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Photograph by Scott Ableman

Mr. President,

Hi, it’s me again, just one of a collective of citizens concerned about the direction you are steering the country. We’ve approached you on a variety of issues, Mr. President: your behavior, your foreign policy, your behavior, the tax plan you have promoted, your behavior, your cabinet secretaries, your travel bans, your stance on immigration, your behavior, your lack of transparency in your taxes, your past and current business dealings and your relationships with foreign governments, your acceptance of white nationalists in your inner circle, and of course, your behavior.  I wish I could report that we’ve found evidence that you’ve heard us or anyone else who has soberly criticized your governance, but unfortunately, I can’t.  Your insistence upon “doubling down” seems to have no apex (come on sir, a pregnant war widow?), and we are holding our collective breath in hopes that you have done less damage than we collectively surmise you’ve accomplished.  But recently, I noticed you seem preoccupied with something, something that has troubled you before, and I offer you some advice that might keep your steering of this country a little to the left of the iceberg.

Sir, smart people don’t have to declare to others they are smart. They just don’t.  Are you familiar with Bill Nye, The Science Guy, or Neil deGrasse Tyson? No? Oh, sir, you would really like these two! Bill is a mechanical engineer, um, that means that he applies physics, engineering, and mechanical science to design and— ok, he knows how stuff works and can make stuff, and Neil is an astrophysicist, uh, that means he studies heavenly bodies— um, I mean he knows about stars and planets and the like.  Both of them have had multiple TV shows that garnered high ratings. Bill has a four year degree from an Ivy League (BS in mechanical engineering), Cornell, and Neil has degrees from Harvard (a BS in physics), Columbia (MS and PhD in astrophysics) and taught at Princeton, so yes, he too has gone to Ivy League schools just like you, but for longer and with more degrees. Most people would say that these two guys are really, really smart.  And that’s why, Mr. President, they don’t have to say it.  Like ever.

Instead, Dr. Tyson and Mr. Nye hold talks, write articles, appear on TV shows and podcasts, write books and give interviews, kind of sigh like you, except they excite people about science, inspire young children to study in different STEM fields (um, STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math), ensuring that the next generation will help America (and others around the world, sir, you have to be better about sharing) continue to be great in some areas. People tell me that not only does this make them smart, but it also makes them trustworthy, and they give the collective hope for the future, which we need, Mr. President, bigly.

So, maybe don’t get into a pissing—I mean, IQ contest with your secretary of state, rather, call Secretary DeVos and tell her to lay off of the religious school kick (there is that little matter of church and state separation) and invest in more STEM (remember, I explained that in the last paragraph) education programs.

And, perhaps you could sit down and watch a documentary about the price of nuclear war, like The Bomb (2015) which is on Netflex (I’m sure Barron could help you find it), or, if you’d rather fiction, you could try The Atomic Café (1982) or Testament (1983) or even The Road (2009).  These films are all in color and you might find them more interesting than books, reports, and scholarly articles; at the very least, the collective wishes you might think on the message of the movies before you take to Tweeting at Kim Jong-Un.

Finally, instead of bragging about your great memory, you could quietly reflect on a time in your life when you lost something or someone you cared for before calling a lost service member’s family—oh, hold on, sir, the collective is telling me it sees something up ahead…

Anyway, Mr. Trump, the point is that you don’t have to worry about the media misconstruing the depth of your intellectual capacity if you do smart things, like Neil and Bill.  And maybe use spell check before you Tweet. And perhaps stop talking. And possibly resign.  Just a thought.



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