A Letter to Mr. Trump

November 10, 2016

Dear Mr. Trump,

I cried yesterday.

I cried not because you were elected, but because the tragedy of the last 18 months has finally come to an end.  Never in the history of American politics has a presidential campaign been plagued with behavior unbecoming of a candidate in either party.  It sickens me that the ideas our Founding Fathers debated 240 years ago was diminished to malice, misquotes, and manipulation in 140 characters or less.  Your let’s-do-this-for-my-ego candidacy that started over a year ago ballooned and rose on the air of a “rage against the machine” sentiment that was stronger than most thought.  But the American people have spoken and you have won.

You’ve preached about restricting international trade, turning away refugees, and scapegoating ethnic and religious minorities for economic difficulties. This right-wing populism that peppered your campaign and salted the Brexit vote is on the rise in Europe and other parts of the world.  Be wary; I’ve seen this attitude before and it led to two World Wars.   As an immigrant myself, I cannot let my country believe rhetoric that rocks against the cradle of liberty it was raised in.  What would America be without its Melting Pot? What would it be without its huddled masses yearning to breathe free?

These questions and others fall upon you now, Mr. Trump.  You said that you want “to bind the wounds of division” and I hope you mean that.  Your job – no, your duty – will not only be to stitch the discontent seam that has torn through our nation, but also to iron the folds in our wrinkled democracy.  It will not be an easy task, but I and the rest of America will be behind you.  Because this is what Americans do, despite any situation:  We move forward.

Get some rest, Mr. Trump, you have a long road ahead of you.  And as you rise on the morning of January 20 and begin preparing for your inauguration, look my way and take heart to what it is you see – a beacon of freedom illuming the dawn of a new day.

Lady Liberty

ll

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I strolled around with my camera to admire the changes, but more to relive the memories that seep from the worn buildings lining the street. Sneaking into R-rated movies at the old Center Theater, scaling the water tower under the cover of darkness, or crossing the finish line at city hall to place 2nd in the Greater Goldsboro Road Run (1 mile) are just a few of the echoes that rang from the past.

As I walked, I noticed unseen items and and small touches of Americana that give the town its charm like a welcome sign reading “Goldsborough”, flowers occupying a Radio Flyer, and a washing machine grazing in front of Faircloth’s appliance store. A smile stayed on my face as I rediscovered the place of my youth.

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