It was painful

Dear President Trump,

I listened to about the last half hour of your speech yesterday evening. It was painful. I actually yelled some things at you I promised not to include in these letters. Several times. The thick, thick horseshit you laid on about putting the people of America first was incredible. It was like you built fancy little facades out of horseshit bricks and stuck little white Lego people out in front of them, telling them it’s all theirs. Because really, for all the mouthing about bipartisan cooperation, you were just talking to the people who continue to support you and they are mostly white and mostly want to believe everything you tell them, even if it means not trusting their own senses.

Last night as I was falling asleep, I tried to decide if it’s worse to be exposed all at once to the different ways you are dividing us, trying to fool us and make fools of us, dismantling practical safeguards, and dismantling democracy like we were last night, or in a more piecemeal fashion, reading about it across numerous articles. From a personal comfort standpoint, this morning it’s clear that having it all dumped on me at once is far worse. However, your speech also made it clear how absolutely critical it is that we not be lulled into a false sense of security, that we not decide it’s just too hard to take you all on, that we keep insisting the frame be widened to include all of us.

I was especially struck by your attempt at the end of the speech to wax poetic about the brave, brave people who came over from Europe and founded the country so they could govern themselves. You were on a roll, for sure. I knew it wasn’t going to come, but I couldn’t help listening for some acknowledgement that when the Europeans came here they didn’t encounter a land devoid of inhabitants, that they killed most of the original inhabitants and stole all their land, that African people were enslaved to prop up the enterprise and were wholly unable to govern themselves, that women and children had no rights, that our history is complicated and we have not yet figured out to talk about it constructively or deal with its legacy. But nope. You just whitewashed the whole shebang and called it good, for you.

May you realize you are not safe in your myopic worldview.
May you realize selfish happiness is hollow.
May you realize it isn’t healthy to ignore reality.
May your life unfold peacefully in spite of you.

Tracy Simpson

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