This past month, at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination for presidency of the United States.
In his acceptance speech, Trump depicted America as a country plagued with terrorism, violence, and a “rigged” political system.
A foreign policy mired with chaos and weakness, in which blame was put on the presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Trump launched his campaign with blatant racism calling Mexican immigrants “criminals” and that they were “bringing drugs”.
He insulted women, the disabled, and veterans. He called for a “total Muslim ban entering the United States”, a blatant disregard of our Constitution. He even advocated the killings of family members of terrorists.
He has been exploiting on the discontent voters have over the slow rate of economic recovery, wage stagnation, globalization, the division and gridlock in Washington; and the stranglehold lobbyist and the money of special interest groups have on our elected officials.
Moreover, Trump portrays himself as an outsider fighting for the average working man, when in fact, he is the ultimate insider. He thrived under the rigged system that he is fighting against now. Trump used tax loopholes to get massive tax breaks for his projects, and his hardball tactics and bankruptcies left a trail of unpaid bills for contractors and suppliers.
Donald Trump has been using fear, insult and divisive politics to win the White House, and so far, his tactics are some getting traction. The polls show Hillary is leading currently, but there’s a possibility of Trump being elected as our new President.
If Trump is elected president, he would abandon our obligations to our North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies. He would undermine human rights and international treaties such as the Geneva Convention. He would also embrace autocratic leaders like Russia’s Vladimir Putin. In fact, he even praised Putin and called him a strong and great leader.
In the domestic front, Trump would undermine the rule of law and our democracy. Trump vows “I alone can fix it” the gridlock in Washington and restore “law and order”. He does not respect the majesty of our constitution or working with Congress. He is eager to effectively govern the country by executive order like an authoritarian ruler.
He does not believe in the integrity of our electoral process by warning to his supporters that, “I’m afraid that the election is going to be rigged.” A scenario not only to delegitimize if Hillary Clinton wins the election but also could create a political crisis.
Trump, who has not sacrificed anything in life, lacks the temperament or the judgment to be the President of the United States. In fact, his disrespect to our veterans like Senator John McCain, a war hero, and his smear attacks against a gold star family disqualifies him to be a commander in-chief.
The most powerful speaker at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia was a Pakistani Muslim immigrant, Khizr Khan, whose son Captain Humayun Khan, a University of Virginia graduate, was killed in combat in Baquba, Iraq in 2004 by a suicide bomber to save his fellow soldiers.
Humayun’s family paid the ultimate price: his life. Khizr, in the memory of the sacrifice and the courage of his son, said, “Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son “the best of America.” If it was up to Donald Trump, he would never have been in America.” He then directly addressed Trump and said, “Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with their future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the constitution?” With his wife, Ghazala, standing next to him, Khizr reached into his jacket and held out onto his hand a pocket copy of the constitution, and said, “I will gladly lend you my copy.”
And he continued. “Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.”
Khan’s speech was a direct rebuke on Trump’s divisive and hateful rhetoric against Muslims and immigrants.
Instead of respecting the Gold star parents, Trump’s response to Khan’s speech was to question why Khan’s wife, Ghazala, was silent. Trump told an interview with ABC News this week,” she was standing there. She had nothing to say.” Implying Muslim women were not allowed speaking in public places.
I would like to remind Trump that while he dodged the Vietnam draft for medical and educational deferments, there are nearly 6,000 Muslims serving in the U.S. Armed Forces and risking their lives to keep us free and safe.
The party of Lincoln cannot become an inclusive party for all Americans regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or creed. Especially when the GOP’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, is using blatant anti-Muslim and immigrant bigotry to win the presidency.
I am not registered to any of the political parties. On November 8, I am voting with my conscience. I am voting for Hillary Rodham Clinton. Even with her own flaws, she is still the best qualified and prepared presidential nominee in recent times. And, with God’s help and the support of the American people, she will make America better for all of us.
America is exceptional because of our ethnic diversity, our religious diversity, and our cultural diversity. America is great because of the decency of her people. And Trump’s demagoguery has no place because America is a tolerant and pluralistic nation.
Ali Mohamed is the co- founder of the Horn of Africa Freedom Foundation, Lewis Center, Ohio.