Mr. Rick Perry,

Earlier this week on Nov. 3, you made a statement that, well, put America in a bit of a whirlwind (to say the least). For those who may not be up to date with the Trump administration, the United States Secretary of Energy stated last Thursday:

"From the standpoint of sexual assault. When the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts. So from the standpoint of how you really affect people's lives, fossil fuels are going to play a role in that."

When I first heard the story from a classmate, I could not believe my ears. I half-laughed and shook it off as some crazy, made-up rumor us post-millennial Gen Z teenagers love to create, especially during the current presidency. Little did I know that when I got home that night, I would turn on the news to see your words blaring across the screen, headlining the news. And I have to say is I felt myself die a little inside.

My AP Language and Composition teacher always says, "People can have opinions, but that doesn't necessarily mean their opinions are correct." I was confused when I had first heard her say that. An opinion was an opinion, right? It's drilled into every first grader's little head. Opinions and facts are different. Everyone has the right to an opinion. Facts cannot be changed, little things like that. But I had never heard someone compound the two. And then I realized. Opinions were based on facts. So in a way, an opinion could be wrong.

I don’t care to say that your opinion on fossil fuels in incorrect (even though our world is dying and needs a new source of energy that won’t speed up the process of climate change). But your opinion on the fact that you thought you could use fossil fuels to justify your position on sexual assault. Both are completely different topics and should be justified in their own ways. Using sexual assault to say that’s the reason we need fossil fuels is not okay. I understand that politics is all about debate, but even in debate, there are standards. You know, as well as anyone with common sense, that fossil fuels will in almost no way decrease sexual assaults.

Your opinion on whether Africa needs electricity or not is well within standards, but how you chose to justify that position, was, to say the least, embarrassing. To have an administration that chooses to ignore the fact that our world is dying, but encourage the idea that sexual assault can be prevented by fossil fuels, is overall humiliating, for America. But, of course, everyone is entitled to their so-called opinion.

And Mr. Perry, if you choose to blissfully ignore my previous question but greedily would still like a job in the world of politics, my advice for the future: please watch for how you justify your position on other topics for future interviews. Do not use the first thing that comes to mind, because it could have disastrous consequences (as just proved).

Wishing you good luck,

Maitri Patel