Reagan's daughter spoke up about what her dad would say about Trump. It's not good.
Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

Ronald Reagan's legacy is polarizing, to say the least.

The 40th U.S. president was a staunch conservative who, among many things, slashed taxes for the wealthy, lured evangelicals to the Republican party, bulked up military spending, and did, well .... pretty much nothing in response to the AIDS crisis ravaging many U.S. cities. His presidency, for better or worse, changed America.

All the same, Reagan operated within the bounds of presidential norms and loved his country dearly, as his daughter Patti Davis argued in a new op-ed in The Washington Post.


And that made him wildly different from his modern-day conservative counterparts.

Patti Davis speaks at her father's funeral in 2004. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

"People often ask me what he would say if he [my father] were here now," Davis wrote, rebuking Trump without mentioning him by name at all in the piece. "Sometimes I'm a bit glib in response, pointing out that he'd be 107 years old. Other times, I simply say he'd be pretty horrified at where we've come to."

In her essay, "Mourning America," Davis laid out four important things she believes her father would say to Americans if he were alive today.

1. Reagan would warn us against authoritarianism.

Davis argued that "we the people" must stop any president from blurring the lines between democracy and dictatorship:

"I think [Reagan] would remind us that America began as a dream in the minds of men who dared to envision a land that was free of tyranny, with a government designed and structured so that no one branch of government could dominate the others."

Historians have argued that Trump — who's attacked "so-called" judges and challenged Congressional rules meant to uphold legislative fairness — presents the kind of authoritarian behavior our Founding Fathers warned against.

2. Reagan would be "heartbroken" by a Congress that has no backbone.

Protecting a president that'll sign "whatever [Congressional Republicans] put in front of him," the GOP has excused, dismissed, or conveniently looked away as Trump tramples the Constitution and shatters political norms — from the president's threats to end the Russia investigation to the web of global conflicts of interest Trump's presidency poses to national security.

As Davis wrote:

"[Reagan] would be appalled and heartbroken at a Congress that refuses to stand up to a president who not only seems ignorant of the Constitution but who also attempts at every turn to dismantle and mock our system of checks and balances."

Photo by Carlos Schiebeck/AFP/Getty Images.

3. Reagan would point out the critical value of a free press.

Trump blasts "fake news" on a near-daily basis, once called the free press "the enemy of the American people" and, according to journalist Lesley Stahl, even admitted that he relentlessly attacks news outlets so that the American public won't believe negative stories about his administration.

Davis believed her father would be appalled:

"[Reagan] would point to one of the pillars of our freedom — a free press — which sets us apart from dictatorships and countries ruled by despots. He didn't always like the press — no president does — but the idea of relentlessly attacking the media as the enemy would never have occurred to him. And if someone else had done so, he wouldn't have tolerated it."

4. Reagan would defend immigrants against cruelty.

Trump's misleading attacks on immigrants — both documented and undocumented — are unprecedented in modern U.S. history.

Many immigrants are living in a constant state of fear in the face of deportation. Hate crimes against people of color have surged in the era of Trump. And teachers report that bullying against minority students has spiked in their classrooms under a president who routinely led chants of "build the wall!" at his campaign rallies.

As Davis wrote:

"[Reagan] would ask us to think about the Statue of Liberty and the light she holds for immigrants coming to America for a better life. Immigrants like his ancestors, who persevered despite prejudice and signs that read 'No Irish or dogs allowed.' There is a difference between immigration laws and cruelty. He believed in laws; he hated cruelty."

Reagan was no angel.

His agenda hurt women, the poor, people of color, LGBTQ people, and other marginalized groups. Maybe Reagan's and Trump's conservatism are more in sync than some would like to believe.

But it's telling that Reagan's own daughter trusts that her father would join every living U.S. president in thinking our current commander in chief is dangerous and abnormal for our democracy.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."