Dear Kayli and Hunter,
You both know how immensely proud I am of you.
All I ever hoped for the both of you was for you to have a strong self-identity, pursue the things that make you happy, and care about other people. You have far exceeded my wildest hopes and expectations. I love you tremendously and couldn’t be happier for you!
I have to admit, though, I’m worried that I may have done you a bit of disservice. Let me explain.
You see, I never saw this whole Trump thing coming.
As you both know, your Dad is a bit of a political junky. During the Obama years, I saw the political horizon of the U.S. as a land of ever increasing equality, a place where diversity was a strength, and where people who were struggling would be cared for.
In that world, you would thrive in unimaginable ways.
Then we hit the Trump bump in the road – and I just didn’t see it coming.
It’s not that I think our homeland is no longer destined to be a land of great hope, diversity, and equality just as our founders envisioned, it’s just become very clear that under the new political administration, we are going to make massive strides away from those things that will set us back decades.
So, I want to say I’m sorry.
I’m sorry because Trump and his administration do not seem to care for the kind of people I’ve played a role in helping you become. They seem to see diversity and independent self-expression as undesirable.Homogeneity and conformity appear to be the qualities they value. I have to imagine that the kind of young people you have become will find the new world order under Trump to be sometimes difficult to navigate.
I’m sorry because you’ve become people who care deeply about other people, particularly those who are struggling, and now there’s going to be a lot more people in need of care.
I’m sorry because I helped you believe so strongly in equality and now it looks like there’s going to be legalized discrimination not to mention the reality that racists in our nation have been newly emboldened to terrorize others. So, we have much work to do.
I’m sorry because while I tried to set an example of what political engagement looks like, I didn’t properly encourage you to get involved. In my defense, with the road I thought the nation was on, I guess I just didn’t think it was that necessary. I’m sorry.
Yes, I’m sorry, but I’m hopeful.
I’m hopeful not only because of who you are, but because I’ve met your friends. I’ve stood arm in arm with other young adults at pro-equality rallies. I’ve heard folks your age speaking out against the blatant racism, sexism, religious intolerance, and anti-LGBT rhetoric and policy of this new administration. I’ve seen the energy, the optimism, and leadership your generation is now bringing to the cause.
I am hopeful because you and your generation are keeping the dream alive.
This nation needs you.