Select Page
Day 249 – Kneeling During The National Anthem Is Not About Disrespecting Our Military or Our Nation, Mr. President.

Day 249 – Kneeling During The National Anthem Is Not About Disrespecting Our Military or Our Nation, Mr. President.

Photograph from CBS News

Dear Mr. President,

On Friday and Saturday, our news-feeds were (once again) awash with your (hastily-penned, grammatically incorrect, temper-tantrum) tweets. You seem to have a problem with NFL players choosing to kneel during the National Anthem at their games. You called the players unpatriotic, and went so far as to call them sons-of-bitches at your Alabama rally. As our President, your behavior disturbs me much more than the behavior of a group of NFL players. Apparently, I am not the only one that feels this way. On Sunday, my news-feed was filled with stories of more players, coaches, and owners standing in solidarity with the players you demeaned. Sadly, I can only hope you keep alienating group after group until your base has dwindled to those who are as delusional and narcissistic as you.

It saddens me that you chose to attack a group of men who are trying to stand up (or, rather, kneel down) to bring attention to an issue that needs to change in our country. As far as I am concerned, those actions are the definition of being “patriotic.” It’s not that they hate our country, or want to disrespect our flag or the National Anthem. In fact, it isn’t about that at all. It is about a group of men who have voice and influence choosing to use their position to bring about awareness regarding the inequality that still exists in our nation. They are showing love to their fellow Americans and are exercising their Constitutional rights.

I really wish you would use your voice and influence to bring attention to issues that really matter. Aside from longstanding problems within our society, there have been a rash of natural disasters that have devastated some of our states and commonwealths: Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, Washington, Oregon, California, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This is not an exhaustive list. They are suffering….now. They need a country that will support them….now. I would venture to say that many don’t care about football players and games right now. With so many other important tasks at hand, why in the world would you focus your attention in such a divisive way?!

I believe it has to do with fueling your supporters. As your approval ratings continue to sink, you are grasping at ways to have people come behind you, and nothing gets at the heart of a conservative America like insisting someone is disrespecting our flag. Again, that was and is not the purpose of the NFL kneel (which began well before your presidency)….but, you know how to feed the vultures. You will point the finger at anyone and everyone to get the negative attention off yourself and hide the fact that you’re not “winning.” The presidency of our country was never a game to be won to begin with, but that is the only mindset you seem to exude. So you continue to deflect and divide, hoping to show everyone that you have led the winning team to a victory.

On Sunday, you lost. I wish it were a cute little game show where we could yell, “You’re Fired!” but this is real life. Those football players, and the people they kneel for, are your citizens. You lack empathy, compassion, and the ability to lead with dignity and composure. Maybe more people would want to link arms with you in solidarity if you showed a depth of character that some of our athletes, managers, and owners showed this Sunday. Good luck with that.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

Day 248 – Until We All Are Free, We Will Take The Knee….Donny T.

Day 248 – Until We All Are Free, We Will Take The Knee….Donny T.

Photograph from The Sun

Dear Mr. President,

We will take a knee. On the highest platform in the country, you belittled American citizens for exercising their right to speak their minds. The very same platform you used very recently to defend the rights of neo-Nazis. You uninvited the Golden State Warriors from a visit to the White House because Stephen Curry said he didn’t want to come? This is as infantile as taking your ball and going home on the playground when the other kids don’t want to play with you. It’s the behavior of an egotistical and desperate man who has lost all touch with reality. Those NFL player “sons of b******” have a point, Mr. President.  How can we turn a blind eye to the racial injustices under the guise of “Making America Great Again?”

I’m sure Twitter has become the bane of your existence. You can’t log in without seeing the innumerable tweets from professional athletes, sports writers and even veterans and league commissioners denouncing your ridiculous and offensive remarks. The cries of outrage over your latest tirade against basic American rights has sparked the NFL, the MLB and countless other professional sports leagues to take a stand by taking a knee. We take a knee not to disrespect our flag or the brave men and women who defend it, but to fight the blaring injustices that have come to be commonplace in your “greater America.”

The Veterans are behind us; this is what they fight for. They fight under the flag of this nation so that the people of this country are free. They also see that some still fight a centuries-old battle for equality and justice. If you think you have the strength and support of the U.S. military behind you, think again.

All you have to do is open the Twitter feed and see thousands of tweets from U.S. veterans and current active-duty service members supporting the take a knee movement and denouncing your ignorant and short sighted remarks. Your remarks have brought together a community of people who will not be scared by your petulant, childish bullying.

Mr. President, we ask that you think before you speak and acknowledge the injustices that are occurring right in your backyard. Until we all are free, we will take a knee.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

Day 247 – Behind Every Pre-Existing Condition Is Someone Who Is Loved and Desperately Needs Health Insurance, Mr. President. Please.

Day 247 – Behind Every Pre-Existing Condition Is Someone Who Is Loved and Desperately Needs Health Insurance, Mr. President. Please.

Painting by Edvard Munch “The Sick Child”

Dear Mr. President,

My letter today will be brief because, frankly, I am sick and I am tired.

Next week, the Senate seems poised to adopt a repeal/replace health care bill – on strict party lines and without a CBO score or any hearings or debate – that will result in violently slashed funding of Medicare and which could potentially throw 30 million people off their current health insurance plans.

I am fortunate enough to work somewhere that provides health insurance as a benefit, and though it is expensive it is worth the cost.  But I have a daughter who was born with what some people call a “birth defect” (I do not use the term myself, as there is nothing at all defective about my kid) which could, depending upon where she lives in the future, result in her not being able to afford medical care once she ages-out and leaves my health coverage.  Her “pre-existing condition” was not her fault.  She did not engage in risky behavior, live a morally suspect life, or ignore warnings designed to promote a healthy lifestyle.  Her “sin” was simply being born with spina bifida.  Yet within five years, if you sign the Graham-Cassidy bill into law, there exists the chance that she will face a world in which she will not be able to obtain or afford health insurance for herself.

Your comments suggest that perhaps you have not bothered to read the bill.  You tweeted that pre-existing conditions would be covered under G-C – but the entire medical community says otherwise, and have come out strongly against this legislation.

So please, read the bill.  Listen to the experts.  Set aside your deep need for some political victory in favor of doing right by people like my daughter.  I am sick at heart over the idea that this horrible bill may become law of our land.  You have the power to stop it.  Exercise that power.  Please.  I’m begging.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

Day 246 – What Does Backing Out of the Nuclear Deal With Iran Say to North Korea, Mr. President? Short Answer: Skip Right Over Any Diplomatic Solution Because the U.S. Cannot Be Trusted.

Day 246 – What Does Backing Out of the Nuclear Deal With Iran Say to North Korea, Mr. President? Short Answer: Skip Right Over Any Diplomatic Solution Because the U.S. Cannot Be Trusted.

Photograph from the Daily Express U.K.

Dear Mr. President,

I would think that a businessman such as yourself would have an understanding of the importance of credibility. Maybe you’re too used to relying on contracts that can be bent to serve your interests and so you haven’t given the matter much thought. It’s worth considering the importance of having people believe you will do what you say you will.

I’m mainly talking about the nation as a whole here, as it seems you aren’t concerned with trying to maintain credibility with your base (though those reactions to the DACA overtures should probably concern you). President Obama, for instance, was criticized for failing to follow through on his “red line” declaration against Syria. Conservatives bemoaned the loss of U.S. credibility in foreign affairs. Given your affection for strongmen dictators, you would probably agree. When the U.S. says it will do something and then does not, it risks having people dismiss its declarations.

We don’t just lose credibility when we fail to follow through on our threats, however. We also lose credibility when we fail to live up to our promises, including those made by previous administrations. The Dreamers registered under DACA in good faith, providing their information to the government while trusting its promise not to use that against them. You have trampled on that promise and broken faith. Perhaps you are coming around on this point, but I’m not holding my breath.

And now you are trying to “revisit” the Iran nuclear deal. You’ve made no secret of your distaste for it, but the United States signed that agreement, and now we’re bound to live up to our obligations unless Iran doesn’t live up to theirs. This isn’t like those agreements with the contractors who worked on your real estate that you dragged into court to weasel out of. For one, the international court of opinion will not be impressed by fancy lawyers. For another, any country that’s ever been labeled a “rogue state” is going to be watching this and taking notes.

Yes, I’m talking about North Korea now. Unless you actually want to get millions of people killed by starting a war, at some point you are going to need a diplomatic solution. Right now Kim Jong-Un is watching what you’re doing with Iran, and the only conclusion he can possibly come to is that diplomacy with the U.S. is pointless. Any agreement we make with them won’t be worth the paper it’s written on, and everyone can see that. That only increases their incentive to develop nuclear weapons, because that is the thing that will trump all our threats.

If you don’t want countries like Iran and North Korea trying to get nuclear weapons, you have to show them that there’s another way out. Breaking our agreements sends the opposite message: That the U.S. is not trustworthy, and only respects power. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to see nuclear war erupt.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

Day 245 – Working To Protect the Interests of Americans Means Working With Other Nations, Mr. President. America First Fails In Isolation.

Day 245 – Working To Protect the Interests of Americans Means Working With Other Nations, Mr. President. America First Fails In Isolation.

Photograph from the United Nations

Dear Mr. President,

I wanted to let you know that as I read your speech to the United Nations, I found myself overcome with a bemused befuddlement. It struck me that you must have found yourself in the middle of a maelstrom of cognitive dissonance as you implored the United Nations to respect the sovereignty of values and cultures of independent nations while simultaneously threatening the “big stick” of intervention should things not go the way your vision of America would prefer. It was as though you wanted the sovereignty of America respected and knew that you needed to cast that wish in a universal light for propriety, but simultaneously felt like everyone else could just toss off. “What sort of mindset could feel this way,” I thought, “and who still thinks that we can just independently do whatever we want without affecting a significant number of others?”

We live in a world where our actions can and do have global effects. I mean “we” in a human sense, Mr. President, not just as Americans. The economic decisions made by Chinese officials, for example, affect the United States in more ways than simply providing competing goods. When they pursue economic manufacturing growth to protect their nation, their interests, and their future, their air pollution spreads far enough to affect the west coast of the United States. While you pursue policies to promote coal mining in the United States, the environmental effects caused by those policies play a part in driving disastrous changes to our worldwide climate. Our world is an intricately linked web where the decisions in one location can vastly affect another, regardless of the political lines drawn on maps. To pursue policies of self-interest, of “America First,” in that reality is ludicrous and incredibly selfish.

The selfish nature of your speech is further underlined when you speak of refugees. In your portrayal, the best place for refugees is “as close to their home countries as possible”; in other words, especially with regards to Syrian refugees, as far from the United States as possible. You suggest that accepting refugees “reduces domestic pressure to pursue needed political and economic reform,” as though the promise of a safe life in America stymied the political and economic reforms of Spain, France, England, Germany, China, Japan, and more. If only, your speech implies, the supporters of the White Armies remained in the Soviet Union instead of settling in America. They could have provided “domestic pressure” from the gulags and firing squads to reform the Soviet Union. If only the Muslim Bosnians who fled to the American Midwest had remained in their southeast Europe. They could have provided “domestic pressure” to gain political reforms and, maybe, stop the ethnic cleansing of their people. Do I need to rhetorically ask about Jewish refugees in the 1930s as well? We have accepted refugees from Asian warzones and beyond, all the while understanding that they were often escaping because they had to. To remain even in close proximity of their country was to remain in danger, and our country has, on the whole, been for the better because of those refugees.

You speak a strong game “…to respect the right of [your] own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation,” but what is your solution when the interests of Americans are at odds with the rights of other sovereign nations? You made it clear: “I will always put America first.” Your claims of cooperation and unity fall under the weight of this contradiction. Rather than imploring the leaders of the world to unite under a global cause or ideal which can stretch beyond borders, you offer divisive nationalism as an alternative. Instead of seeing refugees as human beings, you see them as “others,” better helped if they just stay far away from you. As one of the American citizens you profess to represent, I find this to be a bitter, misanthropic alternative. If you would like to work on this attitude, I recommend stretching your empathetic muscles by volunteering with the United Nations, especially in its Refugee agency.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

Pin It on Pinterest