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To the daughters (and sons) of the 1 percent

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Michelle Tomkovicz, guest columnist

I recently came across a Facebook post titled “Food for Thought from a Daughter of the 1 percent” authored by a 25-year-old peer, explaining why she will vote for Donald Trump. She discusses her family’s struggles on the way to achieving financial success, concluding, “I’m a Republican, but I’m not racist, I’m not sexist, I’m certainly not closed-minded. I just believe that my parents shouldn’t be taxed more just because they make over a certain amount of money.”

I too, am a 25-year-old woman who has been blessed with financial comfort. I understand why taxes are an issue — it’s natural to want to keep all the money you’ve worked hard to earn. But I also understand that necessary government services — roads, police, schools, assisting the disadvantaged members of our American community, etc.— require funding and I believe that a truly progressive tax system is the morally preferable way to fund them.

Of course, being a Republican has never meant that one is racist, sexist, or closed-minded. But this year, things are different. Voting for Trump is not just voting for the Republican party. Why have a host of GOP leaders refused to support the party’s candidate? Because those who know politics and leadership best know that the potential consequences of a Trump presidency are dire for their husbands, wives, daughters, sons, immigrant friends, LGBT friends, sick or aging parents, and for families still struggling to make the economy work for them.

Some elections are bigger than a single issue like taxes. Some elections are about basic human decency. They’re about being on the right side of history, about not looking back and realizing we elected a president who openly disrespects women, tl he disabled, minorities, entire religions, and the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

I’m happy that the author of the post is so content to be a member of the 1 percent, but our President needs to be an advocate for those in the 99 percent — particularly for those at the bottom. What we don’t need is someone who has spent his life isolated in a tower, surrounded by golden furnishings, someone totally out of touch with the millions of people who work for a living. For the sakes of their daughters and sons, all responsible citizens — including the 1 percent — should welcome strong, capable, and compassionate leadership from a uniquely qualified woman who has devoted her life to public service. They should tremble at the very thought of the alternative.

• Michelle Tomkovicz grew up in Iowa City and went to Regina High School. She graduated with a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California in 2013 and went on to work for a political firm in Washington D.C. before returning to school in New York City. Comments: michelletomkovicz@gmail.com

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