Going Beyond "Anti-Trump"

07/28/2016 10:02 am ET Updated Jul 29, 2017

#DumpTrump along with #TrumpThat and #WallOffTrump are some of the most common hashtags you might have seen or even used in campaigning against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

In an electoral race that positions language such as "anti-Trump" as a way to frame support for Hillary Clinton, it's also time we rally in the affirmative. It's time to be pro something. For us at the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA), we need to move beyond "Anti-Trump": we need to be pro-worker, pro-Black, pro-choice, pro-immigrant, pro-LGBT, pro-Muslims, pro-poor folks.

Last week's Republican National Convention was a clear departure from where we need to be going. In the overarching debate on safety in America, Trump's Nixon-like remarks on law-and-order criminalizes millions of people who don't fall into the category of wealthy, white man. And while Trump's demagoguery and singular rhetoric continue to obstruct our ability to have constructive conversations on the issues at hand, the platform that the GOP put forth was no better. It is an epitome of the far right.

The 58-page platform promotes right-to-work laws and other legislation that would effectively shrink and undermine the labor movement; makes no promises of increasing the federal minimum wage despite recognizing that Americans are suffering from stagnant wages; promotes the institutionalization of anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant, and anti-Muslim discrimination in our nation's laws; and promises to loosen gun controls amid a society where gun violence and racial division is at a high.

This zealous campaign to put a Republican in the White House led by a hothead appealing to people's worst natures is in direct contrast to productive discussion on how we should be fighting for workers, our families, and the working and middle class.

So what does it mean to be anti-Trump? To some -- by default -- that means to be pro-Hillary. And while I stand with Hillary Clinton, we understand that to be pro-Hillary also means to be pro-worker.

And what it means to be pro-worker extends to all races, ethnic groups, gender and sexual orientations, socioeconomic or immigrant statuses. After all, most of our adult lives are spent at work.

In stark contrast to the GOP platform, the Democratic National Committee's platform values the diversity that defines America. Even in its preamble, the mention of Filipino-American labor organizer and someone I call one of my Manongs, Larry Itliong, next to the historical figures like Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, and Dolores Huerta reaffirms the important achievements and the vital place the Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community have in American history.

Further, the DNC platform shows the Party's dedication to be pro-worker, to stand with communities of color, to welcome immigrants, to defend all forms of love. It strives to end systemic racism and condemns institutionalization of discriminatory laws; to respect our workers by increasing the federal minimum wage and promoting a living wage; to put a stop to mass incarceration and to start investing in communities over prisons; to halt bad trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to name a few.

Together with progressive partners and allies, many in the Asian American, Pacific Islander and broader labor communities are behind Hillary Clinton because we understand that being pro-Hillary is to be pro-worker and pro-people.

Although the Hillary campaign has benefited from anti-Trump rhetoric and even launched a campaign tool that allows individuals to satirize Trump's outlandish remarks, what it really comes down to are the policies, legislation and practices that we can expect from the new commander-in-chief.

We must--and will--go beyond "anti-Trump" and champion issues that really matter.