Exclusion will not lead to unity

Nisha Gandhi


It’s been almost two weeks since Donald J. Trump took office as the President of the United States and it’s become abundantly clear that the country has never been more divided than now.

I’ll be the first to publicly admit that I’ve been very critical of President Trump from the moment he stepped onto the campaign trail. He was not my choice for POTUS and quite frankly, his lack of political knowledge and experience is terrifying. However, I’m also completely willing to admit that I actually don’t want him to fail. It’s in all of our best interests as American citizens and/or global citizens for President Trump to succeed and transcend while he’s in office.

I, like many others, was hoping that during the two months between the election and his inauguration, President Trump would take the time to learn as much as possible and make himself as best fit to run our country as possible. Unfortunately, in light of recent events, I’m not sure if he had the same gameplan that we’d been hoping for.

Over the last (less than) two weeks, President Trump has issued 17 executive actions, four of which are orders and therefore legally binding and published in the Federal Registrar. From rolling back Obamacare, restricting access to safe abortions, withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (therefore affecting our trade deals),  expediting the construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines, requiring that all local law enforcers also act as immigration officers whenever possible, threatening to defund cities, states and campuses that identify as “sanctuary,” ordering the construction of a wall along the border of Mexico and, most recently, blocking refugees and all visitors from: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, President Trump has, whether it’s been done conscientiously or not, created a sense of animosity and division among the American population.

I understand that fear is one of the strongest motivators and I also understand that many Americans are fearful. Fearful that their jobs are being stolen by immigrants, fearful that it’s because of all the Muslim refugees that we’ve been under terrorist attacks, fearful that their hard-earned money is going to individuals that aren’t deserving of it. I completely get it. However, while these fears are justified as all fears are, they should not be a basis for policy.

The job of policy makers should not revolve around basing decisions while taking the fear within their citizens into consideration but rather by evaluating and condemning issues and actions that truly threaten the lives of their citizens. Obamacare is the reason many people were able to afford chemotherapy and become survivors of cancer rather than victims to cancer. Planned Parenthood acts as a resource for females all around the country, providing them with knowledge about their reproductive rights, helps treat sexually transmitted infections ( STIs) and offers free screenings for breast and ovarian cancer. Sanctuary cities/states/campuses do not encourage illegal immigration but rather refuse to use their own resources and time to track down these illegal immigrants. A wall dividing Mexico and America may stop Mexicans from crossing over to the United States but will also stop a little boy or girl who was born in America from going to see their grandma who still lives in Mexico. More murders, shootings and acts of terrorism are committed by American citizens, not immigrants or refugees.

President Trump’s orders are not orders of protection. These actions are not actions of protection. President Trump is not making America “great,” he’s making America divided, homogeneous and closed-minded. He’s teaching our young citizens that being American means being closed off to the idea that someone who looks different than you cannot be your friend.  He’s teaching them that their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and others who immigrated to this country ruined this country. He’s spreading a message of exclusivity, emphasizing that in order for America to be “great” again, we need to go back to a time where everyone looks, thinks and acts the same.

This is not a venting session, nor is it simply a rant about Donald Trump. This is a call to action to our POTUS. @realDonaldTrump, @POTUS, hear me out. I want you to succeed. I want you to make America a place that all of us can live without fear of discrimination. I’m begging you to take time out of your day to visit Muslim citizens who are afraid to pray. Visit with young women who were able to catch and overcome their cancer because of one trip to Planned Parenthood and the scan and support that changed their lives. Visit with the Native Americans whose reservations are about to be destroyed due to the construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, the construction that you want expedited. Pay a visit to inner-city schools where students don’t have choices and where the public school system is failing them. Listen to their stories because they make up our country. Understand that as the POTUS, your actions affect all of us. Your words, your ill-thought out tweets, your rhetoric about women being less than human, immigrants being a threat to society and our country constantly being under attack by its own citizens leave a lasting impact.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it” – this is a direct quote from our own Declaration of Independence. It’s the premise on which this country was created. It’s the mentality that all our founding fathers had. While I understand that times change and mentalities change with time, the fundamental ideal that American people have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are eternal and timeless.
@realDonaldTrump, you are not acting in your best interest anymore. You are acting in the best interest of ALL American people, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, political affiliation or moral compass. You are not here to divide, exclude or punish. You are here to unite and motivate. It’s only with a united population that we will ever achieve progress and success as a nation. It’s high time you realize this and start behaving like the President you so desperately wanted to be, before the people exercise our right to alter or abolish your presidency.