I’m pretty accustomed to pouty lips and frowny faces. I have a two-year-old. I’m not accustomed to witnessing a candidate, running for the highest office in our great country, exhibit such childish behavior. I won’t degrade my toddler any further. Donald Trump represents everything I’m trying to teach my son and daughter not to be.
My children are of Irish, English, Spanish, Mexican, Peruvian and Native American descent (churned right out of the melting pot).Their grandmother is an immigrant. Their great-grandparents were immigrants. Their story isn’t unique. Their story is the story of our country. It’s what makes America great—our diversity, our freedoms, and our families. Our collective dream is that our children will enjoy a better life than we did. I want my children to enjoy peace, opportunity and the pursuit of happiness. I know you do too. How can this happen if we continue to move so far away from our values?
I typically keep my political views private. Today, due to the escalating hate I see on the campaign trail, I feel compelled to speak on behalf of the young Americans living in my home. They’ll soon learn about our complex history and our imperfect quest for equality. They’ll want me to explain the discrepancy between the behavior of Trump and his supporters and the line in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.” All. Created equal. How can we forget? Why are so many Americans reverting back to a time of hate and intolerance? Why are we laying down our ideals for a D-list celebrity who doesn’t like women, minorities or Muslims? We’re Americans too.
We may not agree on policies. We may not agree on abortion, national debt, and other divisive issues. Let’s agree to honor decency, respect, and tolerance. I tell my toddler, “It’s okay to be mad. It’s not okay to hit. It’s not okay to hurt.” Furthermore, it’s not okay to call people “losers.” It’s not okay to instigate violence at political rallies by looking the other way or blatantly calling for supporters to sucker punch protestors. Our leaders must be candid without being cantankerous. Voters must demand more transparency, not less decorum. Our country needs to strengthen the average family not bolster the ego of a megalomaniac. I do not want the white house painted gold and branded with giant letters.
As a former reporter, I urge the media to examine its contribution to the Trump candidacy. He’s made himself available for every phone interview and appearance day or night, Saturdays, Sundays and every day in between. I can only guess producers booked him because he’s good for ratings and his candidacy seemed like a joke. No one is laughing. He’s received unparalleled air time. Trump understands how to get attention. He understands the power of propaganda. He’s mastered it and a hateful sector of our country can’t get enough. Now is the time to talk about the issues, not the monster created by the media and the lack of leadership in the Republican Party.
Let’s honor the civility of our political process or soon we will be voting in fear like voters in less stable regions around the world. Respect is the cornerstone of our democracy. Let’s stop talking about how to make America great again. Let’s talk about how we can bring Americans together. United We Stand.
I realize some Americans are angry and want a scapegoat for their troubles. A wealthy, vitriolic presidential candidate is not the answer. He is not going to make it rain money. He’s not going to send out gold plated coins to supporters. Nor is he going to send boatloads of people out of our great nation. He can’t. We have a system of government with checks and balances. Or have we forgotten that too?
Americans, we make our own destinies. The government can set policy and offer tax breaks. Opportunity is still ours to create. My grandfather cut steel during World War II, my grandmother worked in a cannery so my dad might go to college. Let’s not forget our history. Let’s not forget opportunity is ours to create (no matter our race, religion or sexual orientation.) Let’s not forget the beauty of our Constitution. Let’s not forget the beauty of our diversity.
Level-headed, reasonable, responsible and tolerant Americans I urge you to get registered to vote (if you haven’t already.) Now is not the time to ignore a hateful sector of the populace. I can guarantee they’re voting. You need to be ready to vote too. Vote with your values. Vote for your children. Vote for equality. Vote for decency. Vote because you love this country and you don’t want to see it fall to hate. Vote for who you see fit to lead this already great nation. Our kids are counting on us.