An Open Letter to Donald J Trump

I went to the Donald’s new website today to check things out.  There is a “Share your ideas” button that allows you to give suggestions or to “Tell us your story” so I did. It is probably not what he was looking for, but I wrote the following. I hope he gets it.

I spent my formative years in a rural community in northwest Louisiana. The South. I had nearly every opportunity to become a racist as many of my childhood schoolmates were. I had nearly every opportunity to become a sexist as many of our neighbors were. I was surrounded day to day by closed minded, small thinking, terrible people and a few good ones, many of whom I am still blessed to know. The “salt of the earth” influences in this small town were probably not the best. The good thing was my rather conservative but progressive parents have always been a shinning beacon of acceptance and charity. My extended family, aunts and uncles, and cousins, are incredibly accepting and loving people who impacted me greatly. Some of the best and most dedicated educators I had at a young age were brilliant African American women who would later become dear family friends. All of the peer presented social training with which I was being indoctrinated as I developed my opinions and ideas about right and wrong simply washed over me and I came out relatively clean on the other side. I became the man I wanted to be with traits I think all men should aspire to have. I am by no means perfect as I am human and I still judge people. I judge, but not by the color of skin or the nature of one’s sex. I judge, but not biased by religious difference or social prejudice. I judge people on each encounter I have with each individual. I count my close friends on one hand and I defend them with warm words, heated ones, and God forbid, violence when needed. I am not perfect. I’m not even a good example but I do feel that this country could use more like me, like my Father, and like the men I call friend. The slogan is ‘Make America Great Again’, but I believe it was always great. Sure, America like any nation could use some polish, but the fact remains, we are great. I say “we” because America is its people. You, me, family, friends, and loved ones of every race, sex, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation. We are America. We were forged by revolution. We were tempered by internal war and struggle, we have clawed our way from stupidity and hatred into the breaking dawn and there’s more digging to do. I beseech you now, don’t dig us deeper. America is not perfect but it is already great. We have might and through right choose not to use it and that makes us mightier. Don’t use it blindly now. We are a beacon of acceptance and hope, the only hope some in this world have. Don’t extinguish it. We are the American dream. We are the hope and guiding light. We are America and we are Great. Greatness comes from unity, compromise, hard work, and kindness. It can not be measured by bank account, list of enemies, or how many people you have crushed under your heel. There is no greater statement of this, no more potent affirmation than the the preamble of the greatest document ever written, “We the people…” Read it. Know it. Live it. Defend it. Remember the quality of the people with whom you surround yourself should not be judged by whether or not they agree with you. Allow yourself to be challenged, defer to those with more experience and don’t let pride tell you to do otherwise. Listen to your people, all of your people, and hear them not just the parts you want to hear. “We the people…” means Greatness. “We the people…” means hope. “We the people…” look to our president for even handed and knowledgeable guidance and we pray you will do the right thing as we’ve prayed all those before you would.

Political jousting with women’s issues.

I have heard a lot lately about Roe V Wade and Doe V Bolton. Most people know the bare minimum about these rulings, but they don’t grasp what the law actually says or what the rulings mean. The Roe V Wade ruling holds that a mother may abort her pregnancy for any reason, up until the “point at which the fetus becomes ‘viable.’” and viable is defined as a fetus that can live with or without support outside the mother’s womb. Viability is usually around 28 weeks or 7 months. Doe V. Bolton broadened the ruling to include abortions after that date in the event the mother’s life is in danger. Side note – Trump said Clinton wanted to have abortions performed in the 9th month…. that’s illegal. What he’s referring to is birth, not abortion.

For the record: I am not a woman so I don’t have a dog in the fight. I can only state my opinion and that is that I am against the idea and practice of abortion in general and as it is used as a form of birth control. I would whole heatedly support any woman who’s life is in danger and needs an abortion. I would have no issues with my wife’s or my sister’s life saving procedure should the need arise. In the case of a rape, I understand the emotions involved but can not weigh in on that situation. In the case of just not being able to provide economically for the child, adoption is the best option in my opinion.

Another hot topic relating to this issue is the institution known as Planned Parenthood. There is some confusion as to what Planned Parenthood is. Some conservative organizations would have the public believe that they are baby murderers and there was even a faked video going around about abortions done by Planned Parenthood. The truth is, it is a non-profit organization that provides “reproductive health services” nationally as well as globally. They provide birth control to the underprivileged and they provide classes in sex education in an attempt to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Here’s the problem: They do have clinics in which abortions are performed…. 4 million clinics saw 2.5 million patients and performing around 324,000 abortions. That’s a big number and when you add in that they receive government funding (thanks Richard Nixon) but NOT FOR ABORTIONS the water gets muddy. Many conservatives take issue with this organization for this funding even thought the abortions are paid for by the patients. It’s hard to weed out the facts from the assumptions and outright lies but the fact is, Planned Parenthood does provide many non-abortion services and for free to people who might otherwise be in danger.

For the record: I like the idea of an organization like planned parenthood. It is needed and it performs an important service in education and the sometimes necessary service of abortion. I think there should be some limits.

Rolling both of these issues into an abortion burrito, the Trump camp claims Hillary supports not only Planned Parenthood, not only abortion, but partial birth abortion. First off, Partial Birth is not a medical term but a political one. The term comes from the National right to Life committee. The procedure is actually called “dilation and extraction” or a D&X and was developed in 1995 as a less invasive form of abortion and would do less damage to the cervix than other “late term” abortions. The procedure is, non the less disturbing to hear about and I won’t go into it here. Suffice it to say, it sounds and likely is brutal. There are medical reason to do it such as certain disorders causing massive brain damage and deformity of the fetus that can only be detectable in the late stages of pregnancy after the 20th month and that make full birth or traditional abortion nonviable. The problem is, it’s used in other cases as well simply to protect the cervix and not because there are no other options. Clinton is pro choice and that includes leaving partial birth abortion on the table as a life saving measure for the mother though she’s reluctant to make a distinction between a damaged and undamaged fetus which makes her look like a flipper flopper.

For the record: Again… not a woman. If it were my wife and there was something wrong with the fetus and it would put her life in danger, so what you have to do doc. If there is a viable option OTHER than this, I would go that route. I agree, it shouldn’t be off the table, but politicians need to not be afraid to say there has to be a limit to when or how it is performed. Clinton is too afraid to say that.

I don’t think I have really resolved anything with this post. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about lately. I keep hearing people say that this person is for this, or how horrible this or that thing is and decided to look into it. Much of this I knew, but some of it I had to look up and I am now deeply disturbed. I guess the long and short is, if you don’t want a baby, don’t get pregnant? I don’t think these kinds of issues should be leveraged for political positioning. It’s like juggling with fire. If you take a position, defend it and be clear, not wishy washy about it.