The specter of an even stronger you

Dear President Trump,

I am very happy to report that I just got back from picking up our daughter at the airport! She was able to get a new passport at the US Consulate this morning after lot of middle of the night (for us) texting and calling back and forth to get her all the information she needed to fill out the application form. When I asked her how it all went this morning she said it was actually easy – that the Consulate opened an hour earlier than the posted time and it was like a fancy DMV with helpful people and a pretty clear process. It took just two hours and she was on her way. Apparently the US government is capable of being helpful and efficient in certain circumstances. I am grateful everything worked out ok and she’s not stuck in England, but I so wish her experience were the norm for people (citizens and noncitizens alike) here who need urgent assistance from the government.

My bet is that if your Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh ends up being confirmed, the US government will become even less helpful to even more people than it currently is. I don’t know much about him yet, but the gist seems to be that in addition to being very conservative, he supports a super strong role for presidents. So, to the extent that he helps you further consolidate power, it would allow you to continue dismantling the government aid, utility, and functionality that used to serve the American people, so the prospect of his confirmation is incredibly scary. I do wonder, though, if Kavanaugh is principled enough to take into consideration whether a president won his (or some day her) seat fairly or unfairly. It seems constitutionally (morally, ethically, practically) questionable to afford a president who is in office because a foreign power put him there much latitude or unchecked control and hopefully Kavanaugh gets that. The only saving grace here could be if he really is a stand-up person, selecting him may end up biting you. I’m not holding my breath on this, though – you’ve almost certainly got some way to keep him in line; that’s just how you roll.

May we all be safe when our travels are fraught.
May we all be happy to be principled and ethical even when it isn’t convenient.
May we all keep ourselves as healthy and strong as we can for whatever is coming next.
May you refrain from inflicting any more egregious, politically motivated harm on anyone.

Tracy Simpson

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