Dear Trump Voter #20

Dear Trump Voter,

Have you ever been to England? I went earlier this year. Do you know the reputation England has when it comes to cooking/food? I thought for sure the complaints we over-exaggerated. Then I found out that they weren’t. Over the course of 7 days, we ate exactly one delicious meal. It got me thinking.

England was once a superpower, staking their flag just about anywhere and everywhere. Once upon a time the sun never set on the British Empire. They went forth, conquered, they could have brought back all sorts of foods. You’d think they’d have a delicious, incredibly-varied culinary tradition. They don’t. With the exception of Indian and Pakistani restaurants, their food is bland and pretty boring. I mean, their food has improved quite a bit in the last couple decades, but consider how long it took them to catch up to other major global cities.

Compare this to the United States. Obviously, our beginnings started with flag staking and colonization. But once we were officially our own country, we didn’t really go forth with the same vigor to claim new parcels of land (OK, except the Louisiana Purchase, Alaska, Hawai’i, Guam, Puerto Rico, etc. … you get the idea). Mostly we grew more powerful when many brave souls left everything behind and immigrated to start over here, when we invited them to stay and become citizens of our country.

Waves and waves and waves of immigration later and look what we have – so much excellent food! In most places we have access to delicious food from all over the world! Even the smallest towns usually have Chinese and Italian restaurants. Think about the huge variety of tasty prepared/semi-prepared food options in our grocery stores. From jarred marinara, to stroganoff Hamburger Helper, to ramen noodles, to taco shells, to Near East couscous … the full spectrum of the culinary world is more accessible to us than just about any grocery store I’ve seen anywhere else in the world.

I think about all of that and then I think about Trump’s focus on building walls and closing borders. I think about what will be shut out. Food is just one small way, one metaphor, for how much we have gained from keeping doors open and walls unbuilt. I think about everything else we have today because of immigrants from yesterday. And I wonder what you think we will gain by keeping people out. So, I’m asking you: what do you think we will gain by closing doors and building walls? How will shutting out new Americans improve our lives?

Very truly yours,
Confused Coastal Elite

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