Tonglen for Mona

Dear President Trump,

This morning when I was doing my tonglen practice I decided to focus on Mona Charen to see what might come up. You may be aware that she is the conservative writer who thoroughly called out other conservatives at the CPAC conference for giving sexual harassers and abusers passes. She blasted you as in particular, saying in an interview later: “There is nothing more freeing than telling the truth. And it must be done, again and again by those of us who refuse to be absorbed into this brainless, sinister, clownish thing called Trumpism, by those of us who refuse to overlook the fools, frauds and fascists attempting to glide along in his slipstream into respectability.” Seems she has your all’s number. I wish, though, that your enterprise really was brainless – you and your henchpeople are doing much too good a job of systematically gutting governmental protections and stacking the judiciary with loyalists, largely under the radar. But on the whole, I think she sums things up well.

When I was doing tonglen for her this morning, I’d forgotten that she later said she was glad she was booed. I think this probably means she’s glad they cared enough to boo her instead of staring at their phones. Anyway, having forgotten this part I just focused on what I thought would be a painful, even if foreseen, experience of having it absolutely confirmed that the people you once thought were ideologically your true conservative sisters and brothers are really just following the most saleable dog and pony show. This, plus the reality of having to be escorted out by a security detail because they thought you were truly in danger of bodily harm from these people would presumably be really awful. It’s one thing for liberals to look at all this and be horrified by what is happening, but it seems like it must be quite devastating to conservatives to have so many of their foundational principles stomped into oblivion and to have people they’ve known forever turn on them when they hold the mirror up to show what is happening. It must feel like the world has truly turned upside down and evil is staking out more and more territory.

May we all be safe to call out hypocrisy.
May we all be happy to see people bravely taking on frauds and fascists.
May we all be healthy enough to part company with those who drank the kool-aid.
May we keep speaking up in the hope that one more will be heartened by our truth telling.

Tracy Simpson

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