My Fellow Ski Landers,
Today I was proud to represent Ski Land at a demonstration in Boston protesting President Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. This executive order is bad for our ski area, for our community, for our state and for our country. As a small business owner who favors smaller government I voted for President Trump. Indeed, I see much in his agenda thus far which has the potential to benefit our community and our state. However, this order and its implementation defy not only basic pragmatism but also who we are as a country.
In the case of Ski Land our area is only economically viable because of international tourists.…. from China, Japan, Taiwan, and Germany in particular. While none of these countries is directly affected most folks don’t like to go on tours where there is uncertainty, instability or just the possibility of unfriendliness. Of course, a decline in international tourism would hurt a number of small mom-and-pop businesses in town as well. These businesses are part of our identity as a community; they are part of what differentiates us from somewhere else.
On a larger scale we have to recognize, as Alaskans, that depending on petroleum revenues solely will be inadequate for our state to succeed in the long term. We need to consider all the ways in which we can diversify our state’s economy. A variety of factors have led to increased international interest in the arctic from which Alaska has the potential to benefit considerably. A bizarre isolationist policy would likely only hinder Alaska's chances for growth and continued economic well being.
Finally, does this executive order represent us well as Americans? I would say not. From World War I through the present sacrifices by U.S. troops have not only protected our freedom at home, but also created tremendous goodwill among other nations, goodwill that stands to be thrown away recklessly. The presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama will be remembered with one commonality: they both appealed to our better natures as Americans and, in so doing, they strengthened us as a country. For better or for worse it does not look like the Reagan/Obama optimism will be a part of President Trump’s presidential style.
To conclude, I voted for President Trump and was privileged to attend his inauguration. I think there are many ways that America can grow and improve over the next four or eight years during a Trump presidency. However, as an American I refuse to have my leadership characterize me as a coward afraid of my own shadow, groveling to live in an impossibly safe world. This approach isn’t good for our community, it’s not good for Alaska, and it’s not good for the USA. I encourage all interested to join me in demanding of our representatives that this particularly harmful approach be abandoned with all possible haste.