By Mini Timmaraju, originally posted on medium.com.
Every day I walk into Hillary Clinton’s campaign HQ, sit down at my desk with the women’s vote team and turn on the TV. And each morning as I watch the cable news headlines flash by I have the same thought — there is a lot at stake in this election. There is a lot at stake for women, that’s for sure, but the stakes are high for everyone who is concerned about the future of our country. At a time when Americans are looking for a president who can bring people together, Donald Trump continues to do nothing but divide us, tearing people down with hateful rhetoric, bigoted policy proposals and bullying and demeaning anyone who disagrees with him.
From openly praising dictators like Saddam Hussein to repeatedly encouraging violence at his rallies, to reaping profits from bankrupt andfraudulent ventures and forcing working people and small business owners to pick up the check, to espousing racist and sexist rhetoric — Donald Trump’s behavior is getting more offensive and more alarming by the day. Far from acceptable for any public figure and certainly not what our country is looking for in a President.
One of the questions all of this raises is — as the leader of the free world, what kind of example would a President Donald Trump set for our children? There are already signs that Donald Trump’s hateful campaign rhetoric has made its way into playgrounds and classrooms. The Guardian reported that Trump’s divisive rhetoric has “normalized” racist teasing and name-calling (“You’ll get deported,” “You weren’t born here”), to such an extent that Muslim and Latino students in particular are made to feel scared and unwelcome.
Children take cues from those around them, particularly those in the media and in positions of power who they see as role models. We try to teach our children to be honest and accepting, to play by the rules and work together with those who are different from them; to value themselves and their own uniqueness, to feel safe and accepted in their communities. What’s the message a Trump Presidency would send to our kids?