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EDITORIAL: ... And justice for all

Transparency must improve, and racist, misogynist and polarizing rhetoric must cease. This is no longer a campaign — it's American History

No matter what hat you wore this past weekend, Donald Trump is our president.

Trump took office Jan. 20 with the lowest approval rating in modern history. Central Michigan Life, along with many other news organizations, endorsed Hillary Clinton as the best candidate for president on the Nov. 8 ballot. Along with most major news organizations, we thought Clinton would be taking the oath of office Jan. 20.

A group of reporters from Central Michigan Life traveled to the nation’s capitol and spent the weekend covering the inauguration and Women’s March on Washington. Our staff covered the election and we will continue to cover Trump’s presidency and how it affects the American people in a polarized nation.

We witnessed history first hand as Capitol Hill slowly filled up with predominately white, enthusiastic Trump supporters from around the nation. We listened to them voice their opinions about how they felt their views were ignored by President Barack Obama and his cabinet.

We were in the streets the following day. We watched as hundreds of thousands of people banded together to protest Trump's plan for America. Again we listened and documented their strong views and their real fears that Trump would take away their rights and move the country in the wrong direction when it comes to a woman's right to choose, LGBTQ rights and climate change.

We want a peaceful transition of power. We believe it is up to everyone, however, to not stand silently if basic rights are legislated away from American citizens. 

If President Trump turns a blind eye to the hundreds of thousands of people who marched through the Washington streets – and the millions of people in almost every state and on every continent who protested against his rise to power — our democratic system will be damaged.

So, President Trump, we demand you listen to the millions who want to be a part of this “new America” you proposed in your inaugural address. We want to make sure everybody is a part of that new nation including those who fear your reign and the misogynistic, racist, inflammatory rhetoric echoed by your supporters.

We demand you work to lower the cost of higher education and make college affordability a priority, which was one of Clinton’s stronger platforms while campaigning. As young people work to better themselves and become active members of society, barriers to knowledge must be broken down.

You must work with states to lower the cost of tuition. The job market isn’t opening up in manufacturing jobs — we need graduates with STEM and computer science experience. This means people need a college education.

You must maintain positive foreign affairs and make sure immigrants can legally gain citizenship. It is of utmost importance. The world is watching America right now. Everything that happens has global implications.

We must work together with other countries on more than just trade – with more than an “America first” mindset. Maintaining positive relations with others is necessary and will only benefit us in the long run. There is no reason to shut out those who choose to move here or shut out other countries.

You must not let the health of the planet take a backseat in your presidency. If ignored, your indifference on the environment will have negative effects on the health of every future generation. That will be part of your presidential legacy.

Global warming is scientifically proven and we must act now to make sure we do everything we can to clamp down on big businesses that pollute, and dedicate resources toward renewable energy and environmentally friendly alternatives to every aspect of American life.

To be a president who truly has the best interests in mind for all American citizens, transparency must improve. Racist, misogynist and polarizing rhetoric must cease. This is no longer a campaign. This is a presidency.

If we accept your presidency you must, in turn, realize your duty as commander-in chief is to keep the interests of every American citizen in mind.

Listen to not just your supporters, but also the millions of women who protested on all seven continents who are fearful you will take their rights away.

That’s the only way this democratic system is possible.