Major negatives and a positive

Dear President Trump,

Since there are both major negatives related to you that burbled up today, as usual, and a really nice positive development to shine light on, this letter will be a bit of a smorgasbord.

Negatives first.

Earlier in the day a friend treated me to an indignant retelling of an upstate New York blue collar worker’s insistence that “we need the wall” because he didn’t want his daughter to be raped by an illegal alien in front of her mother. You and I both know this is a ludicrous fear that you’ve systematically fueled to make people crazy and to bend them to your will. And actually, it’s not just the NY workers you have gotten to, it’s also the rest of us who still get utterly pissed off (and distracted) when we hear about people who’ve bought your lies hook, line, and sinker. Shit.

The next negative essentially takes your wall-lies and magnifies the problem of you to a global scale. Transparency International, a watchdog organization founded in 1993, published their ratings for 2018 and we slipped from 16th to 22nd (see NPR coverage) on their corruption scale (higher is better). And guess why! Right – it’s you. Here’s what their US representative, Zoe Reiter, said: “What really is significant about the Trump presidency is the way in which he’s bending existing norms. His lack of transparency regarding his assets, as well as his repeated attempts to undermine the Mueller investigation and attacks on the press, all of this is highly concerning.” This is clearly not revelatory for anyone with a pulse, but it still sucks for pretty much everyone but you and Vladimir.

Then there’s the global warming-induced polar vortex that’s endangering countless people in the upper Midwest, which you will surely, idiotically, insist is a sign that there is no global warming because it’s cold.

So what could possibly be a positive worth commenting on in the face of all this? Well, I think it’s quite wonderful that Stacey Abrams will deliver the response to your SOTU address. Abrams rocks – her message and her presence are both great antidotes to you and your toxicity and I’m so pleased that the Democratic leadership is tapping her for this honor. They could have played it safe and chosen a reasonably ok white Congress man, but they are signaling that identity matters and that in this party we are going to amplify voices that have been ignored for far too long.

May we be safe even when it’s insanely cold.
May we be happy to tune into voices we may not be used to hearing.
May we not let our country fall further into unhealthy, corrupt ways.
May we have the courage to oppose you peacefully.

Tracy Simpson

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