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August 13, 2017

His American Dream is not My American Dream.

For elephant’s full coverage, and photos, and video, and quotes: here

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Last night, I got into it with someone in the comments section of a Facebook post.

This person believed that President Trump did “nothing wrong” in his response to the White Nationalist Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

From his golf course in New Jersey, Trump made the following statement, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.”

Sounds like a unifying message from our President, right?

These are the words an American president should say, correct?

While the message itself is fine, it’s not exactly specific or (#sorrynotsorry) anywhere close to being enough. That, to me, is a problem.

If you remember correctly, our dear president landed at the White House on all those paper airplanes crafted by Steve Bannon and his White Nationalist rag, Breitbart News.

The person I was trading comments with called it a “missed opportunity,” and I agree. But I can’t let it slide.

We have a madman at the helm who must clean up this mess, some of which he created himself with his own well-documented hate speech. He can tweet day in and day out over minutia, but he can not seem to muster real messages when they are needed most. 

His American Dream is not my American Dream. It wasn’t 35 years ago, and it isn’t today.

His dream was forged with dollar bills, gold, brass, and marble. It was spawned from fraud, loop-holes, market crashes, and silver platters. His dream has always been a predator’s dream—rush the weak, cheat the system, and manufacture crap overseas where labor is cheap and the rules of humanity are not enforced.

His dream has always involved lawyers. Lots of them.

His dream relies on ignorance, and gets in bed with those in need, those who don’t follow timelines or read, and those who share his greed.

His dream keeps him locked inside a bubble of deceit and false bravado. His dream keeps him on the links, removed from the “real world.”

His American Dream is about walls and bans and exclusion. In his American dream, not everyone is allowed to dream, you see.

While he dreams of burning coal, I dream of harnessing the wind. While he continues to deny climate change and the science that supports it, I actively apply SPF 70 and hope I don’t get skin cancer.

My dream was forged with words and ideas and music. It was fueled by education, innovation, art, and science.

My dream holds hands with peace, simplicity, kindness, and human connection.

My dream is for all who live without malice in their hearts, (regardless of skin color, how they worship, or who they love), to live with equal rights, in peace and safety.

He lives amid his stuff on plush carpets and heated floors. He keeps company with his ego, his golf clubs, his properties, and his nodding yes-men.

I live in a small town, on a quiet, tree-lined street, where neighbors look after one another. I pay my bills, mow my lawn, go out with my friends, grill my hot dogs, and hope that Monday doesn’t come too quickly.

My American Dream condemns bigotry, misogyny, patriarchy, and racism, and I will not pick and choose when it’s appropriate to condemn these because it is always appropriate—in every situation.

His dream is hollow, empty. Hate rattles around inside and slips out the bottom. My dream is full, overflowing. It’s filled to the brim with love and unity and acceptance and helping hands.

His dream is about being in charge, being the authority, and having the last word. My dream is about curiosity, and humbling myself in order to be open and receptive to learning new things.

His involves saying what certain people want to hear, while mine involves hearing what people have to say.

In his dream, he cheated and lied his way through relationships, and now, the woman next to him swats his hand away. She is but another piece of candy for him to suck on, and something for us to look at.

In my dream, I work hard, spend time with my family, pursue my passions, and pay my taxes. In his dream, he plays golf, plugs his family into his empire, eats filet mignon, and finds ways out of paying his fair share.

We are very different, he and I.

Ambiguous rhetoric without action is pathetic distraction—and his dream remains disconnected from reality.

I will continue to resist his dream, and I will continue to fight for mine. I will fight with my words, my votes, my actions, and my hard-earned money.

He’s a lifelong con artist who is currently holding my American Dream hostage.

But I will get it back.

Because a president who does not specifically denounce white supremacy and those who marched in its name in Charlottesville, is not someone I trust with my American Dream.

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Author: Kimberly Valzania
Image: Twitter; @elephantjournal on Instagram
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Social Editor: Catherine Monkman

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