Stop defending the indefensible

Dear President Trump,

You are certainly getting a crash course on the myriad ways that patriarchy and misogyny play out in the lives of women and men, and sadly, infuriatingly, you are failing miserably. At every turn you have given the exact wrong answers, like you looked at the multiple choice options and said to yourself, hmm, which one of these is going to be the most insensitive, least politically correct response? Even as the RNC distanced itself from Roy Moore, you propped him up and tried to undermine his accusers. In response to Republican men (though not Democratic men) accused of workplace sexual assault and harassment, you sang their praises. When the ex-wives of men on your staff came forward about the domestic violence they endured, you wished the men well and made specious arguments about due process. When you were caught bragging about being able to grab women’s crotches because you are famous, you brushed it off as just so much locker room talk.

Given that this last thing was really first on the timeline, the rest of your responses do make a certain amount of sense. I mean, how could you respond to the other issues any differently? To do so would introduce a degree of hypocritical inconsistency even you can’t seem to stomach. But when will it be too much even for you? What about when a daughter of a prominent Republican congressman or donor produces diaries from when she was a preteen documenting her father’s incestuous abuse? What about when one of the guys in your posse is caught with child porn on his laptop? Or how about when a well-respected military leader is publicly called out for having looked the other way when he knew his male troops were systematically harassing and terrorizing his female troops? Is there a line somewhere in the sand that once crossed will get you to give a more compassionate answer than those you’ve chosen so far?

These sick, violent, and all too often secret manifestations of corrupted power are all finally erupting into the public arena forcing us to stop looking away, forcing us to stop pretending they are private matters. This is a good thing. I hope you will come around to the right side of history and stop defending the indefensible.

May you be safe in your words and in your actions.
May you be happy to take a personal, moral inventory.
May you recognize the healthy limits of power.
May you make peace with yourself so you can stop making war on others.

Tracy Simpson

p.s., I’ve decided for the time being to go back to focusing the closing blessing on you because I think you need it now as much as you ever have. Plus, you remain my most difficult person by far and I need to let go of the hot coals I want to throw at you. ts

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