Please don't vote for Donald Trump.
Now that all five of you are of age, you have the beautiful right to vote in this beautiful country. If it's true that every vote counts, please don't squander yours.
Donald Trump is the face of everything I've taught you not to be: a hater and a blamer. Not convinced? Need I remind you about his revolting suggestions which include: 1) building a wall dividing us from our old friend, Mexico, 2) prosecuting and punishing women who have abortions, and 3) deporting millions who've lived peaceably and industriously in the U.S. for years?
Should I also mention his newly-revealed defenseless comments about sexually assaulting women, and the narcissistic non-apology that followed? His unforgivable imitation of a disabled reporter? His deplorable critique of the parents of a Muslim soldier who lost his life in defense of this country? His well-documented, never-ending misogynistic commentary?
What's that? Don't like your other choice?
Hillary Clinton is a liar, you say? Great. Find me a politician who isn't. When you locate that needle, I'll be all ears. For whatever secrets she's kept, for whatever untruths she's told, there's nothing truer now than Clinton has become the new whipping girl of an old guard. Steeped to their own politically padded knees in lies and duplicity, her finger-pointing detractors and colleagues are hardly beating their own paths to the pearly gates of truth and transparency.
And Benghazi? Please, let it rest. For God's sakes, if Ambassador Stevens's family doesn't blame Hillary, what's your skin in the game? Think you know more about what happened there than they do? You don't.
Save your breath arguing that Lester Holt was biased during the debate. I watched it, and I agree. And good on him for being that brave. Maybe things would've turned out differently for Germany in the 1930s if more journalists had been free to speak and write about the disastrous turn their country was poised to take. So, let's take pause and be doubly thankful for our First Amendment. Because every day it protects the dozens of well-respected news outlets dismissing Trump as a viable, sane choice for the presidency.
In a few short weeks, this will be over and done and the people will have chosen their next president. But, in the end, what will we have learned? As the rest of the world watches this election slack-jawed with disbelief, we've pulled back the curtain on a not-so-pretty revelation: We're a nation of angry folks.
Several weeks ago, talk show host John Oliver made a brilliant suggestion. He proposed Donald Trump step down and admit he'd entered the race simply to expose the flaws in the political system...and in us. Oliver would have Trump say, "I openly ran on a platform of impossibly ignorant proposals steeped in racial bigotry and nobody stopped me. In fact, you embraced me for it. What the f*ck was that about?"
Ah, now wouldn't that be great?
If the voters in this country are so disgruntled that they'll support a politically inexperienced megalomaniac in his bid for the presidency, shouldn't we be asking ourselves why? There are clearly things that need fixing. But I'm guessing The Donald isn't the one for that job seeing that the ideology he's selling depends more on fanning flames than addressing the cause of the fire.
Boys, you and your generation are our future. With the right outcome in this election, we'll resume our imperfect quest to make good on the freedoms and rights promised to all Americans. Are we there yet? No. But what good can come of time-traveling back to shameful eras in American history marked by hate, fear, and prejudice? And that's exactly where Trump would have us go.
We don't need Trump to make America great again. It's already great. Do your part to keep it that way.
I have faith you will do the right thing on November 8th. That the values and ideals you've grown up with will prevail. That the acceptance of those who look, or sound, or dress differently than you will triumph in your hearts and in the voting booth. That you'll recognize a dangerous choice when you see it. That you will not confuse true patriotism -- now or ever -- with exclusion or xenophobia.
And that you'll seek to uphold all that is good and right with these United States of America -- one vote at a time.