Months ago, Donald Trump was a side show, something to giggle about and mock on late night television. I kept quiet, dismissing his 15 minutes of political fame as fleeting. But now, the prospect of him leading the land I love is all too real. As a mother, I cannot let him lead. My boys cannot see him as their commander and chief. We cannot look to him in times of crisis for inspiration.
I have had political differences with many of the candidates in the past, but I never questioned their motivation for service. I often disapproved of their tactics, their stances, and their convictions but believed that in their heart they were working for a better nation the best way they knew how. With Trump in the running, this is no longer the case.
Trump is the antithesis of everything I, and so many other parents, work so hard to teach their children every day. If he is victorious, he will undermine us all. It will show our children that…
- Hate is stronger than love. Somehow, Trump has made hate noble. It isn’t and never was. It is powerful and ugly, and frighteningly uniting. We have watched it create, build, and strengthen the worst movements in history. Trump loves to hate. America is too good for that.
- Differences should be feared. My kids have never known a country that doesn’t accept and celebrate differences. They have been in multi-cultural education settings and played on teams with kids of all colors. They have had friends with names that are hard to pronounce and teachers and doctors with accents. They have asked with disbelief about events in our country’s past that are incongruous with the world that is so familiar to them now. Trump will change all this. America is too good for that.
- Women are second to men. It has never crossed my boys’ minds that girls are not as smart or as capable as boys. They have never known a time when women did not have as many possibilities and opportunities as men. They have strong women in their lives who are loving, accomplished, intelligent and amazing and who have been able to choose their own path. Trump treats women as objects and afterthoughts. America is too good for that.
- Money equals worth. In a society obsessed with consumerism and profit, it takes serious concerted effort to teach our children that bank accounts don’t determine personal value. Trump uses his wealth to camouflage and excuse his lack of honesty and character. America is too good for that.
- Bullies win. Somehow, Trump has figured out how to make adults love the mean kid on the playground. He shouts immature insults at the top of his lungs, makes fun of people who cannot defend themselves, and speaks profanely. For all that he gets fist bumps, congratulatory smiles and hearty laughter. It’s like middle school all over again. Trump wants a bully to be the face of our nation. America is too good for that.
- Saying what you think is more important than thoughtful civility. Most Trump supporters tout his ability to, “tell it like it is,” as their main attraction to him; however, this quality is dangerous and disheartening. Parents consistently teach children to hold back words of anger and hostility; to listen when someone is talking; to take a moment to see things from a different point of view; to say sorry when they are wrong; to forgive; to alter their frame of reference when they receive new insight or information; to carefully consider the views and thoughts of others; to believe that knowledge is power. The President of the United States cannot be a man who just “tells it like it is.” That quality is charming in an elderly neighbor but positively dangerous in a man who is leading our country. Trump uses his bravado to scare others into silence. America is too good for that.
As mothers and fathers we owe our children a better leader. We owe them someone who unites and inspires. We owe them someone who honors the sacrifice of those who fought and continue to fight for freedom. We owe them the chance to hope for a better world. We cannot let Donald Trump be the person we choose to let lead this next generation. America is too good for that.
PHOTO CREDIT: By Michael Vadon on Wikipedia – https://www.flickr.com/photos/80038275@N00/20724666936/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42609338