Dear Mr. Trump,
I find that I cannot congratulate you on your new job, as I think it is one for which you are eminently ill-suited. Unqualified, in other words. For the sake of our nation, I hope you can prove me wrong, but I hold little, if any, hope for that. However, all that aside, I feel it necessary to write to you yet again, for in reading your inaugural address (no, I did not watch, as I was already feeling ill and knew having to look at and listen to you for a full 16 minutes would be my undoing), I believe you are residing in some alternate universe (another world).
You began by saying the nation now belongs to “you”, meaning, I presume, the citizens of this nation. However, I have never felt less like this is “my” nation than I have since noon yesterday. You said that “America wants great schools for their children,” yet you nominated Betsy DeVos, who does not support public schools, as Secretary of Education! You say America wants “safe neighborhoods for their families,” yet you nominated Jeff Sessions, a racist, for Attorney General! How can our neighborhoods be safe if people of colour are harassed for merely walking down the street? How can our neighborhoods be safe if a Muslim woman is stoned for wearing a hijab, and nobody, not even the police, protect these people?
Your dystopian view of the way America is today is wrong. The world I live in, the America I live in, is nothing like the bleak picture you paint. When you say, “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” I have no idea what you mean! What is “American carnage”? Let me tell you, Mr. Trump, a bit about the America I live in … or at least lived in until noon yesterday.
The America I live in is one where people, ALL PEOPLE, are valued. Our economy is reasonably strong, the jobless rate is under 5%, and there has been a steady increase in jobs for 75 consecutive months! The America I live in is a nation that respects and protects the rights of others, a nation that has been learning to embrace diversity among people and cultures. Our strengths lie, not in wearing blinders and seeing only what is right in front of us, but in being far-sighted and realizing that every human being has something to contribute to our society. This includes people of every race, colour, religion, gender, age, and culture.
You speak of the “sad depletion of our military”? Perhaps you should have attended those White House briefings, as you are obviously uninformed. The United States has the highest military budget of all nations in the world, at $596 billion per annum as compared to the next largest, China, who spends only $215 billion. That, sir, is far from a “sad depletion”! Frankly, I do not support an increase in the military budget, but perhaps some oversight to ensure more effective use of my tax money. And as for your argument that we spend too much defending other nation’s borders, let me remind you that this is how friends (allies) treat friends. It is a reciprocal agreement, and if our nation is ever under threat, our allies will help defend us. That is how international relations work … it is how life works, but perhaps, living as you have lived, you have never had the opportunity to make real friends.
Your incessant ranting about “America first” is quite frankly disgusting. I am loyal to my country, love my country, but I, as a human being, am no better than a man in Ghana or a woman in Syria. We are all a part of one race: the human race. Today we live in a global world, whether you and your followers like that idea or not. It is virtually impossible to become an isolationist nation, nor is it desirable. We need our allies, but if we neglect them when they need us, they, in turn, will not be there when we need them. International trade is mutually beneficial, and to close our borders to imports is foolish and will necessarily lead to a collapse of our own economy. You must learn, you must try to become educated in these matters, else you will be solely responsible for the loss of jobs, the devaluation of the U.S. dollar, and the destruction of the strong economy you have inherited. We cannot become an island unto ourselves, nor do we want to. You simply cannot run this nation in the same way you have run your businesses.
You concluded your address with “Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together we will make America great again.” Well, I speak for many when I say to you that America is already strong, wealthy, proud, safe and great. Not only that, but until last November, we were respected and looked to for wisdom, for support, for help. Now, we are the laughingstock of the world. I have said that I love my country and I am proud of my country. I do not know if I will still be able to say that a year from now.
Jill Dennison, citizen of the United States of America