At the beginning of the summer, my dad and I were driving on the familiar route to LaGuardia Airport in New York City. Just before crossing the Whitestone Bridge, we passed the well-manicured Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, a luxury 18-hole public golf course built with $127 million taxpayer dollars. The course was constructed on a former garbage dump. In its first year of operation, Bronx taxpayers covered the water and sewage bills (totaling $1 million), while Trump’s company pocketed $8 million from greens fees, golf cart rentals, and other sales. Trump Links is funded by a borough where 37.9% of residents live below the poverty line.
In the past, when we’d drive by the course, my dad and I would talk about places he’s played golf recently and whether or not he’d want to play on top of a mountain of trash. We’d question how it might smell and how the grass grows there. We’d discuss Trump’s corrupt business practices and the effect on the city. This time, we talked about something I had never considered could ever become of the con man I had been hearing about for years.
“Cara, you know he could actually win.” My dad said in a low voice.
“What do you mean? Win the election?” I still believed it was all a joke—a way for Trump to simply inflate his ego. I couldn’t imagine he actually wanted to become president. Did he really believe he was capable of running a country?
“People are supporting him. People will vote for him.”
I believe many politicians are flawed, and I know Hillary Clinton has done a few bad deeds, some of which have been blown out of proportion by the media. It is appealing for some to know that Trump is not a politician. But isn’t he exponentially more unprincipled than your average crooked politician?
Throughout the political race, I’ve had a tough time listening to Trump speak about his sexually predatory behavior toward women, his hateful comments toward minorities, his view of immigrants. Let’s not forget his claim about Mexican immigrants, “…They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” There is nothing rational about Trump’s line of thinking. He’s also made comments about how perhaps he’d be dating Ivanka if she wasn’t his daughter. Trump’s words make my skin crawl.
Up until a few months ago, I had only considered Trump’s influence over New York. Now, I have to imagine his effect on the entire nation, and the damage he could do to the economy and our relationship with other countries. I couldn’t imagine having someone with no filter and no respect represent our country. His lack of knowledge on crucial topics, especially foreign policy, is concerning. If we allow Trump to become president, would other countries take us seriously? Who would be our allies if another war were to be declared? The thought of potentially allowing Trump to hold this position of power gives me anxiety. If we don’t vote against him, or if we don’t vote at all, we will be allowing him to win. It doesn’t matter if you’re a democrat or a republican. This presidential race is not a matter of one party or the other. Michelle Obama said it best, “I know it’s a campaign, but this isn’t about politics. It’s about basic human decency. It’s about right and wrong.”