Scoring points with cruelty

Dear President Trump,

In addition to holding immigrant children hostage in exchange for your wall, I need to call out the political capital you get from being cruel to people your base is convinced are usurping their livelihoods and undermining their quality of life. Basically, you are scoring points with many of your supporters by cracking down harshly on “illegal immigrants” because although what you are doing to these families is not legal or moral or ethical in any way whatsoever, you are satisfying your supporters’ inchoate need for vengeance on those they’ve identified as the enemy. You have been doing this with Black athletes protesting police brutality and you’ve done it repeatedly in failing to condemn white supremacists. You bait your supporters by trotting out (over and f—ing over) that Hillary Clinton should be locked up. In dozens of ways you communicate to your supporters that you are the strong man who’s going to vanquish all their enemies, or at least make them suffer.

I’m curious – is there a manual you all are following? Maybe something like “How to Make Money Cruelly Crushing Your Faux Enemies and Consolidate Power At The Same Time”? Actually, I think you are so naturally adept at this kind of thing you don’t need a manual at all. Plus, you have a bottomless pit full of people climbing over each other ready and willing to lend a hand in coming up with evil ideas and ways to rationalize them. For example, even though Sessions’ biblical justification for separating families is completely illogical and abhorrent, it almost certainly appeals to your supporters who pride themselves on being upright Christians, and thus, strategically, it was a smart move.

How do we counter this onslaught? I don’t know for sure, but I think we have to keep calling it out, keep supporting journalists, keep talking with each other, keep supporting those who are being targeted, and somehow keep our hearts open for eventual reconciliation with our neighbors, friends, and family members who have been sucked into your vortex if they should ever extract themselves from its grip.

May we help vulnerable people stay safe and out of your crosshairs.
May we be happy that you all aren’t very subtle.
May we stay healthy and strong as long as it takes to come through this nightmare.
May we somehow make our way to a constructive peace.

Tracy Simpson

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