The “I wish they weren’t big dreams” list

Dear President Trump,

I’ve come up with some more things for the list I started at the end of yesterday’s letter in response to Elizabeth Warren’s “Dream Big / Fight Hard” campaign slogan. I’m calling it my “I wish they weren’t big dreams” list:

  • having a woman POTUS
  • having at least half of all decision making bodies of every sort comprised of women and people of color (and this doesn’t mean that half could be white men)
  • no sexual assault or harassment
  • no such thing as domestic violence
  • no race-based health or wealth disparities
  • no debate over the legitimacy of same-sex unions
  • no hungry children
  • no frightened children
  • no frightened parents
  • no predatory lending, to include credit cards and adjustable rate mortgages
  • solid prospects for a thriving, dynamic future on a habitable planet
  • tree canopies that cool all neighborhoods in cities equitably
  • massively restricted access to guns
  • easy access to affordable high quality healthcare, including for mental health and addictions
  • an agriculture and food system based on overall health and well-being
  • easy access to high quality, affordable (or free) childcare and eldercare
  • infrastructure that is safe, well constructed, and maintained
  • infrastructure that is accessible to everyone (e.g., no more curbs that people in wheelchairs have to be lifted down from or up to, etc.)
  • an education system that prizes and fosters critical thinking and curiosity
  • safe, comfortable, welcoming homes for everyone
  • civility
  • a spirit of care and community that recognizes we really are all in this together

Clearly this list could go on and on and clearly many of the things on it could be unpacked into nearly endless sub-lists, so I’m going to let it be for now.

I do want to note that if the first two things on the list were just regular, if they didn’t have to be on the “big dreams” list, a whole lot of the rest of the things on the list wouldn’t be issues either, or certainly not on the scale they are now. I know you can’t do this, but imagine for a sec that approximately one-half of all the Presidents of the United States of America had been women and about one-half had been people of color. While you’re at it, imagine that it was a given that women and people of color had equal and fair representation in any and all decision-making groups. If these things were true, whose needs do you think would be met, who would be thriving? If you guessed “everyone” and tagged on “both now and long into the future” you’d be correct. This is neither a new or even particularly radical perspective, but for now it’s still relegated to the list of “big dreams” that we need to fight for.

You might have noticed that I opted not to include such basic things as Presidents who don’t lie and Presidents who are willing to admit mistakes and Senate Majority Leaders who are fair and just. I refuse to think that such things are “big dreams” because to do so feels like it would be saying that it’s standard to have a President who lies nonstop and does stupid shit to avoid owning up to mistakes and it’s par for the course that we have a Senate Majority Leader who’s hell bent on shoving through his agenda (and blocking everyone else’s). Indeed, these things are true right now – I do get that. But these things are not standard and correcting them should not be the stuff of big dreams.

May we be safe to fight hard to realize dreams that will help everyone.
May we be willing to take risks to upend the status quo.
May we keep ourselves healthy and strong for the heavy dreaming we need to do together.
May we fight the impulse to settle for easy, mean little dreams.

Tracy Simpson

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