Trump and the Quaker SPICES

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Donald Trump VS Quakerism (Quaker Quill article)

Four days after the election of Donald Trump, Mr. Micciche sent out an email to Friends parents titled “Reflections on this Week’s Events.” In the email, he explained the approach Friends School would take in addressing the election of the republican presidential candidate. While most would think that a high school would not take an explicit political position, Mr. Micciche surprised us.

He wrote: “The campaign itself and the results of the election appear to have normalized and legitimized some beliefs that are anathema to the values we espouse as a community.” As a Quaker school, Friends places a unique emphasis on moral principles. “To the extent that any person… speaks or acts in a manner that fails to live up to [our] standards, we reserve the right to oppose and actively address that behavior.  To do so is not to take sides in a partisan political struggle, but merely to remain true to the [Quaker] values our school has espoused for more than 230 years.” Mr. Micciche declared.

This reaction raises the question: What about Donald Trump’s beliefs and proposed policies violate the core Quaker values, including Stewardship, Peace, Integrity, and Community?

Stewardship

The concept of stewardship is most important to the office of the President, as it relates to the protection of the environment and our planet as a whole. Because of the serious adverse effects that humanity imposes on the natural world, environmental stewardship is vital to continued life on Earth. Trump does not accept that climate change is real. He made this clear in a tweet from 2012: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” He wants to dismantle the Paris agreement, which was an international movement to combat climate change and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. His presidency will further jeopardize the state of our environment, which is in desperate need of American and world-wide stewardship.

Peace

The ninth legislative act mentioned in Trump’s 100 day plan is to reinstate the Restoring National Security Act. He writes, “[This act] rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester and expanding military investment…” In October 2015 on CBS, he said, “I’m the most militaristic person on your show. I want to have a much stronger military. I want it to be so strong that nobody is going to mess with us.” It is clear that these next four years will see an expansion of the US military under a very ‘militaristic’ leader. This does not align with the Quaker testimony of peace, expressed most concisely by George Fox: “All bloody principles and practices we do utterly deny, with all outward wars, and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretence whatsoever, and this is our testimony to the whole world.

Integrity

Trump’s integrity or moral uprightness is perhaps the most questionable thing about him. Scandals surrounding his lies and corruption plagued his campaign. He has sexually assaulted (or “grabbed by the pussy,”) multiple women throughout his life. In 1973, he and his father were sued by the Department of Justice for participating in housing discrimination at 39 sites around New York. He scammed students out of millions of dollars by promising business secrets and education by way of Trump University. Four  of Trump’s businesses have entered bankruptcy: Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, and Trump Entertainment Resorts. Donald Trump has violated the presidential and Quaker expectation of integrity throughout his career and is unlikely to change his ways during his presidency.

Community

Donald Trump has managed to alienate so many huge groups of American people, including Mexicans, African Americans, Muslims, women, members of the LGTBQ+ community, and immigrants. Some of the men he has appointed to important positions within the government have ideologies that aim to further divide the population. As a member of congress, Mike Pence supported “conversion therapy,” and said in a speech that marriage equality would lead to “societal collapse.” Steve Bannon, appointed by Trump as his main strategist, once told his ex-wife that he didn’t want their daughters to attend Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles because there were too many Jewish students enrolled. Hate between the two American political parties is at an all time high, and the racist, homophobic, and xenophobic beliefs held by many of our new leaders will be extremely detrimental to the sense of American community.

 

 

 

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