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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
sophomore
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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