Dear President Trump,
How are you doing over there? Not so great, huh? I imagine you aren’t loving having the people you fired, but couldn’t truly tame or contain, telling their tales on you? And I bet you aren’t loving having the people you installed to do your bidding singing their ‘CYA’ ditties either. Then there are the people, like Mulvaney, who still swear fealty to you but who’re putting both their feet in it on live TV and then coming back later to smear it all over your white carpet – you can’t be loving any of that. It’s a mess, for sure. And it’s a mess you, your handlers, and most especially your GOP props, have brought on yourselves. And it’s a mess that is warming the cockles of Vladimir’s tiny little heart.
I know the frog in slowly heating water is a pretty cheap metaphor at this point, but the twist we are seeing now is worth considering – you are in the pot, the water is already scalding, and your best friends are cranking the heat even higher while you (loudly) insist that ‘the water is great, couldn’t be better!’ and that it’s Pelosi and the Democrats who are having meltdowns. Oh what a piece of work you are, man.
There’s not much more to say about all that at this point so I’m going to leave you stewing in your hot mess of a situation and move on to other things.
We are now squarely in the time of year when it’s necessary to stick to lit arterials on morning runs, which means my route choices are again quite limited. For the third time this week I ran along the busy street in front of our house where four blocks up is a house with a “Black Lives Matter” sign on the North side of the porch and a “You Are Worthy Of Love” sign on the South side of the porch. I notice them every time I go by so this morning wasn’t exceptional in that regard, but the generous, egalitarian nature of the “You Are Worthy Of Love” sign really got to me today. For lots and lots more blocks I thought about how basically anyone, including you, could happen along that stretch of sidewalk, encounter that sign, and be graced with its message. Which of course begs the question whether everyone is worthy of love, which in turn begs the question whether Julius Goat’s premise that “every human being is a unique and irreplaceable work of art carrying intrinsic and unsurpassable worth” is really accurate.
Are you really worthy of love? Are you really a unique, irreplaceable work of art that carries intrinsic and unsurpassable worth? Or are you a worthless scumbag who has sold out the office of the presidency and debased our country beyond recognition? This is really a serious conundrum because both can’t be true and yet I believe them both very strongly. The obvious solution would be to simply pull out “worthless” from the scumbag judgment and settle on the idea that someone can be a traitorous, greedy lowlife and still be a lovable, unique, irreplaceable work of art of intrinsic, unsurpassable worth.
Shit is that a hard idea to swallow. I don’t know whether I’m a big enough person to really go there.
The deal, though, is that if we don’t go there for you and yours then we are guilty of the same limited, dangerous sorting that you all do with the rest of us – “good” white (ideally male), straight, cisgendered, Christians in the worthy pile and everyone else in the unworthy pile. Which, as someone on Twitter pointed out recently, is the epitome of identity politics.
Maybe the key is to approach all this “treat your neighbor (in the White House and next door) as you want to be treated” and “everyone is worthy of love and is precious art” stuff as aspirational. Yes, I want to be a big enough person that I can love and respect everyone’s humanity even if I despise what they are doing and cannot stand to be around them, but I need to keep saying loving-kindness prayers for you because I’m so not there yet.
May we all be invested in everyone’s safety.
May we all be invested in everyone’s happiness.
May we all be invested in everyone’s health and well-being.
May we somehow make peace with each one’s essential worthiness even as we contend with some people’s truly unconscionable behavior.