Dear America

By: Laura Steiner

Dear America,

We’ve been best friends for 150 years now.  We’ve seen each other through wars, tragedy, and had each other’s backs in times of crisis.  We two enjoy one of the longest undefended borders in the world, a common language, and to an extent a common culture.  We have a thriving, mutually beneficial trade agreement these last 25 years.  Best friends shouldn’t be afraid to tell each other when something is wrong.

My dear America,  something is wrong. I say this with sadness and fear.  We fear for you, and this choice of President.  At the beginning we heartily laughed at the idea of Donald Trump.  Once the votes were in, we grudgingly respected that this was democracy and sometimes it was messy.  At that time, Trump spoke to some element in America; the growing disillusioned, the hopeless, the people struggling to make it in their daily lives.   Change would be good, came the thinking.  Maybe not so much as life turned out.

Events this past weekend have broken something in you America, and the damage might be permanent.  A President failed to speak, and console the nation when it needed it most after the Charlottesville attack.  Worse still, it appears as if he’s agreeing with those neo-Nazis behind it.  We fought a war together against the Nazi ideology, and discovered the damage it did.  Dachau, Auschwitz, Birkenau, and many other camps stand testament to the cruel depravity humanity can stoop to.  Never again, we remind ourselves and yet this lesson seems lost on Mr. Trump.  It should’ve taken less than two minutes to realize anyone sharing those ideas is wrong.

Dear America, silence on this speaks louder than words.  In the silence we hear a tendency towards the same ideology.  The statement on Monday was a weak attempt at consolation.  The press conference on Tuesday destroyed any possible attempt at it.  Since the press conference the Joint Chiefs, and numerous legislators are speaking out against him.  When a leader loses the confidence of legislators, then how does he maintain legitimacy?

America, his actions are starting to affect us too.  In the first half of August, 3700 Haitians illegally crossed the border in response to an announcement on ending the protective status they have enjoyed since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.  The Canadian forces have to had to set up a camp to deal with the influx of people.   The images of people crossing are remarkable, and unthinkable.  It’s unnatural to have a camp set up along a border with two of the most prosperous countries on earth.

Dear America, there’s something wrong.  It’s time to fix it.