This is a runner-up in our Teens Against Trump essay contest. Read more essays from the series here.
America is a country founded upon immigration. Our founding fathers were men who came to this land in search of a better life, unsure of what they would find, but certain that it was better than what they left behind.
Over a hundred years later, people were entering the U.S. by the hundreds of thousands through Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty, still perhaps the most iconic image of America, was a first glimpse of their new home.
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, [...] Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Emma Lazarus wrote these words in 1883 to represent the open arms of this great country. How come what was once the very definition of America is now being reconsidered?
Donald Trump claims that he wants to make America great again, but what is not clear is when he considered America great to begin with. Everything that this man stands for goes against what this country is revered for. His definition of "great" is worlds away from our definition. Those who have fallen under his spell fail to realize that diversity is just what makes America great. To take that away would be a huge disservice to future generations.
My generation embraces open-mindedness and inclusiveness, and we are the generation that will soon be responsible for the world market. By embracing Trump's platform, Americans would be setting the country back, preventing further improvements to be made by future leaders.
Mr. Trump's policies are in no way beneficial to the country. As a teenager in the U.S., I find it inspiring to see that so many people in this country pride themselves on living in the "land of opportunity." Opportunity is what brought so many families to this country, making it grow and prosper. These families are the backbone of the nation; it's not possible to function without such a significant portion of the population. Exiling immigrants would cause a dip in the population, affecting the workforce and the economy. Discriminating against large social groups would lead to tension, making this a hostile place for many people.
Beyond nativism, Mr. Trump is known for his ableist, misogynistic, racist, and homophobic actions or remarks. We live in a world that is constantly becoming more and more interconnected. People of all genders, nationalities, and backgrounds must work together to reach their goals. In this modern world, it is completely irrational to create more separation. Bigotry will only set us back in the race to intersectionality and growth.
So I am here today to say that my generation, the generation that will soon run the world, does not want to grow up under the control of a man who wants to repeal everything that his country represents. We do not want a leader who does not know his people. We do not want you as our commander in chief, Mr. Trump.