Why Donald Trump is Damaging
I don’t consider myself a highly political person. Sure, I made the same “Dubbya is the worst!” that any liberal minded student made in the early 2000’s, but halfway through my first and only Political Science class in college I knew that I wasn’t ever going to get super bent out of shape by the political sphere. That is, until this year.
Like many of us, I didn’t take Trump seriously at first. I bought Trump pinatas and joked about how stupid he was with my friends. When I asked my very Republican family what they thought, they scoffed off the question. “There’s no way he’ll get the nomination,” they said. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that the intelligent people I’m related to who I do respect didn’t vote for this madman in the primaries. I hoped they were right, and he would fade away as fast as the ratings of the SNL episode he hosted.
Of course they were wrong. He did get the nomination, and now I see these same people wearing Trump stickers and I die a little inside.
I have always based my political decisions on the “sleep at night” factor. While I may skew a bit conservative fiscally, I can’t sleep at night knowing I support candidates who basic human rights – specifically surrounding LGBTQ and women. This year though, simply voting for my chosen candidate isn’t providing a good night’s rest. I feel compelled to be vocal.
It’s not that I need everyone to agree with the same policies I do. I don’t think that being a Republican is a bad thing, I know a ton of super well educated Republicans. We might disagree on some things, but at the end of the day there’s a mutual level of respect. Not a word of this post is written to try and sway someone to change parties or even vote for my chosen candidate. I’m not here for that.
What I keep thinking about is the kind of icon the President of the United States stands for to our country. The political world is one of deep corruption that needs to be addressed. Don’t think for a second that I find our current president (who I voted for on both terms) is absolved from this. There’s a level of crookedness to every candidate, for better or worse.
When we vote, we decide both on policies and on the character of the person we choose to represent our country. My focus for this election is on the second part of that – character. If you were to go to a school right now and ask the young children what they think about the president, the response isn’t going to have anything to do with health care or disappearing emails. Children focus on the whole picture and things they can understand like kindness, respect and love. The lack of those traits in Donald Trump are what keep me up at night.
Though I don’t have children, there are two important little girls in my life – my niece (who’s parents will decidedly be voting for Trump) and my self-appointed goddaughter (who’s parents will decidedly not be voting for Trump). When I think about these little girls, I want them to view the president as a role model. I want them to look up at that figure and say, “I want to be well spoken like the president! I want to be respectful and intelligent like the president!”
Children don’t need to grow up under the umbrella of this man. Little girls don’t need to think, “If I’m well spoken and assertive people will think I’m a ‘nasty’ woman.” I don’t want them to have a president who values a woman by his desire to sleep with her. I don’t want them to grow up under this shadow and think, “Maybe if I lose some weight the president will grab my pussy.”
I hate I even have to spend time thinking about this during this election. I would much rather research healthcare reform and how tax plans effect me. I would rather be able to cast my vote between two qualified candidates who disagree, rather than being forced to vote for the candidate that won’t endanger my friends’ well being and parade my insecurities around like a joke.
If it were that kind of election, I wouldn’t be writing this at all. After all, this isn’t even remotely a political blog but it is a blog for things that are on my mind. People vote to make the right decision for themselves, and this year for me that’s voting for a candidate that I believe little girls will aspire to rather than crumble from.
42 thoughts on “Why Donald Trump is Damaging”
Well said. Much respect to you on what can be a very inflammatory topic.
I once read an article, I think around the time of the last presidential, that said Millennial voters are so disenfranchised by national politics because they are fiscally conservative (by virtue of having come of age during the Great Recession, student loans, etc), but socially liberal on things like LGBT rights and womens’ rights. And there isn’t a party that covers both. I read that and was like, “Wow, someone gets me!”
There really isn’t, and that’s a problem. Living in Texas now and making friends with native Texans, I run into a lot of republicans who are frustrated by the lack of social progress in their party. Personally I think the GOP needs an overhaul to address this, in my opinion, very large group of voters that do not have much representation in the candidates.
I’ve been seriously impressed with Massachusetts’ Governor Charlie Baker. He is a self-described fiscally conservative, socially liberal politician. He grew up in a household with a Republican father and a Democratic mother. To hear him talk – he just speaks common sense. And I think he really tries to be as truthful as he can, within the confines of the topics he addresses.
I’m not political at all, but I really find myself thinking that he is someone who people like us could really get behind one day.
I’m really hoping that this entire mess breaks the Republican party, and that it reforms by embracing this idea.
The possibility of Trump becoming the leader of the free world is the stuff of nightmares, and has far reaching and possibly catastrophic ramifications that will reverberate throughout the entire globe. Being Canadian we feel the ripple effects of your presidential choice but never before have I felt such a visceral desire to vote in an election that isn’t mine.
Totally agree. It is one thing to disagree on policy and/or positions but completely different to have a major candidate who denigrates whole blocks of the US population. Good post.
I, too, live in Texas. I am terrified. Ever since I heard Trump was running, I have felt this ever-increasing amount of dread. For the same reasons you listed. I’m afraid for myself as a disabled person, afraid for my friends whom are not all necessarily white and straight, afraid for the world political sphere, afraid for the young people who cannot vote but still have to live with the consequences. I’m afraid for the country. I’m afraid on a personal level…if people I love and respect can vote for this man, how can I feel safe? I’ve never felt so emotionally involved in or betrayed by an election before.
Betrayed is a good word to use here. That’s similar to how I feel when I look at people I love and respect saying they can vote for this man who so clearly hates women (and so many others).
I’m very much not voting for Trump, but like you have family that is. My cousin has a daughter with disabilities and that whole side of the family is pro Trump. They post on social medial all the time trying about promoting people with disabilities and how we need to get rid of the R word. I don’t understand at all how they can support someone who publicly mocks people like their daughter/granddaughter/niece. How they can’t see that Trump would do away with all the social image/support/research funding/policies in place to help protect her, the cause that they are devoting their lives to. It makes my heart hurt.
Yes. I completely agree with your sentiment here, and I’ve been considering a similar post of my own. At first, I also considered Trump to be a joke, but that slowly evolved into distaste then outright dislike and – after watching the debate last night – outright fear. He is dangerous to this country.
I think you’re right on about the Republican party as well. I can get down with fiscal conservative policy, but I cannot choose that over their positions on social policies. I will say this: It’ll be interesting to see what happens to our political parties/system after this election is over.
that second to last paragraph sums up pretty much everything
This quite accurately portrays my feelings. Voting for platform is relevant (and like many millennial the current GOP platform does not appeal to me at all) but more than anything this year, my concern is that the president is, for better or worse, an icon.
I have been left in awe how someone who is so clearly disrespectful of other ethnicities, women, and the disabled, who basically freely speaks hate speech, could ever be considered a viable leader. I expect people in positions of leadership to be held to a higher level of character than me. It is one thing to have differing views, but another entirely to disrespect and denigrate others.
If you haven’t yet read The Atlantic’s “endorsement” of Hillary Clinton, I highly recommend it. They have only endorsed a presidential candidate two other times during the publication’s history. And only one of those was a true endorsement.
I totally agree. The article is worth the read.
That was a great read, thank you!
I work in a liberal college town and live 20 minutes away in a little conservative rural area populated with farmers, Amish, and suburban conservatives (and some liberal people like me). Regardless of political views, I just can’t understand why people want to support a bully who spews messages of intolerance, hate, racism, disrespect, sexism, sexual assault, and so much more. Forget political views, why would we want a leader with those traits? One of my co-workers was telling me her son came home the other day telling her that his classmate was telling a friend he was going back to Mexico where he belongs when Trump becomes president…. how can we teach kids bullying is wrong if the POTUS is a bully? It’s just horrifying and scary. And yet where I live, my views are of the minority it seems… (And I’m not even going into political views)
THIS exactly. Awesome comment.
I am finding, with people around me that support him, that people are coming up with excuse after excuse for his disgusting actions and words, because Clinton is a liar and a criminal and thats apparently the end of the world. While I can see their POV, kind of, I literally cannot and will not support a candidate that openly speaks intolerance. Additionally, I do not see him fit to run a country at all; he does not have any political experience and speaks out of his bum on the regular , whereas Clinton has years of experience in the political platform. I suppose what I am getting at is that they both have flaws, but I am deeply offended by my friends and family that defend Trump, support him and make excuses for his actions, because in the end thats essentially saying that its ok to be openly racist, hateful towards women, disrespectful towards the disabled and that bullying is fine. Those are not people I want to associate with and I am truly disgusted with their true colors showing.
I’ll add my voice to the chorus here, as we pretty much all seem to be in agreement. It’s terrifying to think that some (err… many) of the comments Trump has made during his campaign COULD be made by the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. It’s so sad to think that this is where our country is right now, and that on a global stage we as a people could be represented by this man.
Thank goodness someone broke the ice. Love this post and the thoughtful comments above.
It’s not just president of the United States, it’s (basically) the leader of the “free” world.
It’s the person who can carry our nation toward real equality for everyone, no matter what race, gender, economic class, sexual identity…
It’s the person who will have in their hands, the power to act in time to meaningfully address climate change.
It’s the person who will be influencing the composition of the Supreme Court for generations to come, which will have a huge effect on the future of our children, and our children’s children.
And btw – politics does NOT = entertainment.
(Lauren – just wanted to be sure you know that the last line was directed at the ridiculous media coverage of this election. When I re-read it I wasn’t sure that was clear :D)
Excellent post! This entire election cycle is stressing me out. It’s terrifying to be that people want to vote for Trump. Republican, Democrat, Independent, Whatever; I don’t generally care what peoples’ politics are, but Trump is a nightmare,
My daughter & I live in a diverse area. She has friends who are black, hispanic, Muslim. These kids are all 15-16 years old, and they are afraid.
I can’t tell you the shame I feel as one of the “adults” in this country. The hypocrisy makes me sick to my stomach. Literally sick.
And I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND how family and co-workers, responsible, kind, “Christian”people, can support this man. I. JUST. DON’T. I am angry with them for what this election has done to our children. It can never be undone. They will always remember this year, remember that this man was able to make a serious run at the presidency.
This election has made me take a second look at my fellow Americans, and I really wonder how we will heal when this is all over.
I don’t know if this Trump thing is an elaborate Halloween prank, but you’re freaking us out America. Please stop.
Sincerely, the rest of the world.
Many of us in Canada are riveted by this whole election. And we are worried. In many ways the U.S. feels like family to me and the hate, bigotry and misogyny is frightening. I’m hoping that it all works out and I wish it was over.
I am also joining the chorus!
As a queer person living in Texas – meaning, in hiding pretty much – I’m feeling increasingly nervous about this election.
I agree with all of you, this is equally appalling & embarrassing. I also echo some of the sentiments regarding people I love and respect supporting Trump–this is the first time I’ve felt shocked & disappointed in our differences of opinion. I don’t know very much about politics in general, but I know a racist, prejudiced, misogynistic, xenophobic, narcissistic, elitist asshole when I see one!!!
Thank you for writing this. While I’m a registered Democrat, I have never voted a straight ticket in my life–I have voted for members of both parties as well as independents. But, this election, the choice is so completely clear. It’s horrifying watching Trump’s surrogates and campaign managers and running mate trying to “spin” what he says. But, as Van Jones said of Trump’s refusal to commit to accepting the election results, “You just can’t polish that turd.” How can we expect him to represent what we stand for when he no longer has his “turd polishers” running around trying to clean up his messes for him? How can we expect someone who takes the bait every time Hillary lays it out for him, to not be played like a chess piece by a master manipulator like Putin? And how can we allow someone who is so disrespectful and downright hateful towards women, minorities, people with disabilities, etc., to be the commander in chief of our country?
My friend’s daughters, age two and five, refer to the candidates as “Orange Man” and “Mean Grandma.” Not being thrilled with either candidate, we find the girls’ observations highly amusing.
I’m obviously in the minority here, but I’m proudly pulling the lever for Trump, as are most of my female friends. I don’t understand how anyone can look at Hillary and claim she is some kind of role model for little girls, considering all the terrible things she has done, the corruption she is involved in, and how she tried to destroy the women who accused her husband of actual sexual assault. Trump says mean things (oh, the horror), but Hillary has actually DONE mean and awful things to so many people. Hillary Clinton IS a nasty woman and she is anything but respectful.
oh thank God in2paints, I’m with you. The major networks ARE NOT reporting all the true reports about Hillary Clinton who I will never call my President if she actually wins. If you really want to hear all about her and her sorry husband who has raped and abused women, watch the FOX news stations. I get to hear it non-stop when we are at home because my husband adamantly watches it to hear the REAL TRUTH.
I came very close to un-following you yesterday, but then decided that this is why you have your blog. It is your opinion and your right to post what you want. Also, you have a right to vote for who you wish to call your President.
Your opinion is in no way going to change my mind about that lying, corrupt woman who has already been in politics for 30 years. She has made no MAJOR advances for women or Americans.
What Trump said was years ago when he was a NON political, millionaire playboy. Lord have mercy. What Bill did was when he was our damn President. And if you don’t think he’ll have influence on his “wife”, then you are seriously deluding yourself.
I thought long and hard about writing how I feel before I typed this. Said at first, I would just ignore your post. But, I’m not at “Me Too” person to blindly follow somebody because I want to be a friend or correct. I have a voice and will always choose to use it.
oh and I should have said: p.s., I’m not coming back into this post!
so don’t waste any time sending me any hate comments or hate mail. if I see it, it will be sent to my big ol trash bin………..
I don’t give a crap about what anybody else thinks about my VERY OWN opinion
The liberal media is very biased. Hillary is not qualified for the job. How can everyone ignore the missing emails, that she lied to the FBI, and that she let US citizens die in Benghazi? It will be the same as with Obama. I don’t know anyone who is better off then they were 8 years ago. My take-home pay has reduced dramatically, thanks to AHA and taxes. While I don’t like Trump personally, he is a smart business man and will get the country back on track. If you think about it, cities give tax breaks to companies to get them to move to their cities. Trump will give tax breaks to companies to get them to come back to our country. More jobs! More jobs, more taxes! We need manufacturing to have a viable economy. A country that doesn’t produce is economically doomed.
I really can’t do political arguments though I 100% have my opinions. I think neither candidate is ideal. But I’m with you on this Lauren. The arguments supporting Trump are weak. They weren’t just words he spoke many years ago, they were his actions. Denying the women who are speaking up is exactly what Trump’s supporters accuse Hillary of. So it’s only wrong for her? Did Bill Clinton do the same things? Probably. But he’s not running for president right now. Trump claims he’s going to bring more jobs back to the US. Manufacturing specifically. Why hasn’t he done this already for his own brands? Because he has no plan. None. He has words like Bigly and Tremendous, and nasty. But to quote his supporters, those are just words.
And don’t get me started on the rights he wants to take away. He wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. He wants to take away the right for LGBT to marry. It’s all so back wards and makes my heart sick.
So much this. Thank you for this post. And for all of the comments showing that there *are* still intelligent, rational people in this country that are capable of recognizing what a black & white type of election this is.
I honestly can’t wait for this election to be over because I am so tired of realizing people around me that I used to respect are behind this joke of a man running for president. I am Latina, born in the US on a military base, out of two US citizens. My dad is Cuban but is a legal citizen and an Army Colonel that has served as a medic in three wars. My mom is Puerto Rican…Puerto Ricans have been citizens since 1898 when the US took possession of the island. And on the island is where I grew up after my parents’ divorce. Even if I had been born on the island, I would *still* be a US citizen and have a US passport, US birth certificate and social security number. I never needed to carry a passport to travel to the the US while living on the island…but I still did because people here love to make assumptions when they hear you talking in Spanish to a loved one.
The island has a strong US influence combined with a Spanish history and traditions. My family watched HBO and HGTV, and the Spanish news on Television Espanola: Spanish is the first language but everyone is fully bilingual. The general opinion of the US from an international standpoint is that it is a country of bigoted ignorants that don’t even know their own history. Puerto Ricans that move to the mainland are considered “sellouts”. The US is laughed at in Spain. It was not easy choosing to move here, but I did so for the man I married.
I saw a lot of what the US is known for at the international level while living in Florida, of all places. You’d think Hispanics would be welcome there, given how many of us live there! Not so much. For the most part though, my time living in the US has been absolutely wonderful. A lot more than I originally dreamed possible, especially after moving to the DC region. I had started to believe that maybe there really is a lot of good in this country, a lot of intelligent, smart, open-minded people that care more about humanity and helping one another out than stomping on someone else just because they are different. This election has turned the tables again on my perception of this country. I have defriended Trump followers on Facebook and have been tempted to do the same with the indecisive ones, because anyone that is incapable of seeing how evil that man is, is blind. I know she isn’t perfect, but c’mon…it can never compare to what he is and does, even while speaking live on national television. His views about women have not changed at all since that tape was recorded and he has made it quite clear. I have reached the point where anyone that follows him makes me rabidly angry (I know this makes me no better than his supporters) but it because to me it is a personal offense: I am a brown person. My first language is Spanish. I AM NOT WORKING ON NO GODDAMN WALL JUST BECAUSE I SPEAK SPANISH!!! I am a CITIZEN and I am NOT Mexican! I have many friends that are from other countries, Latin American and otherwise, whose first languages are not English. About half of my friends are LGBT. My island gets screwed with a man like that as president, and my entire family lives on the island still. My brother lives in Ohio, where he has experienced racism and bigotry despite having light brown hair and white skin…why? Because he speaks Spanish. It doesn’t matter that he is fluent in English. He speaks Spanish and so he is an outsider. He lives in constant fear when he leaves his house.
In 1993, Pedro Rossello, one of the most terrible PR governors of all time to rule the island, was voted into the governorship not by choice, but because so many people *didn’t vote!!* He got voted in because the people of the opposite party were indecisive: they didn’t like their candidate. But the people of his party voted for the party, not necessarily for him, and so he became governor. And the island still hasn’t recovered from his decisions 22 years later.
THAT is why people MUST choose. They MUST vote for one or the other. Sitting back and not voting is just another vote for Trump.
And this is why the closer the elections get, the more my hackles are raised, because by God I will die fighting for the people I love and the freedoms I believe in if I have to.
And that is why I have barely blogged lately and why I currently have no plans for next year. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Because I am genuinely terrified that I won’t be around to experience whatever it is that I plan.
Thank you for being brave enough to write about this, Lauren!
I voted this weekend to avoid what I assume will be the long voting lines in CA (but will probably do a few drive bys to take in the scene). Lots of great comments above so I won’t say anything other than Trump is a total buffoon.
WOW. Can’t believe only 3 of us completely DISAGREE with this post. It floors me the way america thinks now. Praying for this election so hard. It really comes down to this for me. Trump: Says mean things. Hillary: Is a murderer anmd a liar. Gotta say its a no brainer for me.