How is it possible in America a woman who is not disrupting a public meeting, but is wearing a hijab, is escorted out of that assembly? How is it possible a person who desires to be the President of this country allows (and by some reports encourages) his supporters to order her to “get out”, falsely accuse her of having a bomb, and boo her while she leaves? How is it he later quips, “There is a hatred against us that is unbelievable…It is their hatred not our hatred.” and the media, the RNC and the general public still treat him like he is a viable candidate for the office of President? Since when did American become the land of the fanatic and the home of the bigot? Since when do we tolerate such vile behavior from a public figure?
I debated whether or not to mention the above candidate’s name. I didn’t actually want to give him any more press than he is already getting. And, I do not normally endorse shame as a motivational tactic. However, in the case of those who support Donald Trump and condone the treatment of Rose Hamid at his rally, I make an exception. Your behavior has brought shame upon our country. Your ugliness is an embarrassment to our nation. Your words are hateful and reveal your deep rooted insecurities, inadequacy, and fear. If you were five I would tell you to play nice. If you were 12 I’d tell you it is time to grow up. But you are not five and you are not 12. You are grown up and YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER!! Nothing you can say will convince me your candidate supports anyone other than himself. You can offer no rationale that excuses his egocentric behavior or his racist and sexist rhetoric. Giving this man more power would be irresponsible. I do not accept you like him just because “he speaks his mind.” Bernie Sanders, John Kasich, Elizabeth Warren, Martin O’Malley, Stephen Colbert, Ellen DeGeneres, and Maria Contreras-Sweet speak their minds. The difference is, when they do something intelligent comes out. People like your candidate should not be taken seriously and if you continue to support him, listen to him, and say you are going to vote for him then, by your voluntary association with him, I am forced to believe you are just as ignorant, racist, sexist, and dangerous as your candidate.
Continuing to treat Mr. Trump as a feasible candidate is reckless. The damage his candidacy has already done to the integrity of our nation is palatable. It has gone far beyond fodder for late night comedy. His ideas deserve no more consideration, no more respect, than a stale joke. And, while I suppose laughter is still better than tears, we have reached the point when it is time to become serious about who we plan to elect as president of the United States.
We need a leader capable of navigating the turbulent days ahead–both economically and internationally. We need a person who works well with others, who is thoughtful and discerning, who seeks innovative ideas and collaborative problem solving, and who refuses to alienate or favor any one group of Americans over another. We cannot afford to put the fate of our nation in the hands of someone who might see some American–be they Muslims, women, the poor, Hispanics, or transgender–as less than, expendable, or undeserving of their constitutional rights as Americans. We must insist the person we elect reaches for the highest plane of honor rather than the lowest common denominator. Our ability to continue to be proud of who we are and what we can achieve depends on such an ideal.
If we, as the citizens of this nation do not believe in freedom for ALL Americans, then we do not believe in freedom of any Americans. If we do not believe in justice for ALL Americans, then we do not believe in justice for any Americans. And, if we do not believe in equality for ALL Americans, then we do not believe in equality for any Americans! When the writers of our constitution conceived of this great nation, I believe they did not even completely comprehend the profound document they had drafted. They could not have understood how difficult their ideals would be to reach, nor how long it might take us to live up to them.
Even so, from the moment the ink began to dry on the parchment we have been moving forward. 76 years after the Constitution was ratified President Lincoln emancipated the slaves. 67 years later women earned the right to vote. 95 years after that, The Supreme Court recognized the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Freedom, justice, and equality for all have been slow in coming. Freedom, justice, and equality for all are hard fought battles. But, freedom, justice, and equality for all has always been our forward motion. We must not stop striving onward, reaching upward, and seeking our better selves. We must not quit reaching out, lifting others up, and widening our circle of inclusion. We must not back away from the challenges ahead nor let go of the vision for America cast by our fathers, and grandfathers, and founding fathers. These are the ideals that make America great. This is what it means to pursue the American dream.