Finding beauty in Trump presidency
To the editor:
It has been 34 years since I first set foot on U.S. soil. The day I became citizen, there was free flowing tears of incredible joy and pride mixed with immense gratitude. A shiny penny given by the presiding judge of the citizenship ceremony was the most precious symbolism that represented my heartfelt homecoming. As I felt continuous warm tears streaming down and stimulating the dryness of my face, there was no mistaking in my mind; I was christened into a world where freedom, goodness, generosity and personal obligation are upheld. Although not having directly experienced war or political suppression, the drumbeat of war was never far from range as I was growing up in Hong Kong. The Vietnam War was close by and communism at its worst was taking its course right over the border in China. I must have done something spectacular in my previous incarnation, while I do not even believe in reincarnations to get this marvelous opportunity in becoming citizen of this great nation. I do not deserve it but without a shred of a doubt, I shall fight and die if necessary to pay back for what is given to me and preserve the ideal I learned from my adopted country. Even after 34 years, my eyes still well up with tears every time I hear our national anthem or "America the Beautiful."
My mourning of the loss of this high ideal kicks into high gear amidst shock and fear the moment I heard who won the next presidential election. It would be naive of me to ask why and how could it go so horribly wrong because I knew. How could I not with all the postmortem analysis flooding the airways mostly with disbelieve but also resignation to the helplessness of the situation. Have we gone mad as a nation electing a lying, conniving, immoral and mentally unstable dirty old man? A man who aligns himself with white supremacists, dictatorship-leaning Putin and his corruptive regime, and someone who has numerous law suits against him on rape charges, deceit, distortion and discrimination? Someone who has been known to debase women and assign his own unqualified immediate family members to sit at nation’s top jobs acting like third-world country dictators surrounding themselves with cronies and do whatever they please? This man is not my president, but a man who can bring my beloved country down; a man who singlehandedly can demoralize the whole nation, setting an unspeakably bad example for our young impressionable men and women; a man who can accelerate the destruction of our planet and set the civilization back decades. Yes, he has the power to do that and it seems like we have given him a chance to achieve the unthinkable.
I did not think that I would see this day in a country that I see as morally strong as steel and full of love, compassion, tolerance and respect for one another, and that nothing can turn the pendulum of justice and righteousness the wrong way. I was wrong and I lament the tide of frightful things to come. But, I am not giving up. I am ashamed of what we have become as an electoral collective body but I am not giving up. There is hope. My hope is to get through these four years as quickly as possible and wait for a sane and moral individual to resume leadership of this great nation and repair the hopefully non-irreparable damage this 45th president will surely bestow on us and the world.
Next time I hear our national anthem or "America the Beautiful," I know I will have my usual chills not out of awe for the high ideals this free nation represents, but the fear that my generation has seen the best of the golden days behind us and not knowing what is to come. Many Thanks.
– Mimi Tam