dividing us as a nation, but also promoting fear, violence, and hate.

Your inappropriate behavior and degrading comments towards women have caused me to lose a considerable amount of respect for you. For example, when you called Alicia Machado, former Miss Universe, “Miss Piggy,” and “disgusting” because of her weight, you sent a cruel, negative message towards girls and women about how they can be judged based on their appearance (Telegraph). Another example is when you called journalist Megyn Kelly a “bimbo,” and mentioned that her questioning was because she was menstruating: “You could see blood was coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of wherever” (Telegraph). It is degrading to label women as emotional and to suggest that a woman must be menstruating because she is asking you difficult questions. Women are just as capable as men and appearance should not be a defining factor in judging a woman’s worth.

Many of your proposed policies have been shown to benefit the rich, which will only worsen the widening wage gap in this country. Carlos, a local clerk of downtown Los Angeles, reflected, “Wealth is concentrated at the top,” he says, “but the working people, the middle class, proportionally pay more than the rich.” Carlos is not the only working-class citizen who feels this way about your administration. A recent national poll from Quinnipiac University showed that 63% of respondents felt that wealthy Americans would benefit the most from Trump’s proposed tax plans, compared to only 27% who felt that the middle class would benefit the most (Quinnipiac). In addition, an analysis of the recently proposed GOP Senate health-care bill by the Congressional Budget Office showed that 22 million people would lose their healthcare insurance by 2026 under the new law (Congressional Budget Office). Furthermore, analysis done by the Brookings Institution’s Tax Policy Center revealed that 45% of the benefits from the GOP Senate health-care bill will go towards the top 1% wealthiest households (Brookings). David, a software engineer from downtown Los Angeles, commented on the bill, “I hope it fails. It’s a bad deal,” he continued, “There are a lot of people who don’t make enough money to look after their health. Everyone needs to pitch in.” David’s comments and the analysis of your party’s proposed laws show that your policies do little to benefit poor and working-class Americans.

Although your words and actions have often been beneath the dignity of the office of President of the United States, I remain hopeful that you will learn from your mistakes. I hope that you will rise above such petty and demeaning remarks, understand the challenges that we face, and lead efforts to improve the lives of all Americans.

Sincerely,

Lili Kibel