Dear Donald Trump,
“Make America Great Again”, you say.
It all started in June 2015 with a humorous proposition: here, donning a mildly comical cap and surrounded by swathes of red, blue and white spangles, was a man best known for his image of a tough and uber-successful boss. Here was the Queens born businessman courted diligently by bright and aspirational young entrepreneurs whom America watched saying “You’re Fired!” on The Apprentice. Here was the Donald, entering the ruthless political domain of the United States Presidential Elections. Here was the real estate shark whose whole “presidential affair” was dismissed as nothing more than a “publicity stunt”.
As of April 2016, you are the leading GOP candidate by 226 votes. Your Republican nomination is, at this point, inevitable. For a year, you have inundated the media with a maelstrom of bigotry, scandal, and are the figurehead of a nation-wide moral panic. You, the Donald, have fragmented America by preying on ignorance, racial and ethnic tensions, and the hardship of the Great Recession to gather masses by your side who, when approached by a friendly African-American, will respond “I don’t want drugs”, or will lash out to protesters at your encouragement.
You have broken almost every rule in modern-day politics and defaced American diplomacy with sweeping, offensive generalizations, puerile debating and ambiguity. Some Americans seem to like it.
I grew up thinking America was a land of opportunity where honest work was rewarded by hard-earned achievement. Hailing from Mexico, which is ailed by classism and racial inequality, I admired the United State’s humanitarian and societal progressiveness in gender, cultural and racial equality – all of which you have toiled to cripple.
But, as so many have already cried out: Mexicans are not all rapists. Arabs are not all terrorists. Women can argue passionately without having “the blood coming out of [their] eyes”. And abortion was legalized in 1973 – your attempt to rewind social progress and women’s rights is an indicator of how you’re so radically conservative that your “fellow” Republicans are worried you will destroy their party and act as a foil for the democrats.
Women are not so weak as to be made incompetent by a natural phenomenon, or to be ineligible due to their face. To make such a distinction is despicable, for you view them as their bodies and not their minds.
Mexican immigrants risk their lives in search of a better life, and after struggling for years to make a beachhead in a once-hostile society, their music and culture (who likes Chipotle or Pitbull? Enjoy guacamole with the Superbowl?) has permeated the United States – a country of immigrants, of freedom and work – and enriched its diversity.
There are two rovers on the surface of mars called Spirit and Opportunity because these were once fundamentally American values. And they aren’t exclusive to people born in the United States, as the ethnic minority of Native Americans demonstrate.
How have you done it, Donald? How has such a calumnious character risen so high?
As a fear-monger, you instill a sense of imminent danger in people and then pose as the savior. The fear of poverty and unemployment, the fear of terrorism, the fear of women replacing men at work. The underlying logic of your strategy is the fear of ignorance. Yes, we heard it. You will solve it all.
As a showman (or even conman), you have an ample repertoire of ingenious tricks that are deceptively simple. Of course, your arrival was catalyzed by issues currently in the spotlight such as ISIS, China and Russia’s potency, and the Paris Attacks.
The overwhelmingly negative media coverage in recent times allows you to pass off anything with the word problem to an audience that is desperate for solutions and stability, for knowing that America is number one. But there are many ways to rank a country, and the age of imperialism is gone, along with its oppression.
Putin’s Annexation of Crimea led to an increase in his popularity: this does not mean that, worldwide, humans were better off. This is a regressive form of leadership that may seem tempting with its short-lived thrills but will lead to social and economic regress. Mexicans provide essential services in the agricultural and restaurant industries without which the United States might not function so smoothly.
Such crises instigate the need for a strong leader who “has what it takes” to tackle such problems. Yet even more important is a leader who knows how to tackle such problems, and a brash self-announced billionaire who offers no explanation for how he will build a wall or believes that nuclear weapons could be used in Europe because of its spaciousness might not be the right man for the job.
There is nothing that you do not know or cannot solve, shown by your high modality of absolute certainty: you always ascertain that we absolutely have problems. By trumpeting simple, incoherent and ungrammatical phrases, you ratify such language in a political scene and assure members of the population that you are one of them. That you know your stuff. Equally deceiving are the endless claims of powerful, anonymous “friends” that call to congratulate you at your every insult.
You pose as the heroic man who takes it upon himself to demystify taboos and do what is right. Nothing could be further from the truth. You mock diseased reporters and scream “get out!” at the voices of freedom of speech. You are an unconstitutional embarrassment to the very meaning of the word American. And American people support your platform.
Whether you are the embodiment of America’s primitive dark side, or are merely an anomaly –an anachronistic, arrogant demagogue – I am glad you appeared. You exemplify the real “problems” in America: perhaps this will make solving them, united against lunacy, easier.
Heralding your name with a “dear” is in no way a demonstration of my affection for you, but only of a most terse instance of etiquette, – for Mexicans do possess it – more than can be said about you. The damage has been done: you have shaken the perception of United States Politics and not only hewn fissures into your party, but into our modern democratic system. It’s time the show was seen for what it is: the curtain must be drawn before it is too late.
Featured Picture; Copyright: Marina Bolsunova