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| Thursday, November 17, 2016

I understand that people feel as if their vote could be the big “f*** you” that our underperforming, overly-polarized government needs to wake up and actually change.

I understand that many people in rural areas feel as if their way of life is under attack and no one is paying attention.

I understand that people feel strongly about the Right to Life as in relation to Catholicism.

But I don’t understand how any of this justifies a vote for Trump.

For those who feel that the government is too establishment, too partisan and too ignorant of your issues, how does a vote for Trump decrease division and effect change? His campaign was run on an us vs. them platform, causing fierce hate toward groups of people that are currently residing in and running the country. This heals no divide, and instead increases the misunderstanding between different kinds of people who will only advance by working together. Additionally, what were you doing prior to the election to let your politicians know how upset you were with their lack of ability to perform? Was there no way to work within the limits of the existing system, or was the only option to vote for someone with no political experience, whose tax plan was going to increase the national debt by $5 trillion?

For my fellow Catholics who feel Trump is a pro-life candidate and therefore must be their choice in accordance with their religion, I calmly ask you to reconsider. The National Right to Life page has 11 different tabs listed under “Issues,” only one of which is abortion. What I’m trying to say is being pro-life is so much more than banning abortions. Being pro-life is respecting people according to Catholic Social Teaching and finding and loving the marginalized in a community, like in the Works of Mercy. Trump has said and plans to do things that fundamentally disagree with Catholicism’s commitment to loving your neighbor. A vote for Trump, to me, does not seem Christian.

Finally, a president should not cause such deep fear and sadness in her or his country’s people. I am not at liberty to share with you the words of my friends, but the things I have heard and read on election night from my female, LGBTQ+, racial minorities, religious minorities and sexually assaulted friends have moved me to tears. No one should feel such hopelessness and terror in their own country, but it is something that I thought Americans especially would work to avoid. I hate that I am wrong.

Unfortunately, none of what I say will change the results of the election. For the next four years, we will have the leadership that we have chosen. What I hope my words will do is spark discussion. I hope it engages people in civil discourse, helping those with dissimilar views to understand one another a little better.

Please work to understand each other, heal our deeply divided nation and move forward toward the American ideology of true equality of opportunity for all.

God bless America.

Anna Kalkman
Nov. 9

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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  • Gunnar Anderson

    Trump caused division? Did you not hear Hillary call Trump supporters “deplorables”?

    I have come to believe people have selective hearing. They hear what they want to hear.
    Half of America heard: “They are rapists. And there are some nice people too.
    The other half heard: “There are rapists, and there are some nice people too.” Now I ask you, which of those two statements follows logically? The left chose the first, wanting to believe Trump was calling all Mexicans rapists. How many people actually bothered to inform themselves about rape at the border? To learn about how some coyotes prey upon the women that pay them to guide them across the border? About the infamous “rape trees? that exist there?


    And then there was the media. The media was dumping fuel on the fire and fanning the flames all the while, trying to CREATE division in order to influence an election by painting the right as racists. Shame on the media. Shame.

  • Gunnar Anderson

    If you want to heal the divide, then you must understand that 1 in 3 latinos voted for Trump. That means 1 in 3 latinos also believes our borders must be secure. Yet the left appears to want to believe that all who are for border security are racists. So one in three latinos is racist?

    Europe is now rethinking it’s own policies regarding Syrian immigration due to the turmoil it has brought to their countries. Does that mean they are now suddenly racist after generously accepting millions of refugees?

    If people want to heal the divide, then let’s quit calling Trump supporters racists. They simply disagree on the issue of immigration.

    • i_enjoy_tacos

      So, what was it that appealed to you about Trump’s immigration plan? The idea that Mexico is sending its rapists? The plan to ban a group of people based on their religion? Or was it the scapegoating of a group of people for other’s economic uncertainty? Maybe it was the laughably unrealistic plan for the wall? The idea of a massive deportation force? The refusal to disavow support of a former KKK leader? The appointment to a senior level of his administration a person who’s career was built upon racist and sexist language?

      Please explain to me which of Trump’s ideas appealed to you, because all I heard were completely unrealistic plans delivered in language designed to sow fear and racial discord. And, by the way, the fact that a bunch of people agree with your views is a weak argument for the righteousness of those views.

  • Gunnar Anderson

    Anna, you have addressed only social issues. My feeling is that most Americans voted for Trump for fiscal reasons. They can’t afford Obamacare. They don’t have a job. They are having a hard time keeping their business afloat. They believe that Hillary’s proposed 65% death tax on billionaires is theft. I think for most Trump supporters, it’s not about social issues. It’s about survival.

    • i_enjoy_tacos

      Obamacare needs some tweaks to keep prices down, no doubt. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater and let’s not also forget where we would be without Obamacare. Check health care inflation pre-Obamacare and compare it to today. Obamacare has done a shockingly good job and bending the curve of health care inflation.

      As for people worried about keeping their jobs… do yourself a favor and check the recent unemployment statistics. I agree many people are struggling, but the doom and gloom scenarios are not what they are made out to be.

      • warmupthediesel

        Yes we need to “throw the baby out with the water”….otherwise, we’ll end up with another unfunded tumor like Social Security. Our generation’s children will be paying for OUR healthcare….brilliant idea, liberals!

        • i_enjoy_tacos

          It actually makes sense when you do the math.