Let’s not be friends

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 1:30pm

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While I may write from a moderate political perspective, there are some issues that Americans cannot be moderate on. The fundamentals of the Constitution –– life, liberty, equality under the law, human rights –– are topics that are not up for debate. We can argue about taxes, economic and foreign policies, but issues like gay rights, racial equality and human dignity are off-limits. 

If you voted to reelect the president, you voted to threaten the lives of immigrants seeking a better life, to support racism and white supremacy in America, to deny gays the right to marry who they love, to stop transgender soldiers from serving their country, to endorse constant lying from the highest office of our government and so much more. 

That is why if you voted for Trump, we should not be friends anymore.

The Republican Party has been, for many years, one that stood for decency and American values. They were the party of Lincoln and would play by the rules, a good example being when George H.W. Bush conceded reelection to Bill Clinton in 1992. The president stood up on stage and called for a peaceful transfer of power to thunderous applause. Now, in the era of Trump, the party has been hijacked by an alt-right demagogue who seeks to use his power for his own personal gain. Trump breaks all presidential norms and degrades the office that he holds.

Trump continues to verbally attack veterans who served their country, even though he himself is a draft dodger. “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers,” Trump said of visiting a cemetery housing the bodies of Americans who died in World War II. When asked of John McCain, the president said, “I don't care about this. I didn't get [a] thank you. That's OK We sent him on the way, but I wasn't a fan of John McCain," as well as “I like people who weren’t captured,” in regards to McCain’s service in the Vietnam War and being a prisoner of war. If you voted for Trump, you voted against the service of the men and women who put their lives on the line for our country. 

He uses his platform to promote racism and violence against minority groups in our country. He began a rumor that President Barack Obama was not born in America. He attacked Mexicans saying, “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” He also notably tried to spend taxpayer dollars to build a wall at the border with Mexico. This was never successful.

Two Trump supporters beat a homeless man in Boston with a metal bar and then urinated on him. During their attack, they said, “All these illegals need to be deported.” In response, Trump stated, “I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.” Support for this president is support for violence against immigrants.

One of his first acts as president was to implement a 90-day ban on people from Muslim-majority from entering the United States. The order lowered the number of refugees fleeing their war-torn homes to find a safe haven in the United States to 50,000 in the year 2017. Coincidentally, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, two nations where Trump has business ties, were spared from this executive order. A vote for Trump is a vote to keep refugees and those in need out of our nation.

Trump said he could get away with anything because of his fame and fortune. "When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything… grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” He has dozens of sexual misconduct claims made against him and appointed a justice to the Supreme Court that was accused of sexual assault. To have voted for Trump is to deny the rights of victims of sexual assault.

It is OK to disagree on important topics; that is what makes America so great. But we cannot surrender our support for basic American –– nay, humanitarian –– ideals simply to support a politician of a certain political party that we might align with. A vote to reelect the president is a public statement of hate and that should be a deal-breaker in a relationship of any kind. Just as we would not be friends with someone who is a racist and attacks those who are different from them, we should not be friends with people who voted to have a person like that in the highest office in the land.

 

Nathan La Huis can be reached at ndlahuis@umich.edu.


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