By Beth Kwiatek
Donald Trump is our new president. I don’t know why he has the support of so many Americans. I have some questions for them. I do not mean to be insulting. This is not about Hillary Clinton.
Take Trump out of the political platform and ask yourself: Would you want him for your boss? Would you want him as your friend? Neighbor? Or, sitting next to you in church?
First question. Why support a candidate who is against the Affordable Care Act?
Why does this program upset people? It doesn’t cost most taxpayers any money. Ask any hospital CEO: It is the people without insurance who often determine health care fees. Insurance rates go up because of insurance companies. The penalty for not having insurance is nominal, and there are several options for exemption. The program makes health insurance available and affordable. Isn’t having health care a good thing?
Second question. Why support a candidate who is against a minimum wage increase?
Trump said, “Having a low minimum wage is a good thing.” How? Why? Why should people who work in the food industry, retail, customer service, cleaning service or health care assistance be poorly paid? The cost of living (especially housing) has increased exponentially over the years without an equivalent increase in salaries. Let’s face it: manufacturing jobs are gone. Non-union workers overseas are making pennies to our dollars; automation and robotics have replaced the American industrial worker. Low pay for “unskilled” labor keeps all job salaries low. Have you noticed the number of adults and senior citizens working in these jobs?
Third question. Why are you OK with how Trump talks to women?
He told a lawyer she was “disgusting” for taking a break to breastfeed. He is OK with female reporters as long as they are “a beautiful piece of ass.” Is it OK to talk about one’s daughter like she’s a sex object?
Are you OK with how he talks to people in general? What would you think if you heard your kid’s school principal make fun of a student in a wheelchair? How would you react if you heard your co-worker call his colleagues – to their faces – nasty, stupid, bloated or dumb?
Is being anti-establishment the same thing as being disrespectful and disregarding? Or stingy? Or crude?
Over 25 years ago artist Zoe Leonard wrote, “Why is a president always a john and never a hooker, always a boss and never a worker, always a liar, always a thief, and never caught?” How about “a president who has stood in line at the DMV, been laid off, been sexually harassed, had a cross burned on their lawn, has been gay-bashed, deported and who has made mistakes and learned from them.”
I stand with Leonard, because that is anti-establishment.
Beth Kwiatek, of Buffalo, is an anti-racist activist and writer.
Readers who wish to respond to her questions may email letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.