Dear President Trump
Fear- an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
Dear President Trump,
To be honest, I’m more than just a little bit scared of you. I am afraid for my parents, who under Obamacare have been able to pay for my dad’s back surgeries but under your new plan may not have that security. I’m afraid for the families of some of my dearest friends, who just missed the cut for citizenship, and for the people prohibited from coming to our country in search of a better life. I’m afraid for the LGBT community, ignored in your quest for power, and I’m afraid above all for the future of the United States as a whole. Obviously, I don’t have any authority to tell you how to run your country, but I wish you could open your eyes to the fear, because it’s our country, too.
Two days in my life stand out as times when I have been unable to speak, move, or even think, frozen to the bone out of fear. The first was in March, 2014. I had opted out of skiing that day, tired and (for no good reason) ready to go back to school after a long spring break. Instead of waking up to bacon for breakfast and my older half siblings casually lounging around the house, I was confronted with panic in my mom’s eyes. “Dad’s been in an accident on the mountain, he’s being rushed to ICU. Sierra, he might not make it.” The wave that swept over me in that moment, and the days of waiting that followed, the fear that rushed through my mind that my father, my biggest role model, might be taken from me, can only be compared with one other feeling. It was last November 8th. My family had thrown an election party, certain that Clinton was going to win. As I sat surrounded by seven or so of my best friends in the world, my parents and their friends laughing absentmindedly in the other room, oblivious as the numbers began to turn in your favor. The denial that came into my mind reminded me of that one other morning. Thee fear that followed hasn’t yet gone away.
I am terrified because your blatant abuse of executive power has been demonstrated time and time again. Your indefatigable effort to rise to the top has brought you to the head of our country and now all there is to do is test every boundary. It seems that all you care about is the title of POTUS, and you act out of desire for personal gain.. When you fired former FBI director James Comey, you did it because he refused to stop any Russia investigation and you “demanded loyalty.”You once tweeted that “The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign,” but if you had nothing to conceal then what could’ve been so bad about Comey investigating you?
You treat entire groups of people as insignificant or peripheral. Women are not “beautiful pieces of ass” and “gold diggers.” Mexicans are not rapists. Muslims are not terrorists. These generalizations put good people into terrible boxes. You have openly spoken about being a sexual predator- I don’t feel as though this one needs an explanation, but it connects to your ever present aggressive and defensive tone. You have publicly humiliated countless people, without even the decency to do it in person. Your use of social platforms to berate the media for pointing out your mistakes only digs you deeper into a hole. Any time your name is mentioned in the news or online, you take immediately to twitter to backlash the attack. You have plenty of publicity already- and your infamy with the rest of the world can’t do any good, but the scariest part is that you don’t care or recognize that public insults on social media aren’t really considered ‘presidential’. The Washington Post once published a list of 282 of your unfulfilled campaign promises, number one being to “create at least 25 million jobs and ‘be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” Although you have yet to perform on any of these, I have a hope that things will soon get ugly enough for some change to actually happen.
What I fear the most, is the fact that the idea of the traditional American dream is slowly disintegrating. No longer can the “two parent two child white picket fence” family be the norm because life is so expensive with new healthcare policies, families are being torn apart because of immigration reform, and American excellence is overpowered by the fact that our president is doing nothing but spending his time on twitter defending things that he shouldn’t have to defend in the first place. America has always been strong, and our foundations, built by immigrants, have worked this long for a reason, but with so much fear throughout the country, it’s hard to imagine much brighter prospects. I only ask that you consider why you are so set on spending your time marginalizing people and lying when there is so much to improve. It’s not about being a winner, it’s about doing what is best for the United States of America.
You may have discarded this letter after reading the first sentence, but as a young female whose activism has only been kickstarted in response to the drastic changes you have caused to her environment, as a young female petrified for the future of her family and her relationships, and as a young female losing hope in what she can do to take any of the fear away from all of these groups of people, Mr. President, I am reminded of those two fateful mornings. Myhope for your success as a leader continues to diminish, but the one thing I do give you credit for is motivating me and others like me to do what we can to improve our country.
Sierra Wright Stead