Dear President Trump,
I’ve got at least one more letter coming about your plan to allow healthcare providers to discriminate against LGBT people and those needing abortion care, but today I want to focus on the Davos conference. This lofty gathering includes our most influential business leaders, politicians, and thinkers who annually address the world’s most pressing problems, with this year’s theme being “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.” Sure sounds good, doesn’t it? I haven’t bothered to find a list of presentations and workshops, but I’m sure there were dozens of noble sounding things that drew crowds of earnest discussers. Did you attend any of them? Did you learn anything? Somehow I doubt you were there to take in information or shake up your thinking in any way.
What you do seem to have done is stripped the veneer off the pretty party. It was simultaneously sickening and refreshing that so very many of the moguls who previously mouthed righteous indignation over some of your more odious moves are now fawning all over you and your tax cuts for them. A few seem to recognize the shortsighted folly of your wealth re-distribution efforts, but so, so many caved. Or really, so many came clean on their real priorities. We definitely need this to be out in the open (and thus the “refreshing” comment above), but oh my goodness if nearly everyone can be bought, where does this leave us?
Christian Caryl’s piece today in the WP hammers on a related set of issues. He describes an ominous parade of poll findings from last summer – half the Republicans polled would approve pushing back the next presidential election if you want to; half think Russia is a friendly ally; nearly half think it’s ok to shut down media they see as biased or inaccurate, and one-third want to see a strong leader who isn’t thwarted by other branches of government. What the hell? Maybe (hopefully) it was a lame poll, but your base seems just about ready to install you as Dictator-in-Chief and the GOP seems to be aiding and abetting this mission. All this, along with the reception you got from way too many Davos moguls who are probably handing you blank checks likely means you are feeling pretty damn good right about now.
May we be safe from both wolves and sheep.
May we be happy to shout from the rooftops when we see bad shit going down.
May we face that our democracy is on death’s door and that this is not new.
May we not give up on us.