An Open Letter and a Confession To Anyone Still Thinking About Voting for Donald Trump
On this Election Day Eve, I have a confession to make: when President Donald Trump was inaugurated, unlike many of my liberal friends, I decided to put all my judgments aside and approach his Presidency with an open mind.
I decided that, despite many indications of potential problems with his Presidency, I was going to give Trump a chance. I wanted to see him as a new leader, and as a leader, felt he should be given the opportunity to do good. Maybe, just maybe, his campaign for the Presidency was full of bluster, he’d hire staff that would moderate his worst impulses, he’d listen to those he disagreed with and be open to compromises, and he’d accomplish some good.
Then, near the end of his first full week in office, he signed an executive order with an insanely broad generalization that meant my Iranian relatives could not enter this country.
Nearly a week after that, as millions stood in solidarity at airports protesting the so-called “Muslim Ban,” my family still did not even know if our relatives in Canada would be allowed to enter the United States. These relatives had lived in Canada for decades, are dual citizens, do not support Iran’s tyrannical regime, and aren’t even practicing Muslims. And yet, Presidential advisor Steve Bannon and other Trump administration officials refused to say they could enter the United States, all because of an absurd campaign promise that, in practice, did nothing to make America any safer.
Eventually, they relented on this particular provision, but if they had had their way — if millions of protesters hadn’t sounded the alarm early on — they very well may have banned the entry of dual citizens. And even so, with the current order still in effect, extended family members in Iran who despise their government and could previously hope to someday find a better life in America saw that door shut permanently. For them, there no longer is an American dream.
I had genuinely given Donald Trump a chance. Four years ago, I had enough openness and tolerance of those with different beliefs than my own to set aside politics and be fair to our new President, as so many moderate-minded Americans wish we could all do.