Dear President Trump,
I have an ambivalent relationship with questions like “What would X do?” or “What if it were Y doing Z?” Even if we use these questions in a pro-social, work with your best angel-self kind of way, asking them rarely seems to have much positive effect. And yet. Sometimes asking such questions scratches a nagging itch. Here’s a great example – The Rev. Dr. William Barber, of the Poor People’s Campaign, posted this on Twitter: “Republicans are now asking what they should do with Trump. Here’s an idea: what would you have done if it were Obama? Do that.”
Of course, we all know the GOP is not going to hold you and your partners in crime accountable for what is going on with Russia unless the political winds shift and your base wakes up from their stupors. Still, it is a sensible way of highlighting the nearly unfathomable degree of hypocrisy we are witnessing. If there had been even an infinitesimally small bit of the same sort of behavior coming out of the Obama White House as has been pouring out of your White House, members of the GOP would be knocking each other down to be the first to call for impeachment hearings, corruption charges, public lynchings, etc. Right? There’s no way in hell he would have been given a pass on any of this. It is clear the GOP has not and is not living up to any reasonable ethical or moral standards in their response to you, and thus, everything they’ve touched, is at the very least, tainted.
The other day I talked with someone who I’ve known to feel very strongly about the importance of truth telling and who has had no patience for liars and cheats. It was sad and rather earth-tilting for me to hear him glibly say that people who are knit-picking at you for lying by omission or for making ‘honest mistakes’ are being unreasonable. The gut punch though, was when he said something to the effect of “and who cares if he’s lying, I don’t care if he’s lying.” There it is. You and Vladimir have managed to get him and, I think it’s safe to say, hundreds of thousands like him, to abandon their own moral and ethical standards for a seat on your carnival ride. Very scary, very sad shit.
May we be safe from hypocrisy.
May we be willing (happy would be to much of a stretch) to hold our own accountable.
May we have healthy, strong ethics that aren’t contingent on whichever way the wind is blowing.
May we accept that peace will remain elusive as long as we tolerate such moral relativism.