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Day 526 – Letter to the American People: Call the Con Artist-In-Chief and All of His Supporters Out.  When It Smells Like BS, It Probably Is BS.

Day 526 – Letter to the American People: Call the Con Artist-In-Chief and All of His Supporters Out. When It Smells Like BS, It Probably Is BS.

Image from Democratic Underground

Dear American people,

On the series finale of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the concluding monologue has Jon Stewart warning us that “BS is everywhere.”

That was August 6, 2015.

Almost 3 years later, here we are, and the cow poop is flying all around us seemingly always at high speed. And it has taken control – we are becoming immune to the smell.

Donald Trump is the best con artist of his time. He once plied his skills to sell real estate and manipulate local officials, vendors, or buyers of his properties.

But how do we handle a con artist? Unfortunately, the elderly are subject to scams regularly and the AARP has a great article for its members to help them identify a con artist and how he plies his trade. It should sound all too familiar.

First, the con artist develops a persona: “Assume a false personality or social mask that makes it easier to pull off the deception. Swindling is really acting, and you play a character who will help you appear legitimate, confident and successful … even when you are not.” Check!

Second, “it’s about emotion, not logic.” He states his “first objective (is) to get the victim ‘under the ether.’ Ether is that fuzzy state when your emotions are stirred up and you’re so agitated that you won’t know which way is up and which is down. Once I have gotten you into this condition, it doesn’t matter how smart or dumb you are. Ether trumps intelligence every time.” Check (pun intended)!

And last, find the “perfect victim.” That’s us. Politically polarized, disillusioned, dependent on social media, primed to be scammed. Check!

Remember what we’ve been told:

Democrats do not support immigration reform.

I can’t prevent kids being separated from their parents at the border.

The media is the enemy of the people.

The Eagles were kneeling and are disinvited from the White House.

We have thousands of immigration judges.

My inauguration crowd was the largest ever.

There was voter fraud, millions of illegal votes against me.

Mexico will pay for the wall.

There’s more – and the hits just keep on coming from the president and his administration.

Now what do we do?

Call him out. To your family, your friends, to anyone who will listen.

Many will say it won’t matter, people believe what they want to believe. People stay within their own bubbles.

Silence is not the answer. Eventually, collectively, we can get people out of the ether.

Or as Jon Stewart put it, “BSers have gotten pretty lazy; the best defense against BS is vigilance… when you smell something say something.”

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 525 – Letter to NY19: Let’s All Get Behind Our Candidate and Push to a Win in November!

Day 525 – Letter to NY19: Let’s All Get Behind Our Candidate and Push to a Win in November!

Image from Twitter

Dear NY19,

As I write it is 4:00 pm, June 26, 2018 in the NY19 Congressional District. The polls are still open, so we have no idea who will win the seven person Primary and become the Democratic nominee who will run against No-Show Faso, a sobriquet earned by his unwillingness to meet in open Town Halls with constituents. Faso should be easy to beat: he was one of the original sponsors of the national concealed carry firearms bill; he was video-taped promising a very ill young woman that he would not take away the Affordable Care Act—and then he voted to do so; he voted for ending Social Security; and one of his biggest donors was Mercer, founder of Cambridge Analytica. He defended the abduction of children from their families by the Trump Administration by Fasosplaining that such young children could not be jailed with their parents.

I have enthusiastically supported one of the seven contenders: Brian Flynn, a man whose integrity, platform, and experience inspired my allegiance. I strongly hope that he will win.

But, if he is not the people’s choice, I will continue to work and write letters to elect the winner. Brian himself has already pledged to do the same. This district cannot take two more years of knee-jerk jerks who do the bidding of money rather than that of their constituents.

I will work for the winner because I know and respect friends and acquaintances who have been working for each of the other candidates. These are people I see often. I honor their diligence and sacrifice, their hours spent writing letters, going door to door, making phone calls, having gatherings, and attending rallies. I have stood next to many of them at these rallies. I know they are sincere citizen activists who are working to save this country from a Supreme Court majority stolen by the Republicans in a hardly concealed effort to strangle democratic principle. I have read their letters condemning the kidnapping of children. I have seen their local Democratic parties grow because their neighbors are inspired by the well informed and logically presented discussions of these citizen action peers.

Each of these people I know pledged early on to work for the winner of the Primary because that winner would be the People’s Choice.

…And here we are on June 27, 2018, and the winner of the NY19 Democratic Primary is Antonio Delgado. Congratulations, Antonio, Gareth, Pat, Brian, David, Jeff, and Erin. Most of all I offer my congratulations to the Democratic process.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

Day 524 – Letter to Democrats in Congress: We Need to Hear You. All of You. Loud and Clear.

Day 524 – Letter to Democrats in Congress: We Need to Hear You. All of You. Loud and Clear.

Dear Democrats in Congress,

As one of your constituents and as a moral human being, I am writing to you regarding the children separated from their parents at the border with Mexico. I understand that Trump, with a flourish of a big pen gripped in his teeny-tiny hand, ended the policy of separating families at the border. But it was clear to everyone when he did so that he completely failed to put in place a plan for reuniting the children and parents who had already been separated.  He ended a cruel practice but left a void behind. Cause that is just the kind of leader he is.

So I, your constituent, need you to take firm action where he failed to do so. A California federal court has already stepped in to set a timeframe in which families must be reunited. As my senator or representative, I need you to put your voice, your power and your convictions to work making sure this happens. I need you, my elected official, to make it clear where you stand on the immigration policy at our southern border.  I need you, in the summer leading up to the November elections, to make it clear that you stand on the side of humanity, human kindness and grace.

I need to hear your voice on this. Loud and clear.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

Day 523 – Letter to Mitch McConnell: Blocking the Hearings for Merrick Garland Paid Off For You Today. November 2018 and 2020 Can’t Come Soon Enough For Us.

Day 523 – Letter to Mitch McConnell: Blocking the Hearings for Merrick Garland Paid Off For You Today. November 2018 and 2020 Can’t Come Soon Enough For Us.

Image from the Center for Public Integrity

Senator McConnell,

In the wake of two potentially catastrophic Supreme Court decisions today (one upholding the travel ban and the other overturning a law that required “crisis pregnancy centers” to supply women with information about abortions), we want to let you know a few things.

We will not forget about Merrick Garland.

We will not forget that you happily stalled his confirmation hearings.

We will not forget that you boasted about it after the fact.

We will not forget that you turned the bureaucratic machinery of one branch of government against another.

And…we will not forget to go to the polls.

We will not forget the havoc a weak, puppet-stringed Republican led congress has wreaked upon our country.

We will not forget how Republicans, like you, never really stopped backing the racist we have shaming the halls of the White House.

We will not forget your pale, phlegmatic responses to the horrendous things he has done and said.

And…we will not forget to go to the polls.

We pretty much can’t think of anything else besides that walk toward the November election. Toward that day when we, the people, get to start cleaning house. When we get to start fixing all the damage you and your cronies have caused to our nation domestically and in the eyes of our allies.

We can’t wait to vote you right out of office in 2020.

Start packing.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 522 – Letter to Fellow Americans: We Can and Must Be the Light.

Day 522 – Letter to Fellow Americans: We Can and Must Be the Light.

Image from Anythink LIbraries

Dear Fellow Americans,

For all you who have been contributing to and reading this site since Trump took office, we are all on the same page.  This is not the country we know we can be. These are not our values.  The “new normal” of lies, fake news, discrimination and cruelty is not who we are.  Patriotism can be positive when it celebrates and upholds true values of love, peace, freedom and equity.  Patriotism memorializing only white male success is not something to celebrate, nor is it our country’s truth.

If you contribute to and read posts on this site you know that we are truly in a state of crisis.  The rhetoric and hate are not our ideals. This country is divisive. It would be a falsehood to believe that we could “win” or the other side could “win.”  Life in this country is not a zero sum game.  We all need to be better at figuring out how to find that common ground and shared human decency. Opening dialogue with someone who doesn’t seem to hold the same beliefs can be scary and frustrating, but not doing so can be destructive to us all.  We need to hold our politicians to higher standards than we currently do.  Re-election at all costs is absurd. Our country was not built on that principle.  We need strong voices in government to carry the will of the people and aren’t afraid to push back for what is right.

Across this last year and a half, our civil rights, our safety, our place in the world, our healthcare, and even the air we breathe have been under assault.  We are not people who rip children from their parents and put them in cages. Our history has very dark periods in it, but I would like to believe that we have learned from those mistakes. We need to continue to teach, discuss and use those lessons to ensure our country’s future isn’t created in those images.

I am going to continue to fight- not for my side to win, but for all of us to achieve the country and life we want, need and have worked so hard to build.  We are all tired, but to rest now is not an option.

Please volunteer for local campaigns, continue to contact your elected representatives and let them know your thoughts, donate to causes that help us restore decency, and open a dialogue with someone you didn’t think you could discuss issues with. We are experiencing a dark period, but we can be, and must be, the light.

Thank you for your persistence.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

 

Day 521 – Letter to the Women of This Administration: I Wanted to Believe In You, But I Can’t. You Have Learned the Art of Deception Well…From the Master.

Day 521 – Letter to the Women of This Administration: I Wanted to Believe In You, But I Can’t. You Have Learned the Art of Deception Well…From the Master.

Image from Imitate Modern by Henry Hate

Dear Sisters,

I’ve always believed in the power and compassion of women.  We’ll see in November if that faith has any basis. Every woman’s vote is needed to restore sanity to the country.

In the meantime, I watch Trump’s abused women with horror.  This covey of female leaders seems bent to prove that incompetence, hatred, racism, lying, and corruption are not gender linked behaviors.  Women can be evil too.

Melania, I want to think that you are secretly lobbying for the return of immigrant children to their parents. Children kidnapped and “disappeared” by your husband.  I want to smile and imagine that your clothing message stating “I really don’t care. Do you?” was aimed at your husband and not stating your lack of compassion for babies sitting alone in dog cages under guard. Your soft voice, foreign accent, personal immigrant history, and devotion to Baron mislead.  I want to believe as a wife, a mother, and a strong woman you would champion values supporting human rights, kindness, and inclusion. If nothing else, I have believed you would want a better world for your son. But, I can’t. It looks to me like you made your deal with the devil. For a gold plated apartment, designer clothes, fancy stiletto heels, the chain migration of your parents into the U.S., and a child born to riches, you agreed to serve as high class “arm charm” for your misogynistic husband.

Kirstjen, I want to think that you are smart, competent, centered and a thoughtful sentinel of U.S. safety.  I want to believe you are not a racist and you would apply a woman’s pragmatism to solving complicated problems.  I watched your press briefing on the child immigration issue, and I wanted so much to believe you.  But, I can’t. Trump behaved like a bully to you, and you allowed him to push you into his world of deceit in order to regain his favor.  Really?  You want to be admired by a psychopath who is destroying the security institutions of the world? You willingly lie. I hope the pen given to you by the president after signing the change in policy on splitting up families gives you comfort as you listen to the distraught cries of children.

Sarah, I want to see you succeed as a beacon of truth to the American people who pay your salary.  I want to believe you internalized the Christian values you learned as the daughter of a preacher – values espoused by all the major religions of the world. I long to see you pull out the Golden Rule and place it on the podium before you.  I want to see you support the critical role of a free press in a democracy.  But, I can’t.  Truly I’m amazed by how smoothly you lie, distort, and the bite of your sarcasm.  You invoke the Christian Bible as if no one else had ever read it.  First, why is the Bible quoted as a justification for hatred?  Well, for any public policy at all?  Bible quotations don’t belong in the civic political discourse of the nation.  You pretend Christ preached a gospel of border security and fear, hatred of the stranger, disgust at the poor, and exploitation of children for political advantage. What happened to you?

Gina, I wanted to hear you renounce black site CIA operations, condemn torture, and ask for forgiveness for destroying the evidence of U.S. inhumanity to detainees.  I wanted to take pride in a women leading a critical national security organization. I wanted to trust your judgement.  But, I can’t.  You tortured other humans.  You destroyed the evidence. You offer no explanations or evidence of reflection. You’ve signed on to Trump’s cruelty and xenophobia.

Nikki, I thought maybe you had the potential to be the first woman president. Smart, articulate, strong, and a bit sassy, I had hope.  I wanted to see you use your strength to offer a counterpoint image of America to the world. I thought you understood the unique role the United States played as a beacon of hope, a reliable ally, and friend. I wanted to trust you.  But I can’t. You bully our allies and threaten smaller nations who rely on the United States for leadership and assistance.  “Our way or the highway” has become your theme.  You don’t deserve a future public service career or any position of trust.

Ivanka, I wanted to see you use your privileged position and special relationship with the president to help women – all women.  To help moms – all moms. To advocate for fair and equal wages, childcare for all, health care for mothers and babies, family leave, and family planning programs.  I wanted to like you.  But, I can’t.  Despite the hunch that you have been abused by this despicable man, your father, you are a full grown well-educated woman who could stand up to him.  You could confront extremist cabinet members.  You could work with Congress.  Instead you hawk your brand and use your position to gain access to Chinese markets. Money is your measure of success and it appears there is never enough.

Betsy DeVos, Elaine Chou, Kellyanne Conway, I never even had hopes for the three of you.  As a woman, you embarrass me.  As an American I am appalled.

We will see in November if the women of America will stand with the men in their lives and vote to return sanity to the United States.  While I love seeing women in positions of power, it gives me no delight when the women are as deceitful, corrupt, incompetent, and cruel, as the other sycophants of the Trump administration.

There is time. You could call a press conference, step forward together, and tell the truth. You could courageously become whistle blowers and provide the Special Counsel with evidence to bolster his case, a case that, hopefully, will result in impeachment. But, it appears you like your power too much.  You will not sacrifice your job, in order to save the country. You will not commit a smidgeon of your privilege, to save an infant stripped from his mother, wrapped in aluminum foil, sitting in a cage, crying. You appear to feel no fidelity to your oath of office.  You don’t have the strength to stand up to the world’s bully and say “not on my watch”.  You are mirrors of the Trump loving men, positional leaders without honor, without heart, without courage.  You, too, need to go in November.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

Day 520 – Letter to Readers, L2T Writers and Activists: Keep the Pressure On!

Day 520 – Letter to Readers, L2T Writers and Activists: Keep the Pressure On!

Image from the NEA

Dear Readers. Writers, and Activists,

Rebecca Solnit, in her latest “Easy Chair” essay in Harper’s Magazine, gives a concise and accurate description of the current administration and Republican party politics:  “The right has become radicalized since Ronald Reagan and the rise of incoherent ideology that urges dismantling the state but building up the military, that preaches a gospel of austerity while running up deficits.  It embraces authoritarianism and heavy-handed policing and elevates individual rights—but not those of women.  It plays at folksy populism while serving the economic elite at everyone else’s expense.”  It’s a good statement to keep in mind as we continue to advocate and resist.

We are all urgently needed to advocate for the planet and resist the GOP policies and legislation that are threatening our public lands, our food, our waters, our soil, and the air we breathe.  We need to advocate for immigrants and reject policies that separate families and deny a safe haven for those who seek reprieve from violence and war.  We need to advocate for reforming campaign financing and resist the corporate control of Congress by a handful of billionaires who fund political campaigns, right wing think tanks, and spread propaganda with advertising and money to colleges and universities.  We need to advocate for voting rights for all, and reject voter suppression through gerrymandering and ID laws.  We need to advocate for fair and equal treatment for all and resist tax scams that reward the rich and leave the rest of us behind.  We need to advocate for living wages and the right to form unions, and reject the absurd “trickle down” theory.  We need to advocate for gun laws that address the endless mass killings and protest the silence from Congress on this issue.  We need to advocate for well-funded public schools and reject the obscenity of outrageous spending on the military and wars on other countries.  And more.

Above all, we need to remember that this so-called President is illegitimate.  He was not elected by a majority of the people.  He is incompetent.  He is a sexual predator.  He is a racist.  He is a misogynist.  He is malicious—and so are the Republicans who remain silent while he tweets absurdities, damages relationships with our allies, and cozies up to Russia and North Korea.

Trump is not my president; he is simply Trump.  He is the embodiment of our country’s loss of a moral center.  He is the result of “We, the people” not paying attention for the past 40 years.  We all have a responsibility to ensure his impeachment and to find a moral center once again; and demand that those we elect to govern the country maintain it.  We need to vote, protest, resist, and advocate for a humane and compassionate world.

Thank you, readers, for sticking with this project; and thank you, writers, for the passion and insights reflected in your letters.  I hope we all continue, in other ways, to resist this administration and advocate for policies and behaviors that reflect a more humane world.  I know I will.

Sincerely,

Letter2Trump

Day 519 – Letter to Melania: Yeah…You Meant It.

Day 519 – Letter to Melania: Yeah…You Meant It.

Dear Melania Trump,

I have no idea what it would be like to be you, but I am sure being you is not easy. Last week, the media went viral about some news photo of you sitting alone and yesterday you found out you can’t wear clothes with words on them without everyone losing their minds. But I don’t feel any sympathy. In all honesty, I don’t think you wore that $35 jacket with the words, “I don’t care, do you?” written on the back to mean anything toward or about the detention center you were visiting at the time. I think it was more a reaction against the media making a huge deal of you sitting alone. Regardless, to explain to reporters that it has no meaning at all is an insult to us all. For one, you never wear anything that inexpensive and two, you have been very deliberate and thoughtful about this so far. So no, it was not unintentional. Who knows, I wouldn’t put it past your husband to convince you to wear it, judging from his tweet explaining its supposed true significance.

Nevertheless, I bring all this up to illustrate that it’s time you faced the enormity, potential and power behind your role. Perhaps you did not sign up for this; perhaps you imagined marrying Donald would mean endless hours at pools or relaxing on island beachfronts. I don’t know, but this is your role now and girl, you better get your act together. Here are some tips.

  • Don’t allow yourself to be used as a puppet. If the $35 jacket was your husband’s idea, you allowed yourself to be used. Shame on you.
  • Wake up! You have power. By virtue of being the first lady, you have enormous influence. Read up about other first ladies, what they’ve been able to accomplish. Studying them would be an excellent starting point.

Yes, you did not ask for this, but this is the hand you’ve been dealt. Now you’re going to have to toughen up and play your part to the best of your ability.

Last piece of advice…follow your heart. I believe 99.9% of the people in this world are good and want to do good things. I believe you’re in that group, and we all need you to trust in that goodness to know how to proceed next. Yes, the world is watching, always, but the world also wants to feel hopeful. So gather all your assets and take on this destiny that’s been dealt to you.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

Day 518 – “As Long as the Oppressed Tell Their True Story, It Will Carry the Edge of Protest.” – Amiri Baraka

Day 518 – “As Long as the Oppressed Tell Their True Story, It Will Carry the Edge of Protest.” – Amiri Baraka

Image from Whistler Writers Festival

Mr. President,

Protest is one of the cornerstones of this great nation. Did you know that’s what the American Revolution was all about? A protest and uprising of people against injustice by their government. Protest is what this nation is founded on, and those people who signed the Declaration of Independence are revered today. They were rebels in their times.

If you read letter number 514 this week, you read another response to your denigration of people who protest during the national anthem. You say they’re disrespecting the flag. I looked carefully at flags last week. There is a can of Miller Light dressed in a flag on a billboard near my home. There were beach towels, replicas of the American flag, full of sand, hanging out the back of a car at the beach. How about the stars and stripes swimwear, speedos with the flag. I saw a bandana of the American flag on a motorcyclist’s head, where a helmet probably should have been. Are these displays and products respecting the flag? Not in my opinion. And yet no one is complaining about wearing the American flag in your crotch as being disrespectful or anti-American.

Let me recommend a poetry book I found at my local public library that addresses protest in many unique and heartfelt ways: Of Poetry and Protest: from Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin, edited and compiled by Philip Cushway and Michael Warr. W.W. Norton, Co, 2016.

What a magnificent book in content and presentation. It is dedicated “To all those who have died because of the color of their skin.” This book is a rich collection of history and poetry, expressed in the words of some great American poets. Take a look at “History Lessons” by Yusef Komunyakaa and learn about lynchings.

Rita Dove, former U.S. Poet Laureate and winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, writes of Rosa Parks in her poem, “The Enactment.”

In “The Identity Repairman,” Thomas Sayers Ellis follows the words African American 

“Before I was born

I absorbed struggle

Just looking

at history hurts.”

There are poems by Kwame Dawes, Camille Dungy, Tracy Smith, Patricia Smith, Terrance Hayes. Poems about Fannie Lou Hamer, the Detroit riots of 1967, Malcolm X.

We can learn a lot from this book, including some things we might wish not to know, like “The Talk: How Parents Raising Black Boys Try to Keep Their Sons Safe” by Jeannine Amber.  In “New Rules of the Road,” Reginal Harris writes about racial profiling and how to behave when stopped by the police.

I encourage you to read this book, cover to cover. Perhaps you will notice a theme. Perhaps you will be moved to tears by the words, the emotion. Maybe you will understand why athletes of color may feel compelled to take a knee during the national anthem. Perhaps their voices are not so dissimilar from those of Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Paine.

In the words of poet Amiri Baraka, “As long as the oppressed tell their true story it will carry the edge of protest.”

Let’s listen.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

Day 517 – You Are Weak, Not Strong, Mr. President.

Day 517 – You Are Weak, Not Strong, Mr. President.

Image from USA Today

Mr. President,

In speaking with Sen. Graham today you offered this quote:

“The dilemma is that if you’re weak, if you’re weak, which some people would like you to be, if you’re really, really pathetically weak, the country’s going to be overrun with millions of people. And if you’re strong, then you don’t have any heart. That’s a tough dilemma. Perhaps I would rather be strong, but that’s a tough dilemma.”

No, Mr. President, it’s not a tough dilemma. Separating more than 2000 kids from their families is not a tough dilemma.  Housing children as young as 1 in “tender-age” facilities is not a tough dilemma.  To think it is a tough dilemma further cements my belief that you are a heartless monster.

You, and all of your spineless Republican colleagues, care nothing about how this country was founded and built on the backs of immigrants.  You hate the possibility that anyone who looks different might be offered a chance to improve their life in our country.  You believe that making America “great” means keeping America white. You mistakenly believe that you are strong because you use walls and guns and jails.

But Mr. President you are not strong, you are weak.  Do you know why?  Because you are scared.  Scared that immigrants might actually move here (and, oh my God, pay taxes!).  Scared that Hispanics might vote democrat.  Scared that the melting pot of America might actually become a melting pot.  Scared that our social services and schools will be stretched to their limits.

I pity you.  How horrible life must be to be scared all the time.  To experience fear when a leader with true strength would experience opportunity.

Why opportunity? Do you know why immigrants are crossing into the U.S.?  To work!  To support the American businesses and farmers because there is a shortage of labor in our country.  To create a better life for themselves.  How is this not our goal as Americans?

Do you know what would reduce illegal immigration?  According to the Mexican Migration Project, a research study that has been going on for more than 30 years, one solution is to take away the walls!  Let people come in, register them, and, more importantly, let them go home, so that they can visit their families without worrying whether they would ever be able to come back.  Your belief that “millions will overrun us” is fear-mongering.  Again, only someone totally insecure with him or herself would resort to such a tactic.

You, Mr. President, are a weak one-trick pony, a side-show on our country’s stage that will soon be over.  You will be a mere footnote in a great history which will ultimately see more immigrants being welcomed to and supported in our country, which will not only reduce these atrocities, but strengthen our economy and our reputation around the world.  Future generations will have no time for your bigotry or hate.  Instead, we will turn our attention to solving our greatest problems like climate change rather than manufactured ones like what you are doing on the Mexico border.

So, so weak Mr. President.  In fact, I think you are pathetically weak.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

P.S. We do know about the executive order. But you are still weak, and children are still in detention centers separated from their parents. Because of you.

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