VOTE Hair Pin // KITSCH x Justine Marjan
I can’t believe we’re less than 30 days out from the 2020 election. Tbh, it feels like just yesterday I was waking up to the news that Donald J. Trump had been elected President of the United States and I began questioning everything I believed about this country I love. Since that morning, I have become much more engaged, much more knowledgeable and much more intrigued about what is happening in the federal government than I ever have been before.
I’ve spent the last year using the platform I built to encourage my generation to register (if you missed the opportunity to, shame on you) and to actually vote, bc one of the biggest disappointments of the 2016 election for me was realizing how many of my peers didn’t care enough to participate.
I’m not going to sit here and debate policy with my audience bc I truly believe citizens choose politicians that support policies that work in their favor. And honestly, I don’t blame them. That’s kinda the point!! But my issue with Trump extends far past policy. It’s about humanity and the future role America will play in the world.
Before I go into my reasons, I should note that my relationship with Trump existed far before his bid for the presidency. Back in 2007 I started competing in the Miss USA pageant system, which at the time, was owned by him. I was involved with the organization through 2013 and that entire time all I wanted was to “work for him”. You see, that’s how the pageant was presented to us. Winning any of those national titles gave you the opportunity to work for him, which subsequently gave you the opportunity to immerse yourself in his network. And selfishly, who wouldn’t want access to THAT?! Before he entered politics, he was NYC’s golden boy..and all I wanted was to write for Vogue. I knew his connections could lead me to my dream job and I wanted nothing more than to make that happen. I bring this up bc I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people attack me for my desire to gain that access almost every time I’ve spoken out against Trump. But you see, just because I was willing to use his network as a springboard for my career doesn’t mean I trust his judgement enough to make decisions that will affect The Free World for generations!! And if you can’t see the difference between being a leader of a pageant and a leader of a country, then you honestly may be apart of the problem.
I’m afraid that a second term of a Trump presidency would forever alter the perception of America as we know it. Sounds a little dramatic— I know! But that’s how serious this is.
So in my last ditch effort of convincing anyone that didn’t vote in 2016, or chose to vote for him the first time, here are 10 things that should stop you from re-electing President Trump:
1. He encourages racism
Maybe you don’t agree that Trump is a racist (I’d disagree with you but whatever), but what you cannot deny is that his platform encourages racism. From the moment he started his bid to office, he’s used fear of diversity to build his base. At every chance he gets, Trump makes it a point create a “them” vs “us” war and the line is almost always drawn by the color of someone’s skin or where their ancestors are from. His base is filled with white nationalists that support him because he refuses to publicly reject their beliefs + actions— which only ignites them. In the last debate he was asked several times (on a global stage) to disavow white supremacy. Instead, he told them to “stand down + stand by”. You can say that was harmless and wasn’t intended to be racist, but immediately after, those groups used that phrase as a rallying cry to support their actions…and he still wouldn’t distance himself. He’s traded the dog whistle American politics was built on in for a bull horn. And as a Black woman I’m telling you every time I see a MAGA hat or flag or whatever, it gives me the same feeling of a Confederate flag. It feel like a big fat middle finger to anyone that isn’t white enough to fit into the club he’s created and an even bigger f*** you to anyone that challenges it. And because of this I feel like his leadership has made this country feel more segregated than it has since the late 60s. If you ask me, this should be more than enough to dissuade you from voting him. But alas— I have 9 more!!
2. Supporting him makes everything we tell our children a lie
From the moment they can comprehend, we teach our kids to be kind, have manners, respect others and not to be a bully. Donald Trump is literally the opposite of every single one of those things. He’s crass, he’s always attacking someone, and he uses his microphone to bully or make fun of anyone that doesn’t agree with him. No, he’s not the only person on this planet that acts this way, however, he’s the President of the United States so we can’t pretend like this is ok. If your child spoke to their siblings or classmates the way that he does to almost everyone, you’d stop them. You’d sit them down and tell them their behavior isn’t just rude, its unacceptable. So why would we accept this behavior from our leader?! Honestly, it’s embarrassing and we cannot normalize it.
3. He doesn’t want to better “the system”, he wants to take advantage of it
Trump has spent all of his adult life getting around rules. He hides money in foreign bank accounts, doesn’t pay contracted workers rates they agreed on, and found a way to be required to only pay $750 in income taxes in 2016!! Which really just irritates me because we’re living in a time where affordable housing is scarce and most Americans (even those living below the poverty line) pay more in rent each month than this “multi-millionaire” paid in taxes for an entire year. But what’s reallyyyyy scary is he’s currently rushing the confirmation of his Supreme Court Nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, before the election bc polls are predicting he won’t win. And he knows if he challenges the results of the election, it will go to the Supreme Court—the one he’s stacked with “his” judges— so he’d expect them to align with him. Just one more way he’s using the system for himself, instead of making it better for everyone else.
4. He uses the military as a political weapon against it’s own citizens
Remember that time Trump used tear gas to rid the peaceful protesters in Lafayette Park this past summer just so he could leave the White House for a photo opp??!! Yeah, that is not ok. In fact, that is down right un-American! The military is put in place to protect citizens, NOT to be used against them. But what else would you expect from someone that belittles Gold Star families, chastises war heroes, calls generals that disagree with him “lame”, and avoided every opportunity to go to war himself using minor health concerns as an excuse?!! For a country that says they respect veterans and service men + women so much, I just don’t understand how any of this could be justified.
5. Supporting him means you don’t believe you have to be qualified for a job in order to have it
The moment Trump announced his bid for the Presidency, his supporters latched on to the idea that he was a great businessman so that would make him a great President. It didn’t make sense to me then, and now, 4 years later, I’m even more adamant that that is the silliest thought process ever. Being a good businessman (although we’re finding out he isn’t even that) does not mean you’re qualified to lead our country. After all, this is a country (who’s priority is to educate its citizens + provide safe communities) not a business (who’s job is to produce a product/service and make a profit)! Trump had never held an elected position before he landed this one, never worked in government, and had never even been a public servant. His roles were always in for-profit business so he hadn’t been trained for this position. And if you’re telling me it’s not necessary for him to have that experience/education beforehand, please tell me how you’d feel about a doctor without proper experience, a teacher without proper education, or a pilot without training?!? And if you don’t think the leader of The Free World is not a position as serious as any of those, then I’d ask that you take a look again at the role that the President of the United States plays in the entire world.
6. He’s trying to dismantle affordable healthcare
Trump’s number one mission has been to destroy anything President Obama put in place. He seriously has something against the man (remember the birther movement?!). He’s spent the last 4 years trying to undo everything the Obama administration put in place— especially Obamacare. Was the Affordable Care Act perfect?! Absolutely not. There were a ton of kinks that needed to be worked out. But one of the most important things that act put in place was to prohibit health insurance companies from denying health care to anyone with pre-existing conditions. If you have diabetes, have beaten cancer, are anemic, are over the age of 65, or a variety of other things, by law you still had to be covered. But because that was something Obama put in place, Trump wants to eliminate it…without having any other backup to put in place when it’s gone. If you know just ONE person with a pre-existing condition pleaseeee, for the sake of them, do not re-elect this man.
7. He believes anyone not with him is his enemy
To me, this is the most childish thing about President Trump. Most of us live in the real world where we know that not everyone will agree with every single thing we say or do, and it’s ok. Trump is soo childish that he sees anyone that isn’t agreeing with him is his enemy. He doesn’t believe in using constructive criticism to become better. Instead, he attacks anyone that doesn’t agree with him 100% and asks his supporters to do the same. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the person with access to nuclear weapons to be so comfortable with creating enemies— especially over a simple disagreement. I expect the person in that office to be level-headed and have the ability to compromise when necessary. Trump believes it’s his way or no way at all.
8. He’s on track to becoming a dictator
This is the idea that should scare every American because in a country that was founded on democracy + “the people”, to see it in the hands of someone that would prefer to be a dictator is frightening. “How is he on track to becoming a dictator” you ask, wellllll… Firstly, he calls the army “his”. They aren’t his, they’re America’s! And the fact that he believes service men and women work for him and not Americans gives us quite the insight on what he thinks of his position. Secondly, as I mentioned before he uses the military as a political weapon against its people—what is this, Nazi Germany?! Thirdly, he discredits the press and hides important information from them so they can’t report. A free press is one of the foundations of a democracy because if citizens can’t report both positive + negative information about government then the electorate can’t be properly informed. And if they aren’t properly informed how can they make decisions on who to vote for? If the information you have is filtered, then your perception on that given topic is blurred. Fourthly, he’s already challenging election results and therefore is beginning to refuse a peaceful transition of power. He’s been making statements that if he loses there will be a lot of blood. WHAT?!? The peaceful transition of power is what differentiates democracies in first-world countries from dictatorships in the third-world. Those leaders don’t leave power, they’re overthrown. But have you ever seen what happens to a country after a coup-de-tat?! Spoiler alert: it ain’t good. And finally, which to me is the most evident example of his desire to be a dictator, is the relationships he chooses to have with other leaders. He’s made leaders from countries like France, Germany, Canada and yes Mexico our adversaries, although they’ve been our allies for decades. But has chosen to befriend countries who’s leaders are dictators and historically haven’t been our friends: Russia, North Korea and Venezuela, among others. The company you keep tells a lot about you, and I don’t think this is in any way different.
9. Money isn’t everything
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, “yeah I really don’t like his rhetoric, but he wants to keep taxes low”. Wtffff! Is this a joke?! I was raised to believe that money isn’t everything. That what your values, what you stand for, and how you treat the people around you is really what matters. So if you’re willing to keep this person in office just to save a few thousand dollars shame on you! Shame on your for caring more about how full your pockets are than how this man makes countless demographics feel.
10. He’s destroying the global perception of America
My fiancé and I have been blessed and have had the opportunity to travel all over this globe and I promise the perception of America is changing. For all of our lives (and several decades before) America has been the world leader and that’s something we’ve all been so proud of. From technological advancements to culture, our country has influenced nearly every corner of this planet and people everywhere wanted to be American. But now that we’ve elected a leader that is inarticulate, spews hate, attacks allies and demeans anyone to ensure he can get ahead, people all over the world are looking at us and questioning if those values we’ve been promoting for centuries (liberty, justice + equality) is actually something we believe in. And if it’s not, then who are we to tell smaller, less fortunate countries what is right or wrong. But honestly, the fear that we should all have is who will become the next world power if we phase out. The truth is China is standing in the wings as our understudy waiting for us to be unable to perform. Don’t believe me?! Their news outlets have been talking about it since the day he was elected. And with their impressive technology, their advanced education and over one billion citizens, they are prepared to lead the world into the future. If that happened, where would that leave US?
I’m begging you, even if (like me) you don’t 100% agree with Joe Biden + his policies, please vote for the conscience + future of America on November 3rd and… #votehimout!!!!
Stoked to Vote Tee // Show Me Your Mumu