Regarding Trump, I can’t imagine anything has been left unsaid, but still I feel it necessary to say something. No less than the fate of our Republic is at stake. And no, I’m not kidding.
– Imagine your ten-year-old son asks: “Did you see the video of Trump making fun of the guy with the funny arm?”
“Yes,” you answer.
“Mom said you were voting for him?”
“Why? He made fun of that guy. That’s so mean.”
“Because, um, he’s going to make this country great again. And I always vote Republican”
“But he made fun of that guy.”
“Well, it’s complicated.”
He looks at you the way kids look at grown ups that they know are either cowardly or lying, or are cowardly lions.
– Imagine your beloved nephew, who is half Latino—your sister’s husband emigrated from Colombia—asks why you’re voting for Trump. “Aunt Becca, he’s said so many bad things about me, about who I am.”
“Not about you. He’s talking about Mexicans, about the criminals who come here.”
“They’re not criminals because they’re Mexican, but that’s what he’s saying and that’s racist. Do you know I’ve been harassed at school because I have brown skin? Someone called me a ‘spic’ the other day and told me to go back to Mexico. Trump has all these people riled up with hate. You can’t vote for him.”
“Well, I think he’s going to make America great again. And I always vote Republican.”
“Great how? He’s spreading hate.”
“Well, it’s complicated.”
He looks at you, completely wounded, feeling as if you just gave him the middle finger.
– Imagine your teenage granddaughter explaining to you that coal-mining jobs are not coming back to America. Same with steel work. She continues: “All attention must be paid to the middle class and those struggling to get out of poverty. It’s all about jobs and nothing about dissing trade and promising to return jobs that don’t exist anymore. Obama promised we’d be the world leader of ‘green-collar’ jobs but no one had his back. The earth is warming—I live in Los Angeles, I know, and I also believe in science—and alternative forms of energy are the answer. We sent a man to the moon and put a rover on Mars but we can’t figure out how to lead the world in wind and solar power, how to distribute water throughout the country equitably, how to insist on greater MPG, pushing the auto industry into more and more affordable hybrids? Think of the jobs programs that would be created as a result of being the world’s ‘green’ superpower?
And what about infrastructure? Find the waste in government spending and put that toward upgrading roads, tunnels, and bridges. The federal government is a jobs program so let’s not talk about government inefficiency without talking about government solutions and keeping government workers employed.
Also, trickle-down economics have NEVER worked, so those carried-interest loopholes need to be closed, corporations that ditch the U.S. for favorable tax-rates elsewhere need to be punished and that money recouped, and the very wealthy need to have tax rates relative to the income earned, whether it’s investment income or actual. If someone has ten million dollars, it makes no difference to the middle class. She’s not spending that money at middle-class establishments, she’s not buying middle-class goods, she’s not buying twice or ten times the amount of toilet paper she needs from the Korean grocer because she’s only one person. She can’t spend enough of her money for it to make a damn bit of difference to the middle class. There is no ‘trickle down’ of her money to the family who desperately needs it.
And don’t get me started on Obamacare. Yeah, it’s a mess for some, for many, and small businesses need a break. That’s where trickle-down should come in to play because if we can ease the burden on small businesses who have to help their employees pay for medical insurance, that would be excellent because then the small business wouldn’t be burdened, their employees would be healthy and happy, and so would other small businesses’ workers and then they’d have more money in their pockets to spend at each other’s businesses which makes it easier for everyone to pay their bills. And by the way, Obamacare is not wholly to blame for rising medical insurance premiums. We live in a capitalist society and have, essentially, capitalist healthcare and insurance. So regulation of the industry can only go so far.
Check out how much the CEOs of the major insurance companies make. In other words, the shareholder is more important than the patient or the insured. But my mom always says, ‘Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,’ and getting rid of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the real name of Obamacare) would destroy so many individuals who were able to get much-needed medical insurance for the first time in their lives. So let’s fix what’s broken. I don’t want to start over.
Regarding Syrian refugees: Grandpa, no one I know is more helpful to his fellow man than you are. We need to take care of our own citizens first, yes, but simultaneously, the world needs us. We can walk and chew gum at the same time. We CAN do both. We have to. ISIS? Heck, these immigrants go through a vetting process that could take up to two years. We should concentrate more on the radicalization that occurs right here in our country. I’m definitely not an expert on the internet and what the Constitution protects in terms of free speech on social media, but let’s reiterate, ‘If you see something, say something.’ Federal agencies like the CIA and the FBI have to have a ‘Come to Jesus’ meeting and make nice. If we can get our law enforcement agencies to communicate more directly and efficiently about those under suspicion for terrorism, all the better.
And don’t get me started on the Second Amendment. Grandpa Joe, I don’t want to get shot in a mall while shopping for a homecoming dress, but unless we close the gun show loophole, regulate online gun sales, and implement background checks appropriately and comprehensively, gun massacres will continue at the rate we’ve seen. And they are totally random. Also, you’re a hunter and you know no one needs a weapon with a high-capacity magazine. Those are only good for killing as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. Seriously, I don’t want to get shot. Hillary isn’t taking away anyone’s guns. You’re one of the smart ones and you know that, so don’t even start. And seriously, if you’ve made it on to the ‘no-fly’ list because you’re suspected of terrorist sympathies, you shouldn’t be able to get a gun. Okay, maybe some end up on the list mistakenly but let’s err on the side of caution.
There are a million more things, Grandpa Joe. As a child taught not to hate, not to ridicule, not to express an opinion without a supporting argument, as a young woman, can you really look me in the eye and say, ‘I don’t care about you,’ and then go vote for Trump? That’s essentially what every Trump voter is doing—not just to me, not just to their fellow American, but to their fellow citizen of the world: their Latino co-worker, their disabled neighbor, their African-American mail carrier, my Muslim math teacher, their sister/wife/mother/niece/daughter/granddaughter/daughter-in-law. Heck, I’m surprised there’s no video of Trump making fun of dogs. I’m sure he’d only have bad things to say about the bitches.
Grandpa Joe, you can’t vote for Trump and expect the two of us to have the same relationship going forward. A vote for Trump means you support him, because he hasn’t just done one despicable thing that you can explain away, he’s done a thousand despicable things. Oh and he’s completely unqualified for the position. What I said before about green jobs and the economy and healthcare—I barely touched on foreign policy—those are all ideas that Hillary Clinton supports. Trump only deals in generalities and no specifics. We need someone who knows how to roll up their sleeves and get into the minutiae. Clinton has proven countless times that she’s that kind of ‘someone.’
Do you know that after graduating from Ivy League colleges with law degrees, President Obama chose to do community work in Chicago and Hillary Clinton chose to work for the Children’s Defense Fund? That’s called public service. I could go on.
Please don’t turn your back on me, Grandpa Joe. I love you, and Donald Trump shouldn’t have the power to disrupt our family—but I’m a righteous teenage girl. We hold onto stuff.”
(Imagine your teenage granddaughter is long-winded and well-informed.)
– Imagine this teenage girl’s mother is married to a Trump supporter. FYI, my husband is for HRC but last night at dinner, I told him if he was voting for Trump—if I had failed to notice when we were dating this tragic flaw that would lead to such a morally reprehensible act—we would separate and eventually divorce. And no, I’m not kidding. He has three daughters. Bun Bun asked if I’d file for full custody. I said I would but that it wouldn’t be up to me. It would be up to the judge.
So if you’re married to a Trump supporter and you’re only voting for Trump because you’ve been controlled by men your whole life, though it makes you sick inside (especially when you look at your daughter) but you’re also not in any position to divorce the guy, here’s a little secret: once you’re in that voting booth, he won’t know for whom you voted. So go ahead and vote for Hillary. Feel that nascent ulcer in your gut start to heal itself.
Before Tuesday, let’s talk about HRC. She’ll be one of the finest presidents this country has ever had.
Thanks for reading. Remember, the fate of the Republic is at stake. Maybe even more important is the relationship we have with our fellow man.