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Day 273 – I Guess I Should Be Grateful, Mr. President.

Day 273 – I Guess I Should Be Grateful, Mr. President.

Photograph by Paul

Mr. President,

I guess I should be grateful. Your efforts to stymie any sort of advances in environmentally friendly conveyance means that — encouraged by, I have no doubt, your close relationship with the oil industry — for the moment at least, gas is cheap. Last summer (for it’s autumn now, we can all agree on at least that much, unless time itself is now Fake News?) I was riding around the backcountry with my father, trying to help him string memories of my mother back together. That’s what I was there for. It had started as a secret but then, somewhere along the road, he began telling anyone and everyone, spilling out our sad fruit like a Thanksgiving centerpiece, arranging all the plastic morsels so they clustered picturesquely out of the horn of plenty in the middle of the table. The proctors at the museums. The waitresses in the diners. This is my daughter, he’d say, and we’re out here because her mother is dead. They’d look to me, these hapless repositories of some stranger’s sorrow, as if for an explanation or an apology. I stared back at them blankly. I was feverish and in pain, beginning to realize but not yet quite admitting (the health care system you’re about to make worse is already fragile, you see, and isn’t able to provide much for temp workers like me) that the boon I thought I’d be able to grant my father, the one gift I could give him on this forlorn trip that might cheer him, was no longer mine to give. My grasp slipping on that, I had no energy left with which to carve out a tidy excuse to these strangers. They could deal.

I guess I should be grateful. Thanks to the opioid epidemic you’ve done nothing to combat, news about it is rife to the point where even I, untouched by effects of that miasma creeping through our ranks, had read about it. It was an article on opioid addicts I thought of when I wobbled home on my bicycle the day before the roadtrip, sticking to public roads with lots of cars alongside the path. The article had talked about people overdosing in Best Buys and WalMarts, deliberately picking public places in which to take their next hit in order to increase the chances that they might be found, and saved. I was out here all alone, far from my husband (who had just visited, in fact) on a contract job, with tunnel vision and a dizziness I tried to attribute just to the heat. Still, I thought, take a cue from the addicts. Stay in public places in case you collapse. I spent the rest of the day in a freezer of a coffee shop, drinking water, leaching strength from the frigid temperatures and from the assurance that at least if I keeled over, someone might call an ambulance. I couldn’t bring myself to do it, because again—temp worker, not-great health insurance—my deductible is more than I currently possess in cash. And also, I wanted to believe it wasn’t necessary. That it was just the heat. That I still had gifts to give.

I guess I should be grateful. The way you’ve divided the country into oil and water and set us all on fire provided, at times, a respite for the people we met on the road. Something to talk about other than why we were out there. My father loathes you but enjoys playacting for oblivious audiences; he can do a great cantankerous old geezer and could occasionally be seduced down this path by a man in a Trump hat or someone standing next to a political sign along the road. He’d get them talking, and then sometimes to yelling, and it would distract him, for a time. Meanwhile I tried to stick to the air conditioning, and to take deep and measured breaths. I wanted to stop being dizzy. He had seen me avoid drinking at this place he’d been so proud to find—an artsy hipster establishment, definitely my kind of place under normal circumstances, and so unlike him that he’d clearly hunted it down for my benefit—and I’d felt like Little Foot refusing the pterodactyl’s last fruit, when I declined. I couldn’t drink. My body was on fire already; alcohol would not have improved the situation. Besides, I still had hope.

I hate Little Foot in that scene.

I guess I should be grateful. On the last day of our road trip, laden with pictures taken exactly where my mother had stood, filled with food eaten in exactly the same booths she had eaten in, he told me she would have been proud of me. I don’t know why; I don’t know what I had done to make her proud. I never got to hear, because I had to excuse myself to the bathroom to lose the grandchild, such as it was, that I thought I’d have been able to announce to him at the end of this sad trip. I had done the math. I had been right, but not right enough. The only gift I had left for him was gone.

I guess I should be grateful? Because a few days after that you started another of your innumerable petty wars of words, this time with a dictator bristling with nuclear weapons. A bloviating bully as unstable as you, and as pampered into believing in his own illustriousness as you. He sent everyone on this side of the ocean into paroxysms of worry and lip-biting trigonometry calculations, wondering if his promised nukes could in fact reach our shores. If they did, they’d reach me. I’m smack-dab in the middle of American Places To Hate, and even given NK’s propensity for exaggeration, if their missiles could indeed stay up, they’d hit me. They’d hit what would have been us.

But there is, of course, no us at the moment. Just me. And as the talk of war—the stuff of bad writing in bad video games and movies; lines like “diplomacy will continue until the first bomb drops,” for crying out loud—ramps up again, after a brief respite (?!) brought by the horrific devastation (by which you seem unmoved, of course) of hurricane after hurricane, I guess I should be grateful. For only having to worry about my own body. (My husband and relatives, after all, are all out of harm’s way, far to the east.) For not sowing that seed of worry—of hope, yes, but nowadays, of what has to also be a perpetual, throat-seizing source of terror, for the future ten years and five years and even a month from now—into my heart, into my family’s hearts. For bearing no gifts and leaving myself that much less rooted, through love, in a future you seem very intent on destroying in a pillar of flame and puerile name-calling. For losing a child who would have been born into what is, right now, a pretty ugly world, and one with an indeterminate shelf life at that.

I guess I should be grateful.

But, Mr. President? I’m not.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

Day 272 – R.E.S.P.E.C.T., Mr. President.

Day 272 – R.E.S.P.E.C.T., Mr. President.

Photograph by Wayne Stadler

Mr. President,

Are you a music lover? Have you ever listened to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”? The reason this song stands out in my mind is that I’m sure that you feel, like the late Henny Youngman, that you get no respect from the “failing” New York Times, or CNN (aka Fake News), the Democrats, or even from some Republicans.

And I feel for you, sir, because so many women know exactly what it’s like not to be respected. What have we done to be treated so shabbily? We were born female.

I’m sure in your recent Twitter forays, you’ve seen #MeToo trending. I went to your feed and, not surprising, I didn’t see one single mention from you about sexual assault against women. Why is that? Is it because it will shine the light back on your own inappropriate behavior?

But let’s go back to wanting respect. I know you must feel like everyone is picking on you and making your job more difficult. But maybe you’d get more respect, if you actually respected the office of the presidency and acted in more responsible manner. So why not take some baby steps, and play nice with 50 percent of the population—the women of this country.

Apologize to the Carmen Yulín Cruz, and to all the women you’ve assaulted and insulted over the years. Make amends. My humble advice might not be chocolate cake, but it is food for thought. Now go listen to Aretha.

Sincerely,

Letter2Trump

Day 271 – #MeToo, Mr. President.

Day 271 – #MeToo, Mr. President.

Day 271 – #MeToo, Mr. President.

Photograph from Unsplash

Mr. President,

Yesterday, a social media campaign went viral. On Twitter and on Facebook, women revealed with a simple “Me Too” that they had experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment.

This campaign shouldn’t have had to happen. After all, #EverydaySexism already made this perfectly clear in 2012. And #YesAllWomen went viral in 2014. It should be clear by now to every single person in our country that sexual harassment and sexual assault are simply part of the fiber of our social culture: things that, if you are a woman, are not about if, but about when. And yet, this morning, men I respect and whose opinions I value greatly were shocked and saddened at the sheer volume of #MeToo that had appeared in their feeds. It seems that, no matter how many times this topic goes viral, somehow it doesn’t sink in. Instead, women are forced to claim their own assaults again and again, and out themselves and vocalize their pain and humiliation, while the men continue to express disbelief.

I first witnessed this phenomenon at a book club years ago. As we women sat around a bonfire, wine in hand, our conversation moved from the book we’d read to our loss-of-virginity stories. A lone husband sat in the group, an “honorary girl” for the night. And as we shared our stories around the circle, it became painfully clear: 7 of the 8 of us women had lost our virginity in a situation that was clearly sexual assault. Only 1 woman had a lovely and loving story to tell, a John Hughes movie kind of story in soft-focus lighting. For the rest of us, our stories did not involve consent. This is the universal narrative of how the women of Generation X lost their virginity. Rape was our rite of passage. And the lone husband felt ill, realizing what had been taken from all of us…all of us strong, independent, self-supporting, Feminist, highly educated and highly successful women. All of us, sir.

And Mr. President, #MeToo doesn’t end there. Because I, too, was assaulted not once but twice on public transportation. And the look on that second man’s face as he rubbed his erect penis on me and knew I was powerless to move away in that incredibly packed subway car…that horrific look on his face will live on as the expression of pure evil in my memory for the rest of my life. #MeToo, sir, in my own dorm room, after I let a guy I met at a party crash there, later waking up to his literally being inside me…#MeToo, Mr. President. #MeToo. And yet, I did not fight him off. I did not accuse him of rape. For years, I called it a “one night stand.” I thought I deserved it, had asked for it even, since I let him crash with me. And #MeToo, sir, on the job, as I learned to quickly twist away when working on a construction crew, so that a man couldn’t undo my bra as he walked by. #MeToo.

Our stories are ubiquitous. They are everywhere.

Why am I telling you? Not only because you are a perpetrator yourself. Not only because you have wives and daughters who you want to protect from men like yourself. Not only because you have sons who you must teach to somehow be better than yourself. Not only because you want to dismiss all of the accusers as liars, women too ugly to be worth your time. Not only because you believe that men in locker rooms engage in “locker room talk.” Not only because you believe it appropriate to comment on the appearance of world leaders, their wives, and all women in general. Not only for all of these reasons, but also because you have a powerful platform. The world is clinging (unfortunately) on to your every word and tweet. Even if you are not capable of understanding how to treat—or not treat—women, you have the ability to advance our cause regardless.

Instead of spending all of your energy trying to undo everything that President Obama ever did, consider doing something revolutionary. (I don’t mean sending us headlong into war with North Korea and destabilizing the Middle East. We’ve actually already been in similar situations there, believe it or not.) Instead, I challenge you to do something that no one else has ever managed to do:

  1. Listen.
  2. Believe.
  3. Write legislation that protects women and the non-cisgendered community. Instead of simply dismantling the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order and the Obama-era Title IX guidance on campus sexual assault and setting us back decades, write something that could actually help someone: write an executive order that demands that sexual assault and sexual harassment receive legislative focus, government funding, and an investment in education to finally turn the tide towards equality, equity, and safety for all women.
  4. Use your rhetoric to promote respect. Find it within yourself to note the phenomenal women who surround you: not because they “are in such good shape” but because they are intelligent, educated, successful, worthy and equal human beings who are so much more than their physicality and sexuality.
  5. Make it so that men finally realize that harassing a woman verbally or physically doesn’t make them strong; it only makes them weak and pathetic.
  6. Make it so that women feel brave enough to speak, and so that women know they will be heard.
  7. Make it no longer necessary for millions of women to out their own sexual assault and sexual harassment on social media just so we can be taken seriously.
  8. Make it no longer happen. Make it so that our daughters will never have to say #MeToo.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

Day 270 – Your Administration Is Almost Like a Funeral For Hope and Democracy…But Only Almost.

Day 270 – Your Administration Is Almost Like a Funeral For Hope and Democracy…But Only Almost.

Photograph by Jason Parks

Mr. President,

The day of your inauguration, the Washington Post inauguration blog captured a moment worth revisiting.

Scott McGrady, a regular inaugural parade attendee since 1969 and someone that voted for you, was near the end of the parade at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Mr. McGrady was excited to be at the spot where the new president customarily gets out to be among the crowd. As we remember from that day, that didn’t happen and you stayed in the car appearing to “look straight ahead.”

The crowd was quiet as the vehicles cruised by and Mr. McGrady said to no one in particular, “It’s almost like a funeral.”

There has never been a more prescient statement made about the last 9 months.

As recent letters on this site have detailed, we are mourning the slow death of freedom of the press, a coherent foreign policy, fact based decision making, morality, executive leadership and the regular norms and behaviors of democratic society.

We’ve dealt with the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the perpetuation of “Fake News,” punting on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding Iran, no movement on gun control, immigration and DACA, the ongoing Russian investigation and the firing of James Comey, undercutting the ACA, a tax proposal that gives more to the rich, dog whistle remarks following Charlottesville, undercutting the State Department, hiring the “best” people and your incessant lying…

And just like on Jan. 20, you are directing the black cars to continue driving and not getting out to face the crowd.

No one should lose hope though. The most important word in Mr. McGrady’s quote was not “funeral”; it was “almost.”

Years from now, we’ll remember how you “almost” subverted the ACA, “almost” made Mexico build a wall, “almost” changed the norms and expectations as leader of this country, “almost” vilified Latinos and other immigrants, “almost” lied your way to another term, or perhaps, how you “almost” finished your first term.

And remember that during your inauguration, the silence may have been deafening, but the real noise came the next day during the Women’s March.  And as we have demonstrated here on this site, no one will be silenced by your lies or vitriol.

There’s “almost” a chance you will see this, but I think you’re still sitting in the black car heading to your political funeral not wanting to face the American people.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

Day 269 – The Thing About Vegas and Some Helpful Q&A For Your Base.

Day 269 – The Thing About Vegas and Some Helpful Q&A For Your Base.

Image from Tracking Trump

Mr. President,

Do not start a war with North Korea. I’ve been to the Korean peninsula. I’ve participated in exercises with South Korean forces. Believe the generals when they say there are no good options. It’s true. Instead, maintain the status quo, improve our missile defense systems, and fly satellites over North Korea like it’s cool.

Ok, now to the thing about Las Vegas.

There was a mass shooting in Las Vegas a few weeks ago.  Ask your staff. They know about it. Heck, even Sean Hannity will tell you it’s true. What this means is that it’s time to pass a new assault weapons ban (AWB). Your base will not like this, so I’ve scripted a short question and answer session to help you bring them in line with your fantastic, best ever way of doing things.

The Base: You’re taking away our second amendment right.

The POTUS:

No, this is strictly a ban of semi-automatic assault rifles, high capacity magazines, bump stocks, and other items such as those that enabled the Las Vegas shooting. Your hunting rifles, shotguns, pistols, and revolvers are not affected.

The Base: We need these weapons to defend our civil liberties.

The POTUS:

No, you don’t. When was the last time you exercised your second amendment right to sustain your civil liberties? And what exactly would that mean if you did?

Surely this means the threat of violent insurrection, probably to include political assassination and ambush of federal troops and law enforcement. Who exactly would you shoot first?

And who’s going to buy an argument like that? Americans are perfectly free to say what they please, worship as they please, vote as they please, travel within and beyond their country’s borders as they please, and basically pursue happiness as they please, as long as it doesn’t interfere with another citizen’s ability to do likewise.

The absolute best guarantor of our liberty is free speech, a free press and a politically engaged citizenry. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that ounce is the first amendment, not the second.

If you saw one of our rights under consideration for repeal, would you grab a rifle and start shooting? No, you would engage with your government and your fellow citizens to try to prevent it by exercising your first amendment rights. Much like you are doing now. It is the first amendment which assures the second, not vice versa.

The Base: Other things kill a lot more people than guns.

The POTUS:

In other words, if we were really serious about saving lives, we would go after the truly leading causes of death and insist on a Manhattan Project for cancer research, cars that top out at 20mph with massive airbags for fenders and driver’s seat BAC detection, single-payer healthcare, and so on.

Yes, in that sense, I think you are right.

But vehicle accidents and life-threatening illnesses are impersonal agents. They don’t “mean” to kill people. They just do. Murder has a different quality in peoples’ minds. Stephen Paddock set out to murder. He planned his attack, equipped himself with weapons conceived, designed, and manufactured for the efficient taking of human life and then went out and did just that.

The fact that people contemplate things like that is sad. That they can legally equip themselves and actually make it happen is tragic, unnecessary, and, compared to cancer, a relatively cheap and easy fix. And if a new AWB on sales and ownership doesn’t produce dramatic results, frankly, so what? What’s the down side?

The Base: The last AWB did nothing to curb gun violence. A new one won’t work either.

The POTUS:

That is because it wasn’t my AWB. It was badly done, which as you know, is not how I do things. My new AWB will be huge and fantastic. The last AWB only banned manufacture and sales. My new, much better one will also ban ownership, so you will have to turn your rifles in.

The Base: You lied to us!

The POTUS:

People holding on to guns they don’t need so other people can commit murder. Sad.

I don’t lie. This is what I’ve always said all throughout my campaign, and I’m going to keep my promise. Because of this new assault weapons ban, there’s going to be no more shootings or murder or Russian interference in the Unites States, ever. Now I have to get to work on my executive order banning women over the age of 35.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

Thanks for TrumpDontCare. Way to Destroy Healthcare Without Having a Replacement.

Thanks for TrumpDontCare. Way to Destroy Healthcare Without Having a Replacement.

Photograph by Joe Brusky

Mr. President,

“Great healthcare for many, many people.” When will this nightmare end? How can you be so ignorant in virtually every scenario that is placed in front of you? And how can your supporters continue to defend you in the unraveling of America?

This month has been a tough one for many Americans. Hurricanes in both the mainland and Puerto Rico that have caused devastation and death. Fires burning out of control, taking lives and property. And your Trumpcare Executive Order changes that will bring about more of the same. But the difference is that you are responsible for the devastation and death brought on by your Trumpcare changes. This is now your healthcare plan. You had the opportunity to make healthcare in America better, but instead, you chose to wipe out any chance for hard working Americans to afford decent healthcare.

What does this executive order mean to you? That you can look your rich friends in the eye and say “I have your back and I will still make you money while I am in this office.” You could not get any healthcare agenda passed through the House and the Senate, which should have been an indication that things were not good enough (even from your supporters). I just hope that any changes of regulations are made after thoughtful consideration from experts who listen to facts.

What does this healthcare mean to us? It potentially means that employers can have meager plans for their employees. These plans will be for healthy, young people. People who do not seek medical treatment often and are in good health. These plans will effectively cull older workers with preexisting conditions or families or women from employment because they will not be able to survive with limited healthcare plans. Way to look out for you friends in business.

Throwing these plans into the healthcare options will continue to destabilize healthcare markets and most likely will allow for fewer options and higher premiums for the people who need the care the most.

If your plan is to destabilize the market, allow more loopholes for employers (and healthcare companies), you are right on track. If your plan is to make healthcare achievable and affordable for every American who needs it, you have missed the mark. Again.

Go back to the office and invite experts from both sides of the aisle to work together in a way befitting America. Listen to the people who need healthcare, not the ones who profit from it. Let’s have great healthcare for all.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

Day 267 – A Very Brief Lesson In Geography For You.

Day 267 – A Very Brief Lesson In Geography For You.

Mr. President,

Here is a map of the United States and all of its territories. You know…that country you are president of? Like…all of it. Not just the part that is all contiguous (big word, sorry…it means touching or next to). Because you are president of Alaska and Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands, too. And, because we know you are not real big on geography or…like…knowing stuff, you are also president of American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

Day 267 – When People Talk About History Repeating Itself, They Do Not Mean It In a Positive Way, Mr. President. Right? You Get That, Right?

Day 267 – When People Talk About History Repeating Itself, They Do Not Mean It In a Positive Way, Mr. President. Right? You Get That, Right?

Photo from The History Box

Mr. President,

Last Monday we observed Columbus Day, but yesterday – October 12 –  was the real anniversary of the date he arrived in the new world. And, as what you observe typically has nothing to do with reality, it’s worth reminding you that on this day Columbus “discovered” your country with (drum roll, please) three boatloads of Spanish-speakers. Keep that in mind when ripping families apart during the deDACAfication of America. Yes, I know that’s not a word, but if you can get away with “covfefe,” I can get away with deDACAfication.

My grandfather was an off-the-boat immigrant from Italy, arriving at Ellis Island in 1912. America was good to him, and he in turn was good to his new land when the old one had failed him. Like many Americans close to their roots, I made a pilgrimage to visit the museum of immigration now gracing the port of entry that once welcomed millions of immigrants from all over the world – including from your ancestors’ lands. Of all the memorable artifacts there, the one that sticks out the most is the KKK pamphlet from the 1920s specifically targeting the newly arrived Italians, or in the phrase of the day, “the white N——-s.”

So this is what my grandfather had to put up with. Well, Italians aren’t scared of any group that has to go clothes shopping at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Neither should the African-Americans, the Irish, Catholics, Jews, Muslims or anyone else they now target. In fact, they hate so many minority groups that by process of elimination they’ve turned themselves into the true minority.

And then you came along, 105 years after my grandfather immigrated here, breathing legitimacy into the ideological descendants of these homegrown thugs that terrorized Charlottesville by calling them “fine people.” You know the old saying: those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. But that statement assumed you’d care enough to learn it in the first place. In any case, let me teach you some.

In 1933, an Italian immigrant tried assassinating FDR. Italian immigrants were conveniently labeled “murderers,” and they suffered for it. Before that there was the case of Sacco and Vanzetti, two Italian immigrants executed 90 years ago for a crime historians still aren’t convinced they committed. Italians immigrants were stigmatized “terrorists,” and they suffered for it. And of course, there’s always the mafia, whose first killing on American soil goes back to 1890. And the Italian community – well, figure it out.

Now you’re repeating history by fomenting fears that Latino immigrants are murderers, rapists, drug dealers, and members of the MS-13 gang. And your anti-American spirit is not just limited to the Hispanic community. Muslims, through your unconstitutional travel ban and frequent rants about “radical Islamic terror,” are also targeted. I refuse to let either group suffer for it.

Have you ever considered that Italians weren’t all mafiosi, but rather the main victims of the mafia? Or that Latinos aren’t all “bad hombres,” but rather their main victims? Or that not all Muslims are radical Islamic terrorists, but rather their main victims? Your use of fear seeks to stereotype, for the sake of political opportunism, the nationality of the perpetrator with the entire people of that nation.

This is also a good time for me to remember not just the 525th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the new world, but my own 16th anniversary of the date I bought a Koran – one month and one day after 9/11. I had a need to understand something about that religion and not just frame the world in an us-vs-them context. I’m glad I did.

Italian-Americans – all 25 million of us – are now well accepted in American society, something my grandfather probably never experienced. I look forward to the day – maybe not in my lifetime thanks to you, but it’s coming – that Latino-Americans, African-Americans and Muslim-Americans will be able to drop the hyphens and simply feel like they belong in America as Americans. To a day that the only place anyone can see a KKK artifact is in a museum. Now THAT’s a world worth discovering.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

Day 266 – What You Don’t Know About Patriotism Could Fill The Pages of A Thousand Books, Mr. President.

Day 266 – What You Don’t Know About Patriotism Could Fill The Pages of A Thousand Books, Mr. President.

Mr. President,

The four years you spent babying your heel spurs, my husband spent in the United States Air Force wearing combat boots. Fortunately, his service put him overseas, but not directly in the Vietnam war. Your cowardice put you in New York, with your dad’s money, as a playboy and joke.

He wore the American flag and saluted it every day. You ignored the flag. He took an oath to keep America’s secrets and for 40+ years he has kept that oath.  You took an oath to protect the U.S. Constitution and gave U.S. top secret information to the Russians within months of taking office.

So, don’t wrap yourself in some sanctimonious love of the flag and national anthem.  It’s so shallow, so obvious, and so wrong.  Melania has to give you an elbow in the ribs to remind you to put your hand over your heart at the national anthem. I bet you don’t know the words. Don’t tell us what it means to be respectful of the flag and the anthem. You don’t have a clue.

You keep telling us about your extraordinary intellect.  Yet, you appear not to have the capacity for higher order thinking, or you truly are a racist and fascist.  If you were smart, you would know the flag and the anthem are symbols.  In reality they are dyed cotton or rayon cloth, and little black spots on lined paper.  What deserves respect, what motivated my husband’s service, what is real and true are the ideas symbolized by the cotton cloth and the little black dots with funny tails.  Respect earned over 200 years by patriots and activists and those who believe in the values of the United States.

But, let’s say that you do understand that these are national symbols for complex ideas. Then, even worse, it means you stand against the values these symbols represent.

Young, black men are being killed by police for no reason and without punishment for the police involved. Citizens and immigrants with brown skin are being ripped from their homes, tracked as they pick up kids from school, arrested at the bedside of family members in the hospital.  Your America nightmare is a nation with a closed mind, hard heart, and slammed doors to the world. This is not the meaning of the flag and the national anthem.

While you demean American citizens dying in Puerto Rico, you support neo-Nazis and KKK members as “good people.”  (And how can your neo-Nazi supporters chant both for Russia and Nazism; don’t they know that the Nazi’s and the Russians were enemies? Don’t they know that an estimated 20+ million Russians died in WWII because of the Nazi’s?  Boggles the mind….but, I digress.)

Well, here’s what we know.  The NFL players are right to take a knee in front of the flag and during the national anthem, because they actually believe in what these symbols represent.  They call us to live up to our ideals.  They use their celebrity to say to America…”you can do better than this.”  They put their bodies and reputations on the line to show young minority men what it means to stand on principle. What it means to have honor.

You, and Vice President Pence, walk away from the meaning of the flag, turn your back on the national anthem, and wrap yourself in a cynical whole cloth of pseudo-patriotism. Next you’ll be attacking your mom. I am frightened for the future of apple pie.

Here’s what you should know. We know you are simply trying to divert our attention away from your treason, and incompetence.  It’s not working.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

 

 

 

Day 265 – Why Do We Write To You, Mr. President? Glad You Asked.

Day 265 – Why Do We Write To You, Mr. President? Glad You Asked.

Photograph by Joyce Seitzinger

Mr. President,

We all know our letters will be unread and ignored. You delight in yourself. There is no self-reflection, no internal compass to guide you. Our letters? You simply don’t care.

Still, we write on the hope a phrase or idea will connect to some vestigial thread of decency.  We suspected we knew your character. We held out hope there was some deeper intelligence and vision. We were right in our first assessment. Over the past 10 months you revealed your true self. You are unfit to be President of the United States.

We still write. We will write. Now the letters to you help form a net that brings us together to survive you.

Dear Mr. President, we don’t agree with the enslavement and denigration of the women in our lives through enforced pregnancy, unfair wages, sexual objectification, and male dominance.  We love our moms and aunts and daughters and cousins, and coworkers.  We believe men and women are allies not adversaries. Why do you hate women so?

Dear Mr. President, we don’t agree with your blatant and ignorant racism, homophobia, and ethnocentricity.  Your neo-Nazi, Russian loving, khaki wearing rabble celebrate the enemies of the United States. I keep expecting North Vietnamese, Japanese, and North Korean flags to be brandished along with the Nazi swastika and the Confederate Flag.  Your minions carry the tiki torches from Home Depot and illuminate the distortion of what should have been human faces.  Why do you hate people who God created, and nature refined, in a wide and glorious range of skin colors?

Dear Mr. President, we don’t agree with selling off and destroying our natural wonders to a dying extraction business. We don’t agree with the United States withdrawing from the climate accords. We don’t agree with climate change deniers.   We don’t agree with rich people buying our democracy for their own advantage. We don’t agree with corruption, and greed, and duplicity. We don’t agree with huge tax breaks for the rich, and tax breaks that institutionalize wealth in a few families through inheritance. Why do you need more?  Don’t you have enough?

Dear Mr. President, we don’t agree with traitors. We don’t agree that politics (or even war) should be “winner takes all.” We are appalled that the Russians are waging war on democracies around the world. We are dismayed by your ham-handed treatment of our long-time allies, by the retreat of the United States from world leadership, by your warm welcome of dictators and tyrants to the White House, by your dismissing Russian interference in our elections and lauding the leadership of a dangerous foe.  We shake our heads in disbelief at your outrageous flirting with nuclear annihilation.  Where is your loyalty to the United States? Where is your own sense of self-preservation?

Dear Mr. President, we don’t agree with your attack on the first amendment. We understand, perhaps more than before your presidency, the critical role of a free press, the rights of all Americans (even football players) to peacefully protest, the rights of citizens to petition government, the right to be free FROM a state sponsored religion. Did you ever take a civics or history course?

Well, Mr. President, there is more. Bottom line, we don’t agree with virtually any of your policies or actions. We are the vast majority. We write to you, and speak to one another. Like correspondence of old, we reach out to each other to strengthen our resolve and to remember who we are. The day will come, sooner or later, when the majority of Americans will demand your removal.  We will write in celebration.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

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