At a time when the youth hold the potential to expand the American Dream’s accessibility and reach, a President Trump would ensure its exclusivity.

At a time when the youth hold the potential to expand the American Dream’s accessibility and reach, a President Trump would ensure its exclusivity.

Mr. Trump champions the movement to “make America great again,” and does so with great zeal, xenophobia, and bigotry. Though, his supporters seem unphased by his fearmongering rhetoric, perhaps due to the assurance of something “great.”

But, we already live in a country with a Dream that is “great,” by Mr. Trump’s definition.

The Trump Campaign’s slogan alludes to a country that worked for few, a dream accessible to few, and a social environment hostile to many. Such a country has long existed, and that Mr. Trump fails to realize this is revealing not only of the obliviousness with which he sees the world but also his desire for a country devoid of social mobility or equal-opportunity.

Mr. Trump, wallowing in ignorance, benefits from what we call the American Dream, which guarantees eventual prosperity for straight, white men. Our country didn’t bear this dream; this dream bore our country, and our hostile society is a result.

Such a dream, and the pedestal of privilege upon which its dreamers sit, requires victims, and Mr. Trump has made a hit list including Muslims, the LGBT community, people of color, and women. Mr. Trump’s threats range from banning Muslim immigration to overturning Obergefell v. Hodges.

Furthermore, Mr. Trump’s business practices have long been steeped in racism and sexism.  In 1973, the Justice Department filed a civil rights case against Trump for violations of the Federal Housing Act of 1968. A report by The New York Times claims that Trump subjected his female employees and acquaintances to “unwelcome romantic advances, unending commentary on the female form, a shrewd reliance on ambitious women, and unsettling workplace conduct.”

Mr. Trump’s rhetoric and actions mirror the systemic injustices we see in the American Dream, which is why he’s the perfect candidate to continue our country’s history of racism and discrimination.

Though, it’s not my aim to impose an nihilistic view of the United States upon the reader. But our nation’s civil rights advances have been limited in scope and effectiveness. Part of what lacks in both Mr. Trump’s thinking and American attempts to address such injustices is the understanding and awareness of minority experiences.

However, we’ve come to a turning point in our nation’s history for two reasons.

First, my generation has an unparalleled knowledge of the severe inequality plaguing minorities in this country. Of course, access to resources varies greatly, but as a whole, the youth of today are different than any previous generation in that, with such interconnectedness, we have access to limitless information of people unlike ourselves and, with that, their struggles.

Second, the 2016 Presidential election holds the potential to derail any attempts our country has made to pursue social justice, and the election of Mr. Trump would most certainly halt any progress toward equality, thereby perpetuating the American Dream as we know it.

That these two events coincide gives a unique opportunity to change the direction of our country. We can change for whom the American Dream works, finally aligning our country’s practice with its mission.

I recognize this is idealistic; we cannot know whether my generation has the will to act, but this unknown cannot justify a vote for Trump. A Trump Presidency would thwart efforts toward progress, squandering my generation’s unique potential to make change.

Drew Harper is a Yale Young Global Scholar in International Affairs and Security.

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