By Alex Temblador
To my middle-class, multiracial, diverse Southern family and friends:
As you obviously know, we are in election season. We vote just a month or so from now for the president of the United States.
It’s an overwhelming time. I’m exhausted over this political season as I’m sure you are. Guess what? It’s almost over. Or it can be.
Over the past year, I’ve heard and seen many of you share your thoughts in person or on social media, and I am extremely confused by the politician you are leaning towards — Donald Trump. Though I’m a Hillary supporter, this post is not meant to convince you to vote for her, to like her, or to even convince you otherwise from the assumptions you’ve made about her. You are a very stubborn bunch, and well, that’s something that we are sort of proud about.
Though, I won’t try to convince you to vote for Hillary, I would like to lay out why you, my family and friends — you middle-class, multiracial, socially diverse folks — why you shouldn’t vote for Donald Trump.
The primary reason? His policies are not in the best interest of YOUR family and well-being. Let me lay it out for you.
I grew up middle-class, you grew up middle-class. We are the in-betweeners on the wealth income bracket, which means we make between $46,960 and $140,900 per year according to the Pew Research Center.
Now, Donald Trump has promised to cut taxes across all income brackets. It sounds great, but in actuality, it’s not that simple. See, Trump has made recent changes to his tax policy proposal — limit deductions and increase rates relative to the original version — which would in turn, actually increase tax rates for middle class families.
Under Trump’s plan, the following would occur to these types of family’s taxes:
- “Single parent with $75,000 in earnings, two children in school, and no child care costs (because the kids are in school) would pay $2,440 more.
- A single parent with $50,000 in earnings, three children in school, and child care costs of less than $6,000 would pay $1,188 more.
- A married couple with $50,000 in earnings, two kids in school, and no child care costs would pay $150 more because of the bottom bracket’s increase from 10 to 12 percent.”
The analyst who found that Trump’s plan would raise taxes for middle-class families was Lily Batchelder, who was the chief Democratic tax counsel on the Senate Finance Committee from 2010 to 2014, and a deputy director of the National Economic Council in the Obama White House from 2014 to 2015.
If you’re thinking, “Oh, Batchelder worked for the Obama administration, she must be distorting Trump’s numbers,” then I would like to add that Kyle Pomerleau of the Tax Foundation, a right-leaning conservative organization, confirmed that their organization also made the same conclusion with their own analysis.
It’s estimated that 25 million individuals and 15 million children will see their taxes rise if Trump’s tax policies are put into place — that’s 12 percent of the entire population. So, my middle-class family and friends, voting for Donald Trump really isn’t in your best interest when it comes to your financial security — especially if you have children or plan to have children within the next four years. And if it was me, I wouldn’t take the chance on being one of those 12 percent.
Your Diverse Family
Yes, Trump’s tax plan would be worse on middle-class parents with children versus middle-class families with adult children. That’s true. If you’re a middle class couple whose children are out of the house and living on your own, congrats, your taxes might not rise. But that’s still not to say that Trump is the best choice for you.
To my Southern family, we are a diverse bunch. We are proudly American and yet we are made up of many things. We are Native American, Caucasian, Hispanic, African American, and many other races and ethnicities. We are old and young, have large extended families, and many of our family and friends identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender). We have a very diverse family and despite small differences, we love our families and we have each other’s backs.
And yet, Trump’s proposed ideas and beliefs endanger members of your families and put them at risk in a number of ways.
If your mom, dad, son, cousin, daughter, aunt, or uncle is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, it’s not in the best interest of your family to vote for Trump. He just released a press release announcing that he would sign the First Amendment Defense Act. On paper, that name sounds lovely, “he’s defending freedom of speech, right?” Actually, the First Amendment Defense Act is a policy that would allow discrimination against LGBTQ persons. This means, that others could deny your gay son an apartment or a house to live in. This means, that your lesbian aunt could be turned away by healthcare providers and be left without the ability to get healthcare. This means that your LGBT dad or LGBT mom could be fired for no other reason than for whom they love.
This is not okay. Trump’s promise to sign the act is just one example of how his actions and proposals would harm YOUR family, friends, and loved ones.
If you have a Hispanic member in your family (that goes for everyone related to me), voting for Trump means that you will be voting for someone who has repeatedly called people of Mexican or Hispanic heritage derogatory things from rapists to criminals to thugs. You would essentially be voting for a president that would see me, my dad, my brother, my family, our family, your friends as criminals, murderers, rapists, and thugs. “Well, he was just pointing out illegal immigrants,” you might argue. Here’s the thing — with Trump’s recent statements about Judge Gonzalo Curiel, an American man of Mexican heritage, it’s clear that he doesn’t separate Mexican Americans from illegal immigrants of Hispanic heritage. And even if Trump did separate the two, being an illegal immigrant does not automatically coincide with being someone who commits a crime, and if a man who wants to be president can’t tell that difference, then he’s not the right person for the job.
If you have a minority friend or family member, voting for Donald Trump is not in your best interest. He is calling for police to stop-and-frisk as a way to minimize crime across the country. The problem with this? Such a policy hurts minorities as it allows for racial profiling. The police in New York used this tactic in 2011 and stopped 685,000 people. Of those people, 90% of people that police stopped were black or Latino. Stop-and-frisk policies clearly illuminated racial profiling among police, as African Americans only make up 25% of the NY population and Latinos make up 28.6%. Caucasians make up the majority at 44% and yet were less than 10% of the people that were stopped and frisked. What makes it worse is that 88% of these stop-and-frisks yielded in ZERO contraband of any form. So, no, voting for Donald Trump is not in the best interest of your multiracial family, as his policies and calls for reform disproportionately hurt and harm minorities.
For new fathers, adoptive parents, foster parents, or parents who choose to create their family through surrogacy — voting for Trump won’t help you to get paid leave when you have a new child. Only mother’s who physically give birth will receive paid leave according to Trump’s proposal. Families are not a one-size fits all, Mr. Trump.
For any of you who have a woman in your family or group of friends (you’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t), voting for Donald Trump is not in your best interest. He has repeatedly insulted women on their appearance, their worth, or their sexuality. He also said that if his own daughter was sexually harassed she should just go find another job, versus holding the sexual harasser responsible. Though Trump has singled out many women and insulted them personally, it could have been your daughter, your mother, your sister, your girlfriend, your wife, your cousin, friend, or aunt that he insulted. And to have a president who speaks to women like that? I know where I was raised, and in the South, men are raised to be gentleman, and to treat women right and with respect — and it’s clear Donald Trump is not that kind of gentleman.
I’m not writing this piece because I hate Trump, rather I fear him and I fear those who don’t take a moment to research and truly look at the things that Trump is saying about them, about their family, and about their friends. The things he says are not jokes, asides, unimportant comments or tweets; they should not be taken lightly. His words and proposals have repeatedly shown where his beliefs and position lie and they don’t lie with your family in mind. The truth is that voting for Trump will hurt your family and friends — and even YOU — more so than he can benefit us.
So, do you have to vote for Hillary? No, of course not. You could choose to vote for a third-party candidate. Or you could choose not to vote at all. Whatever you choose to do, I’ll leave you with a quote from Martin Sheen, “We cannot pretend that both sides are equally unfavorable.”
Because they’re not.
Trump is a far more unfavorable presidential candidate to those you love and yourself, and I implore you to take a moment to let that sink in.