The people are what makes this country great

Published 4:40 pm Friday, February 3, 2017

When Donald Trump was but a mere candidate for president he led massive rallies filled with adoring fans. He preached from the pulpit of all the horrendous things wrong with America including terrorists, rising crime and illegal immigration. Then he would throw in the punch line that only he could, “Make America Great Again.” Facts didn’t matter. The presentation did. The fanfare did. The hats were printed. The signs filled yards and the fanfare carried him to the most powerful seat in the world.

It didn’t matter that America was already pretty great; it just mattered that Trump got the masses in the right places to believe him. He didn’t win the popular vote (don’t believe him when he says that he only lost it because of millions of illegal votes. That isn’t true), but he won the right states and became president-elect, and now two weeks ago president.

He had vowed to Make America Great again. He promised it again during his inauguration speech, which came off as more of a campaign stump speech than a unifying call to work together as inauguration speeches usually are.

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Then only a week in he did something that went against the core of America, a country built on immigrants and religious freedom. He signed an executive order closing the border to immigrants from seven majority Muslim countries. He banned refugees from Syria, which has been pulverized by bombs. He closed the door to immigrants that had visas and even those that were legal residents with green cards. A Clemson professor was barred from coming back. A five-month old baby whose grandparents are American citizens now can’t come for life-saving heart surgery. A translator that had worked with American soldiers for 10-years was detained at an airport and the press secretary eluded to the fact that even the five-year-old that was detained could be a threat to American security.

This doesn’t make America safe. No person from those countries has ever perpetrated an attack on American soil.  This doesn’t make America great.

What happened next is why America is great already though. Crowds of people came unprompted to airports around the country to protest the Muslim ban (that is what it is. It is a ban. Don’t let an argument on semantics and language distract you.)

Lawyers set up shop in airports to work pro bono to defend people that were being detained and being denied the support of lawyers. Organizations such as the ACLU filed federal lawsuits to overturn parts of the ban and free those being detained.

This is why America is great and will always be great. We have the right and the ability to stand up to our government without fear of punishment. Senators’ phones are seeing a call volume like never before of people voicing their opinions and complaints. We must hope they listen. We must not sit idly by. We the people must keep America great.

About Brandon O'Connor


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