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What Will We Tell Our Daughters?

Tell her it’s ok to be groped? Tell her she has no reproductive rights?

04/11/2016 1:48 AM IST | Updated 04/11/2016 9:13 PM IST
The Atlantic

My older daughter is 6. She has a gap between her two front teeth and a beautiful free-flowing afro. Italian, Ghanaian, Irish, English, Mexican, she embodies our American melting pot. She loves to draw pictures for her friends and family and she wishes she could vote. Wearing a Hillary t-shirt, she reads me the numbers on my sample ballot, as I fill out my actual one. She says there needs to be a “girl president” after “only boys” for so long.

If you vote for Donald Trump and he wins, what will you say to her? If you vote for a third party candidate in a swing state and it’s close and Trump wins, what will you say to her? What will you say to your own daughter?

Tell her with your “principled” vote she can’t be president. Tell her after 44 male presidents, there won’t be a woman. Tell her an unqualified bigoted misogynist deserves the highest office in the land over the most qualified candidate who has ever run, who happens to be female. Tell her the official endorsement of the KKK and the neo-Nazis won. Tell her.

Tell her it’s ok to be groped. Tell her she has no reproductive rights. Tell her that all the progressive advances of the last 50 years will be rolled back. Civil Rights. Voting rights. Women’s rights. Gay rights.

Tell her President Obama, with his 55 percent approval rating, was a fluke and that the economy he has brought back from destruction will tank worse than ever. Tell her that 20 Million people who didn’t have health care and now do will have to surrender it again because Obamacare will die in the crib before it can evolve as Social Security had a chance to do. Tell her we’ll have nationwide Stop and Frisk, which has been deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Tell her climate change isn’t real, as the ice caps melt, polar bears waste away and the Great Barrier Reef becomes a distant memory.

Tell her we are a nation that levies a religious test. Tell her we’re shredding the Constitution. Tell her we’re turning back the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

Tell her a Russian Manchurian candidate will be president... because emails. Even though Trump has destroyed emails against court orders.

Tell her a con artist who defrauded money from unsuspecting students of his “university” will be president. Tell her that the man who lies 76 percent of the time deserves to lead the free world, versus the woman who tells the truth 76 percent of the time. Tell her someone who doesn’t pay his vendors gets to wield fiscal policy.

Tell her that someone who bullies Mexicans, black folks,Muslims, women and people with disabilities deserves to enter the Rose Garden to the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Tell her that we’ll return to waterboarding and add “worse” torture to the list. Tell her we’ll be killing families of alleged terrorists.

Tell her a man who pays no taxes will levy taxes on her. Tell her a man awaiting trial for child rape and fraud merits more respect than a lifelong public servant with nothing to hide because everything about her has already been revealed. Tell her a known adulterer who has five kids by three different women will be president, rather than a woman who is loyal to a fault. Tell her our new president incites violence against people who disagree with him.

Tell her a man with whom the CIA doesn’t want to share intelligence deserves to command our precious troops. Tell her that a man who asked why we can’t use nukes should have his finger on the button. Tell her the man who criticizes POW’s and Gold Star families deserves a salute.

Tell her someone who can’t take criticism, doesn’t believe in freedom of the press, and who issues forth foul-mouthed late-night tweets should undertake diplomacy and negotiation with foreign nations. Tell her the man whose supporters feel emboldened to burn black churches and vandalize them with “Vote Trump” will unite our divided nation.

Tell her that a man who praises dictators should lead the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Tell her that 240 years into the American experiment and 96 years into women’s votes, the first woman, first mother, first grandmother president will not have a chance to guide our nation toward maturity.

Tell her the trailblazing first lady, senator with unheard of approval ratings, revered Secretary of State, and the woman voted Most Admired Woman in the World a record 20 times, deserves to inhabit the White House less than does the vulgar Orange Menace.

Tell her our flawed, messy, beautiful experiment has failed and the man who keeps Hitler’s speeches by his bedside has won.

You look her in the face and tell her. Because I can’t.

But if you vote for Hillary, we won’t have to.

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