By Representative JoCasta Zamarripa
The stakes this November are too high. We cannot allow Donald Trump anywhere near the White House.
Nearly eight years ago we made history by electing Barack Obama our forty-fourth president, the first African-American president to ever hold the job. He has been a uniter in times of deep division, a pillar of strength in times of great grief – a leader who understood the gravity of his words and issued them with the utmost care and thought. There have been a number of moments over the course of his presidency that I looked to him to express what I could not: a deep optimism about America and what it means to be an American. In a word, hope.
Donald Trump does not share that optimism about our country or its people – in fact, his campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again”. We all know what those words mean – let’s take America backwards. Let’s take America back to a time when it was just fine to say whatever dangerous, reckless, bigoted thoughts came to mind instead of being “politically correct”. Well I’m not going to be politically correct about this what’s at stake here: the character of our country.
I’ll admit, I didn’t take his campaign very seriously. I assumed any number of the racist remarks he’s made would disqualify him from the race: from calling Mexicans “rapists” in his announcement speech, to calling for a ban of Muslims, to stereotyping African-Americans and just about anyone else that doesn’t look like him. This is a man who consistently leads the charge in questioning the citizenship and patriotism of our own president. He is the mascot of every Internet conspiracy theory come to life and the Republican Party’s candidate for president.
I’m not afraid to say what Wisconsin’s own Speaker Paul Ryan, leader of the GOP, will not. Donald Trump is a racist and his ideas are dangerous.
We cannot put President Obama’s legacy in his hands. We have a very important choice to make about the kind of country we are. I share President Obama’s deep optimism that America is a place of tolerance and endless possibilities. We are so close to breaking another barrier and making more history by electing our first female president in Hillary Clinton.
When he endorsed Hillary Clinton, President Obama said, “I don’t think there’s ever been someone so qualified to hold this office.” Credentials aside, what qualifies Secretary Clinton most to be our Commander-in-Chief is her understanding that America is stronger together. In the wake of tragedy in Orlando, I took heart from her words in a way that felt familiar – a way that I have for the last eight years.
Donald Trump did us all a favor with his words – he reminded us he is unfit to lead. We simply cannot afford to take that gamble this election.