Don’t just mouth platitudes

Dear President Trump,

When I saw David Nakamura’s WP article yesterday quoting you as having said “answer hate with love, answer cruelty with kindness” in your address about the mass shooting in Florida on Valentine’s Day I wondered whether my messages are somehow getting partially through to you. And I also felt sick to my stomach. I didn’t hear your speech so maybe this isn’t a fair assessment, but what you didn’t say came through much, much louder. Your talk of love and kindness rings hollow and feels manipulative, like you are just mouthing some cheap words that sort of sound good and may soothe enough of the people who want to keep voting for you to keep the gravy train coming.

But let’s say we were to give you the benefit of the doubt and entertain the idea that you really would like to meet hate with love and answer cruelty with kindness and let’s say you actually would like to see such radical transformation take place. Ok. If that’s all true or even partially true, you could surprise the heck out of all of us and do something truly loving and kind by standing up to the NRA and the gun manufacturers and tell them enough is enough. Real love and kindness are expressed through action and often through sacrifice. The teachers and administrators at MSD High who drew Cruz’s fire to protect their students sacrificed their lives out of love for others. No one is asking you to make this ultimate sacrifice, but millions of us are asking you to sacrifice some cash and some political chits to do the right thing and insist that we as a country adopt reasonable gun control measures. Until recently mass shootings were too spread out in time to maintain the public’s focus, but in the last five months we’ve had three and with the mid-term elections right around the corner, voters are going to be watching to see what you and the GOP do on this life and death issue. Are you going to spout platitudes or are you going to do something loving and kind that would result in real constructive change?

May you put your own political safety aside for the safety of others.
May you see how happy you can be when your actions are loving and kind.
May your actions show concern for America’s citizens’ health and well-being.
May you take the high, hard road of real peace.

Tracy Simpson

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