Tag Archives: Donald Trump

#NotMyPresident

It has been almost one week since Mr. Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. In the days since his inauguration, we as a nation have witnessed, among other things:

  • An immediate removal of the Climate change, Immigration, Healthcare, and Civil rights pages from the official White House website
  • An immediate prohibition against several government agencies, disallowing them from speaking to the press or using social media, with the exception of communication with the press that has already been vetted and approved by the White House (Leslie Knope wants you to support our scientists and National Parks by following these alternative branches on Twitter!)
  • An executive order approving progress on the DAPL and Keystone XL
  • A ban on immigrants from many countries, especially targeting those with predominantly Muslim communities, as well as working to defund sanctuary cities and those that do not aid in the deportation of current undocumented citizens
  • An order to proceed with building the border wall between the United States and Mexico, which will be funded by taxpayer money, to be reimbursed by Mexico at a later date (Since this statement was issued, Mexico’s President cancelled a meeting with Mr. Trump, while Mr. Trump has claimed a 20% increase on imports from Mexico)
  • An investigation into voter fraud
  • A series of lies regarding the rise of violence and murder in Philadelphia
  • A press conference held for the purpose of chastising the media for their purported lies regarding the crowd size of Donald Trump’s inauguration (See: alternative facts)
  • A reinstatement of a global gag rule – which hasn’t existed since the Reagan era – which defunds NGOs which are involved in abortions
  • An abhorrent selection of candidates for Cabinet
  • A plan to reinstate torture (i.e. waterboarding)
  • A vote to make the Hyde Amendment permanent law

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This list could go on, and we are only on day six of four years. In these six days, we have also seen a rising dissent among the American people, and the world, for the policies that Trump has already put in place and seems to be gearing up to put in place. Granted, one can’t fault him for actually following through on his campaign promises – a reason, I am sure, many voted for him. In a previous article, I spoke on the American people’s lack of enthusiasm for another empty promise candidate to take the Oval Office. However, Trump’s promises should never have been made, let alone acted upon. To ban government agencies from speaking to the media or using social networking is a direct violation of our 1st Amendment right. Imagine how different these last six days would have been if those same people who would defend their 2nd Amendment would also, with the same fire and passion, defend the 1st Amendment right to free speech and press. To order that any organization with ties to abortion will be defunded and left out to dry is to perpetuate a problem, not find a solution. Building a bigger wall between the U.S. and Mexico borders and forcing Mexico to pay will only hurt relations with the country, not dissuade immigrants from trying to enter our country. The laws and orders that Mr. Trump and his administration are so hastily enacting require time and research, and a valid insight as to the advantages and repercussions of passing such legislation. To simply say that expanding a wall will quell illegal immigration, or voting to prevent taxpayer money from funding abortions will lower the abortion rate, is a preposterous and dangerous assumption.

Twenty five years ago, I was born in India. However, for twenty five years I have lived in the United States, and have been blessed and fortunate enough to never feel that I am less than any other person who was born here; less because I am a woman, less because I am not white, less because I am a naturalized citizen, less because I may not have the social or monetary status as so many others have. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many of those who live in this country, and the Trump administration is only working to fuel this feeling of dread and hopelessness. Before I go any further, it is imperative that I state: I do not want Donald Trump to fail. I truly believe that if he fails, we as a country fail. However, I will not sit idly by while a hypocritical, sexist, misogynistic predator and his mum followers lead our country into disarray. I choose not to believe that all those who voted for Mr. Trump share all his ideals, but I also choose to respectfully disagree with them that he should hold the highest power that can be held in this country. I cannot believe that he has earned my respect simply because he was elected. Had Hillary Clinton been elected, should I believe that she would receive the same respect from those that claim Mr. Trump deserves mine? Should I believe that those same men that have never, and could never, bear a child are allowed to decide what I must do with my body? Should I believe that those that spit in the face of the sanctity of marriage are allowed to decide who is and isn’t allowed to get married? Should I believe that those who have never gotten to know the very people they claim are terrorists or illegal immigrants are allowed to mandate who is and isn’t allowed to come to this country? Should I believe that those who claim they want to “make our country great again” truly care about their country by damaging relations with foreign alliances and wasting taxpayer money, while for years we have citizens who do not have clean drinking water? Respect is earned, never given. So, Mr. Trump, prove to me that you deserve my respect. Those who follow you and support you, prove to me that you deserve my respect. The United States is one of the greatest countries for so many reasons, but if the last six days prove anything, it is that our greatness is a mirage. The gates for hypocrisy and intolerance have been opened, but in the process so have the gates for love and justice. For every person who supports Donald Trump’s claim that global warming is a hoax and believes he has a right to stop the spread of this knowledge and scientific facts, there stands a horde ready to defend our planet and support our National Parks and scientists. For every person who supports Donald Trump’s beliefs that we are a staunchly pro-life country and abortion should be outlawed, there stands a horde ready to promote sex education and preventative measures and support women in their own personal decisions. For every person who supports Donald Trump’s beliefs that all Muslims or immigrants are threats to our nation, there stands a horde ready to defend those who are labeled as less than simply for following a different religion or being born a different color. For every person who supports Donald Trump’s beliefs that his position in office will not affect women, the LGBTQ community, or POC, there stands a horde ready to march and make their voices heard. I choose to believe that the greatness of our country is not a mirage, but an ever-changing testament to our steps in science, technology, politics, arts, education, and acceptance. These are the things that make America great. For every act, piece of legislation, or law that tells us we cannot, a thousand voices will shout out “Yes we can!” Of course, we still have a long way to go. I firmly believe in equality and justice for all, though I do not believe it comes with the price of violence and attacking a child simply because you do not have the same beliefs as his or her parents. But I do believe in peaceful protests and making your voice heard. The Women’s March was just the beginning, Mr. Trump. Even there, we have a long way to go. To claim you march for equality, but so blatantly disregard those that have a different viewpoint from yours and disallow them from marching is proof enough. Those who claim that “we have it much better here and shouldn’t whine” or that “we should suffer under Sharia law and then we’ll have something to complain about” need to understand that because one person or one group of people is suffering, it does not diminish the suffering of another person or group of people. Those who claim protests will accomplish nothing should remember that protests are what shaped our history. 

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If we are to get through these next four years, we need to fight together for what’s right, and remind those that tell us “No” because we have different beliefs or opinions or because we aren’t showing enough respect to the administration that is showing us none in the first place, that this country was founded on different beliefs and protests. Our differences are what makes this country thrive, and we should all take a moment to step into each other’s shoes; simply because you are not suffering the same way another person is, doesn’t mean you should condemn that person to suffer. We should not admonish those who are in a position of power and have a platform (actors, actresses, musicians, artists, athletes, etc.) because they raise their voices and stand for what they believe in. Together, we must fight for a woman’s right to decide what she can and cannot do with her body; together, we must fight for the rights of our LGBTQ community to not be discriminated against simply because of how they identify or who they love; together, we must fight for violence against minorities or those of different religions to end; together, we must fight for our scientists and researchers to be allowed to work and to publish their work, and for media outlets and reporters to do their jobs, without fear and without being bullied; together, we must fight for true equality between men and women in areas such as, but not limited to, promoting STEM education, maternal and paternal leave, pay, and protection and resources for survivors of assault of any kind; together, we must fight for the stigma against mental health to end, and for access to proper mental healthcare; together, we must fight for violence by and against our police forces to end; together, we must fight for quality education for all; together, we must fight to make sure that our country and our planet is protected from greed and big business; together, we must fight to ensure nobody feels unsafe in their home, fearing that they could be ripped from their beds or beaten in the streets at any moment simply because of who they are or what they look like; together, we must fight to protect each other from what is to come if this country is truly divided. Together, we must understand that we all have different opinions, but that we must respect each other’s opinions and respect each other. No name calling, no fighting, no bullying – only respect. And the greatest part about the United States? I believe we can come together and accomplish all of these things and so much more.

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#Election2016

I have had a headache for the last few days now. Like so many of my family and friends, my emotions have ranged from disbelief, to anger, to fear, to sadness, to hope. Like so many across the country and the world, I could not believe my eyes when I saw that Donald J. Trump was our newest President-elect, and the 45th President of the United States of America.

I can see how he may have appealed to the voters. This country has been on the brink of a political revolution; people are tired of seeing the same self-interest politicians running and winning office. The fact that he did not win the popular vote but did win the electoral vote and thus the coveted position as President should be an indicator as to why a political revolution has been brewing in our country. Donald Trump pandered to peoples’ thoughts and desires – he is not a career politician, bought by Wall Street and large corporations; he preyed played on peoples’ fears and hopes; he spoke directly to the people on the issues at hand, honestly and candidly and with no fear of repercussion, even if he didn’t have a plan to elaborate on. But that was enough, that was all he needed, and as an American woman it should come as no surprise to me then that a man with no background in politics or political credibility, with no plan of action, and clearly with no filter, was deemed more qualified to earn the title of Commander-in-Chief against a woman who has spent the better part of her life in law and politics. Of course, by no means am I saying that the DNC did the American people any favors by selecting Hillary Rodham Clinton as their nominee; her closet is a graveyard. Surely, if they absolutely had to select a female nominee, there were better options. Perhaps Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Duckworth, or maybe even Condoleezza Rice, considering the movie equivalent of 2016 would be Alice falling down the rabbit hole, where everything gets turned on its head. However, in this particular election, I never once found a reason to believe that she would damage this country more than he would. She is a seasoned politician, with a solid plan of action for the issues at hand. She has dedicated her adult life to fighting terrorism and working to empower women and children. She has a deep understanding of the way this country works. Alas, this was not enough for her to win the presidency; however, as far as women go, while Clinton may have lost, women certainly didn’t. Furthermore, the media outlets and so-called “pundits” never did the American people any favors, either, by constantly projecting her success while disregarding Trump and his campaign, and worst of all, by not accounting for and reporting on the quiet majority that was in favor of Trump.

One of our greatest privileges as American citizens is the right to vote, and the people have voted: Donald J. Trump. Since his election became finalized however, we have not been the United States of America. Not united. Protests have begun all over the country, and the hashtag #NotMyPresident has been trending. Flags are being burned in cities and campuses across the nation. To those who are participating in these events, I implore you: please, stop. Ranting on social media and declaring this isn’t the country you want to live in will do nothing, and rioting in the streets, destroying infrastructure, violence against those whose opinions you don’t agree with, and burning the flag is disgraceful.

Donald J. Trump will be our next President, but how we react to this is what will either allow this nation to continue to strive for greatness, or completely tear it apart. Like so many, I am appalled that a man whose entire presidential campaign was rooted in racism, sexism, xenophobia, fear mongering, and bigotry is now our President-elect. However, I have to believe that not all those who voted for him share those views, but simply want to change our political landscape with new, fresh ideas regarding issues such as the economy, education, and gun control. And while I may not agree with all of those views, part of what makes America such a great nation, entrenched in rich culture and history, is the differences of opinion which we all have. We are blessed to live in a country where we can voice those opinions and have the ability to vote. To bully and lay blame on those who did not vote your way (white people, people of color, lesbians or gays, third-party voters, etc.) makes you just as bad as him. To diminish the value of those who voted for him, to paint them all as racists or ignorant or uneducated, makes you just as bad as him. I am not saying that those who think exactly like him are correct; in fact, in recent days we have seen the negative effect Trump’s America can have, and I am just as scared and distraught as so many other Americans are. But remember: just as you voted for your candidate with conviction and determination, so did they.

We can accept this election – we must accept this election – and pick ourselves up, dust off our shoulders, and work together to ensure that his racist, sexist, bigoted, xenophobic views do not take precedence these next four years. We must be kind to one another. Our children will certainly not learn from him to be accepting and compassionate to others. We must come together and join our neighbors, friends, families, and citizens across the country to peacefully and firmly allow our voices to be heard and demand a change in the political landscape as a nation, not as fractured, violent mobs. It breaks my heart to know that across the country, parents have to explain to their children that they should not bully or belittle others, knowing that the very person leading our country has done just that. It breaks my heart to know that across the country, parents have to explain to their children how much more dangerous this country – their home – can be now because of their skin color or their beliefs, knowing that the very person leading our country is what has led to so many families living in fear. It breaks my heart to know that across the country, women and men of all races and orientation have even more to lose by reporting sexual assault, knowing that the very person leading our country can be blamed for the same crime and still be elected to the highest and most important political office. Now, more than ever, we cannot be divided and let hate win. We must stand together. We must stand together and ensure his vile rhetoric can never take precedence and become a reality. We must stand together, and make sure that the rights for those of a certain race, gender, or sexual orientation we have worked so long and so hard for aren’t taken away. We must stand together and prove to ourselves that our differences (be they religion, race, opinions, sexual orientation, gender, etc.) are important and that we can love and respect each other regardless. We must stand together and not let our friends and families live in their own country in fear. We must stand together, and encourage every young girl or person of color or member of the LGBTQ community or disabled person to pursue their dreams and help them demand equality and let their voices be heard.

I am an Indian, and I am a Hindu, and I am a woman, and I am an American, and I believe in the goodness of the people of this country, because America is already a great country. Most importantly, I truly believe that we can come together and continue to make America great over these next four years. 

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