Swamp creatures and Goodwill ambassadors

Dear President Trump,

When it was first announced yesterday that Scott Pruitt had “resigned” my initial thought was that the EPA would be temporarily hobbled in its de-regulation and repeal melee. Later in the day, however, I realized it’s far more likely you cut bait on Scott P because all his blatant unethical B.S. was taking too much time away from the work of dismantling environmental protections. Between engaging in the unethical conduct itself and defending himself to congress he must have had little time to do your dirty work. But hey, you’ve got Andrew W ready to pick-up where Scott P left off, no doubt with strict instructions not to engage in such showy ethical violations. So really, we will get no relief whatsoever from swamp creatures with no compunctions about spoiling the collective nest (I know the nest analogy doesn’t work so well in the context of a swamp but surely you get the idea).

On a much happier note, did you know that the National Special Olympics Games are happening here in Seattle this week? It is a wonderfully big deal. This week there’s an article in Real Change, our weekly paper that homeless people sell, by Harlan Wood, one of the vendors who is also a Special Olympics athlete. Mr. Wood explained that he’s not competing in the national games because state-level winners are chosen by lottery to compete nationally. He shared that he is very competitive and used to not shake hands with his opponents if he lost, but through Special Olympics he’s learned to be a good sport, win or lose. You could certainly take a cue from Mr. Wood on this.

The other Special Olympics athlete I want to tell you about is Ashton Smith, a swimmer from Texas. In an ESPN interview after he won his event, Mr. Smith exuded infectious joy and good will. He also told us that Texas leads the nation in drowning deaths and he is competing in swimming to show other African Americans that they can learn to swim too, thereby reducing their risk of drowning. I hope his positive message is shown to worried kids and parents at the start of summer swim lessons for years to come.

May the world and all its inhabitants safely withstand your tenure in office.
May we be happy to look outside the box of the news cycle for rays of hope and positivity.
May we knit together healthy, life-affirming messages to protect against the swamp.
May we recommit daily to clear, passionate non-violent protest that maintains our integrity.

Tracy Simpson

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