By Briana Brady—Asst. Features Editor
I am writing a plea. A plea for moral decency, for humanity, empathy, and the courage to speak and act against what’s hurtful and hateful because it’s the right thing to do, not because it’s the self-benefiting thing to do.
I am writing to ask you to take a stand against the abhorrent behavior of the current President, who has reportedly suggested “shooting migrants in the legs to slow them down” as they attempt to cross the border, or electrifying the wall “with spikes that could pierce human flesh.”
I implore you to have the guts to stand up to someone who has now publicly called on foreign agents to investigate his political rivals, even though you might not maintain the same public opinion numbers. I ask that you make it known that you don’t stand with someone who has put national security and integrity behind his own ego, even if it means your colleagues ridicule you. But mostly, I plea that you look at the deeply damaging effects that his holding of office has had on the ways in which we treat each other and the forms of behavior that are now considered acceptable, because we have so much at stake.
While it may be true that these hurtful and hateful viewpoints promoted by Trump have always existed in the hearts and minds of some citizens, his example has encouraged the damaging and regressive rhetoric to be brought out in a way that promotes not the best in our collective humanity, but the darker side of it. It has provoked violence, closed-mindedness, exclusion rather than inclusion, and the attitude of “me before you.”
But I know we as a society can do better. And further, I believe that we will do better. I see the good in the shared experience of this life on a daily basis both in the hope of children and in the wisdom of adults. I firmly believe that the good will always outweigh the bad in the world, but elected officials: your constituents have elected you to lead, and I believe leaders have a vested responsibility to advocate for the moral, humane good.
Our empathy is at risk. Our democracy is at risk. Our humanity is at risk. It is up to you to change the “us vs. them” mentality to the attitude of simply “us:” one that acknowledges that despite differences of opinion, background, or experience, much more is at stake than re-election this time around.
Yours, together—The American Spirit