You and I aren’t that different. In fact, we want similar things. We want our kids to be happy and successful. We want our children to grow up in a safe world where they're not bullied and they feel comfortable and confident. We want our kids to be good people and to be surrounded by good people. We want our kids to get a rigorous education, for their opportunities to be plentiful, and for their opinions to matter. Thus, there are things I want moms who voted for Trump to know.
In terms of role models, President Trump is not it. He has not shown any of the characteristics I want my kids to have. He didn't work hard for what he has, as his career began with a nice chunk of money given to him by his father. He didn't climb any ladders and is actually responsible for multiple failed business. He built his empire on the backs of underpaid, and sometimes unpaid, immigrants, by reportedly cutting corners, and by cheating those who work for and with him. The aforementioned are not reported theories, as he wrote about most of this in his book. He is proud.
He speaks poorly about women and minorities, he belittles people with disabilities, and his "unique speaking style" seems to babble without even an ounce of a coherent thought. As far as role models are concerned, at least to me, he isn’t one.
For me, the most important job I can do as a mother is to raise self-reliant, independent, confident, kind, and decent human beings. I want my daughter to be strong and my son to be respectful. I want to live in a world where my children aren’t denied opportunities for any reason outside of achievement and qualification. I want my daughter to be treated as an equal and I want my son to treat women with decency and thoughtfulness. I'm sure you want the same for your children, which is why I would like you to know the following:
Trump Doesn't Care About Women
Let's, for a minute, set aside the disgraceful things he actually said about women when he thought no one was listening and even when he knew everyone was. Let's, for a minute, pay attention to what he does rather than what he says. Let's forget he said women should be punished for terminating their pregnancies, (although he later recanted his comment) and all of the sexist remarks he made on the campaign trail. Let's put all of that aside and discuss his actual actions. What has he done for women, exactly?
Well, he began his presidency by reinstating and expanding the global gag rule. That expansion cuts $9.5 billion from organizations providing AIDS, malaria, and/or maternal and child healthcare. If any of these organizations even mentions abortion as an option for their patients, they lose funding.
He followed with an introduction of the ACA repeal in which he stated he would defund Planned Parenthood, a healthcare clinic that prevents an estimated 579,000 unintended pregnancies each year, according to Planned Parenthood's website, and uses 75 percent of its funding on SDT/STI screening and treatment and contraception, according to the same site.
Almost all of my female friends went to Planned Parenthood as teens for one reason or another. I went for birth control, for testing, and for my first exam. Planned Parenthood is safe and confidential and that is why it's visited by 2.5 million women and men annually, according to Planned Parenthood's website. And now it's under a vicious attack, which means my daughter may not have a safe place to go to if she needs one. My daughter won't have the same opportunity to get confidential screenings and affordable contraception as I did. Seems backwards, doesn't it?
Trump Doesn't Care About The Environment
I don't know about you, but no amount of tax refund is worth the damage Trump's anti-EPA policies will do. His new budget plan calls for massive cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and its eventual dismantling. So far, he has put an end to a regulation that protects waterways from coal mining waste (let's pour all of that coal waste into our rivers, that has to be healthy); proposed an 80 percent cut to the program that helps detect radon (you know, that chemical believed to cause lung cancer); and is cutting funding to climate change research (because who needs to know how our climate is changing, right?).
The EPA is responsible for screening and testing for chemicals that affect our reproductive health and our children's growth and development. I don't know about you, but I feel like those two things are kind of important, no? Nevermind that more and more research is linking climate change to the rising number of infertility in women. But, yes, let's cut funding!
So while the world's scientists warn of the horrendous effects of climate change, global warming, and air pollution on our world, Trump's policies reject science, the results of which could be devastating. Do we really want our children walking around with surgical masks because of our dangerously polluted air? I know I don't.
Trump Doesn't Care About Language
Words matter, wouldn't you agree? If another child calls your child "stupid" or "ugly," wouldn't you care? Or would you say, "Well, that child hasn't actually done anything to my kid, so it doesn't matter what he says." I bet you wouldn't. I bet you'd be furious, because you know how hurtful words are.
We all know that language, connotation, and context matter. Still, an estimated 62,979,879 people, according to revised and certified final election results from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, elected a man who has no problem saying anything that comes to his mind. In fact, most Trump supporters claim to have elected him because he is so "outspoken" and "real," according to Trump voters intervewied by the BBC. But do you know why you didn't care about his bigoted language? Because that language didn't target you. Those who aren't affected by hateful language cry that our world is becoming way too "politically correct." But, I guarantee (in fact, I'd bet my savings on it) if your child turns out to be gay and someone calls him or her a derogatory term, you won't be applauding that person's right to freedom of speech.
It's easy to call people "sensitive" when you aren't the one affected by "just words."
Trump Doesn't Care About People
This is obvious. His proposed budget cuts illustrate this point without the need to even get into it. He wants to cut Meals on Wheels, and he wants to implement massive cuts to Medicaid. He wants to remove funding from special education, cut free lunch and breakfast programs for underprivileged children, and eliminate funding from the arts and humanities. He wants to force low-income mothers on Medicaid to go back to work eight weeks after having a child or they will lose their coverage. Eight weeks. Eight. I was still healing mentally and emotionally at eight weeks.
Trump Doesn't Care About Education
Betsy DeVos, a chair of the pro-school-choice advocacy group, strides to privatize public education. Her confirmation came as a heartache to every teacher I know. DeVos has no experience in education. She doesn't understand pedagogy or how curriculum is created. She has never been inside a classroom, nor has she attempted to teach students. The charter schools she petitioned for in Michigan have repeatedly scored below state averages in reading and math, according to Politico.
Privatizing education isn't the answer to the problem in education. In fact, one of the problems of education is that those with no experience in pedagogy are creating rules for those who are actually in the classroom.
Oh, and he proposed cutting 13.5 million dollars from public education, according to CNN. This affects our children. All of our children.
Trump Doesn't Care About Our Health
Aside from eliminating the EPA, he is also cutting funding to the Federal Emergency Response Fund, which deals with health outbreaks like Zika. You remember Zika, right moms? That incredibly dangerous and scary virus that is especially dangerous to pregnant women?
Trump Doesn't Care About You
Finally, he doesn't care about you or your kids or your family. He doesn't care about anything but himself. It's obvious, isn't it? He spends his days on Twitter, fighting with celebrities, newspapers, and retailers. He cuts programs that help veterans, women, poor children, children with special needs, and the elderly. While he made a slew of promises and swore he would fight for you (and the rest of America), it's hard to look at what he has "accomplished" so far and not come to the conclusion doesn't care about you, and he never did. He won't make this country great again by building walls, deporting mothers and fathers, or cutting necessary programs. This country's greatness lies in the hands of its people. People like you and me.
I know you wanted a change, Trump-voting moms. I can appreciate that and respect that. However, voting for Trump was voting against our better interests and our children's futures. I feel sorry for all of us, I really do. But mostly, I feel sorry for my children, who will now grow up in an era of hate, divisiveness, and filthy air. Thankfully, there are things we can do, together, to fight an administration that seems so, well, backwards. It's not about me vs. you or "us" vs. "them." It's about all of us, coming together for the betterment of our children and the futures they deserve.