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An open letter to GOP voters: A Student Contributing Writer

A Student, Contributing Writer

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I voted for Donald Trump on Nov. 8, 2016. Suffice to say, I’ve regretted that decision every day since he took the Oath of Office.

The instant the White House issued its first travel ban on visitors and immigrants from Muslim countries, I knew that I had made a mistake at the ballot box. The came his decision to leave the Paris climate agreement, and the Charlottesville incident in which he equated white supremacists with peaceful counter-protestors followed only weeks later.

As I watched it all play out, I felt only shame. Not just shame in myself for once supporting for this mess of an administration, but shame in the US as the rest of the free world watched it trip over itself at the hands of a fascistic leader.

The America that Trump presides over is an America that sinks deeper into partisan anger every day, and no matter how vehemently his most blindly-loyal supporters deny it, the president is largely to blame for stoking the flames of division.

Trump won’t quit the alt-right because he knows a significant part of his support comes from neo-Nazis and gun-worshipping NRA members. He uses hatred and xenophobia to drive his campaign speeches, from his anti-Muslim outbursts to his denouncing of an immigrant caravan fleeing violence and hoping for work in the US.

He’s now floating the idea of renouncing birthright citizenship, saying that the US is the only country that allows it and threatening to upend a staple of the Civil War-era Amendments. For the record, Canada, Mexico and nearly all of Central and South America also recognize birthright citizenship. His intention of issuing an executive order to undo it screams of shameless discrimination.

Through it all, Trump has kept up his relentless attacks on the press, his biggest enemy and a cornerstone of American democracy. This is perhaps his most dangerous and unnerving tactic; degrading the press means sabotaging the public’s main method of checking government power, and it’s the first step on the road to absolute federal control.

I know what a lot of us saw in Trump when we voted for him. He sold himself as a self-made man, someone who fought for every dollar he made and constructed a business empire from the ground up. He seemed like the go-to guy for a population of small-town middle-classers who felt left out by the Obama administration’s globalized focus. Every blustering sentence he spoke implied that he understood the woes of America’s “forgotten people.”
But the truth is that Trump can never understand. He was born into luxury, not poverty and struggle. He constructed his personal brand using a hefty loan from his dad, not his own blood and sweat. He’s a detached narcissist who revels in his own ignorance and can’t hope to lead a culturally-heterogeneous America into an uncertain future.

I have a lot to apologize for. I’m sorry that “Dreamers” live in constant fear that one day they and their families are going to be extricated from their homes and sent back to wherever they may have come from.

I apologize to the people who identify as transgender and are scared that this current administration is going to someday define them into nothingness. I apologize to the American grade schoolers whose earliest memory of a president is going to be that of a narcissistic, unhinged man throwing tantrums at anyone who opposes his agendas.

Trump is not a savior of the American people. He’s an oppressor and a destroyer. I didn’t see it two years ago, but I see it painfully clearly every day now.
That’s why I’m voting as Democratic as possible this Tuesday, because House and Senate Republicans have proved they’d rather save their own seats than stand up to a president who takes pleasure in wrecking American ideals of democracy.

They’ve adopted his conspiracy-theorist rhetoric rather than condemn it, teaming with Fox News and going so far as to suggest that the pipe bombs sent to prominent Democratic leaders and CNN were “false flags.”

They’ve chosen to adopt his methods of demonizing immigrants, parroting his ridiculous claims that Muslim radicals are hidden among the train of immigrants approaching the United States’ southern border.

They’ve joined the president in questioning the reality of global warming, ignoring grave warnings from the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which declares that countries need to make “rapid and far-reaching” energy changes by 2030 to stave off the threat of irreversible climate change.

Instead of shooting down Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, they turned their blind eyes and deaf ears to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony and put an immature frat boy in a 50-year-old’s body, an accused sexual assaulter, on the most powerful court in the nation.

If voting blue is anathema to you, so be it. But do not cast votes for people who are only going to serve as glorified Trump puppets. A vote for a Republican this time around is a vote for nihilism, bigotry and complete disregard for humanitarian policy.

It’s now our duty to fill the House and Senate with common-sense candidates who embrace progress, not those who wind the clock back on race relations, LGBTQIA equality and climate change countermeasures. That’s how we’re going to make America great again.

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An open letter to GOP voters: A Student Contributing Writer