This is a runner-up in our Teens Against Trump essay contest. Read more essays from the series here.
I don't want to grow up with Donald Trump as president. I can't grow up with Donald Trump as president. I must not grow up with Donald Trump as president. As I watch his propaganda and supporters scream, "Make America Great Again," I know in my heart that the day he is elected, a little part of America will die. We will be no better than the countries he insults at campaign rallies. By electing Donald Trump as president, we won't be making America great again -- we will be destroying it. I don't want to grow up with Trump as president. I can't grow up like that. I must not grow up like that.
I don't want to grow up with Donald Trump as president, because I'm a woman. I wouldn't be able to stand the sight of our president shaming women for refusing to conform to his closed-minded standards of beauty and position. I am disgusted as I watch him judge women on appearance and nothing else. What does he see when he looks at a woman, at a girl? Does he see potential -- a musician, a professor, a future president? Or does he see an object with neither value nor thought, that he can break without consequence? What would he see in my mom, my best friend, my teacher? What would he see in me?
I can't grow up with Donald Trump as president, because I know that he values me more than others, and others more than me. I don't want to be a symbol of the social hierarchy he has created for the world. I can't live with Trump as president because I refuse to let race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, or any other thing that differentiates me from anyone else be a deciding factor of anyone's life. I hope someday we can live in a world without prejudice. But that dream will never happen with Donald Trump as president.
I must not grow up with Donald Trump as president, because I can't bear the idea that he believes that I, as a Jewish American, am somehow better than the Muslim refugees fleeing to our country. My family members were refugees to North America, only a few generations ago. I don't want Donald Trump as president, because I believe refugees today should have the same rights and protections as my family.
I don't want to grow up with Donald Trump as president, because I care too much for my nation, my society, and myself. I refuse to stand idly by as sexism, racism, Islamophobia and all kinds of hate run rampant in our country. But of course, as a teenager I have no vote, I have no power. Except with my words. I can use my voice to tell the world what I think is right. And I can say -- with 100 percent certainty -- that I don't want to, I can't, and I must not grow up in Donald Trump's America.