Reader: Trump's true change 


It is no great secret that Donald Trump has been one of the most divisive figures in presidential history. What your opinion is of Trump isn't really the point. Trump has not been great for America because of his policies. Instead, Trump has been great for another reason: He made America look at itself and ponder who we're set to become.

There are almost no issues that the current administration has acted on that weren't already there, but we've finally started addressing them. Health care did not suddenly become unaffordable, student debt did not mysteriously increase, and our planet did not abruptly become polluted. Women have long been silenced and, tragically, people of color did not suddenly become treated as second-class citizens. Wages have been failing to keep up with the cost of living for decades, and the middle class continues to see its purchasing power tumble.

These aren't new issues for America. It's that Donald Trump now has us talking about our national identity, issues that have remained dormant for far too long. Racism, bigotry, misogyny and a system designed for maximum patriarchy have been part of our identity since America's inception. The reason Trump has been great for America isn't because of how he or his administration have reacted to these issues. It's because Trump has brought these issues front and center. We see and think about them daily. They are in every facet of our lives. The result has been sweeping activism and political engagement, especially among millennials, though other generations are getting involved, too.

Despite his persistent bullying, we aren't backing down. We see his disregard for his fellow human, and we refuse to sit in silence. We aren't just talking anymore; we're acting. We will challenge him every step of the way, because how we respond to the atrocities we're seeing will shape how we define ourselves for generations to come.

— Andrew Smith

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