Dear President Trump,

You are actually way ahead of me on this, but it finally dawned on me that while those who are testifying before Congress during the impeachment inquiry are doing so under oath, the people questioning them are not doing so under oath. I don’t believe you’ve framed the issue this way; instead you’ve just yelled really loudly and typed really ALL-CAPPED that Chairman Adam Schiff is a shifty lying liar over and over. It’s the same idea, though – our system requires that people testifying before Congress follow through on their oath and tell the truth even though we do not require those questioning them to do so in good faith (i.e., the questioners are not knowingly misrepresenting the truth).

Opening the WP this morning and having a blessedly silent Devin Nunes mouthing more crap about how the Democrats are putting on a sham show (I couldn’t help but see some of the closed captioning) and then seeing that you Tweeted that Democrats are “human scum” early this morning got me going on this line of thinking. There was also an article about Jim Jordan and how he’s finally found his groove with the Republicans as the ultimate Trump cheerleader and the GOP savior who is ably coaching his team to some version of victory that placates you and keeps the base well fed with bloody red meat scraps. I’ll remind you that this is the same Jim Jordan who denies having known about the sexual abuse of hundreds of athletes when he was a wrestling coach at Ohio State. This suggests that he’s probably pretty damn adept at directing his team to put the shittier aspects of reality aside and to stay loyal to said team at all costs, so you picked the right guy for the thankless task of unabashedly promoting the false narrative about your intentions regarding Ukraine. Nice going.

Seriously, though, it’s stunning that we have this asinine, surreal situation where the POTUS is continually lashing out at Congress people doing their jobs and at career federal employees who, under oath, are speaking to their concerns about the grave irregularities they witnessed in the execution of their duties. It’s stunning, infuriating, frightening, and humiliating that we have this asinine, surreal situation where GOP Congress people have banded together to not only prop up a lying, corrupt POTUS who they all know would blast them into oblivion if they strayed even a tiny bit from the pack’s propaganda, but who are also hell bent on kneecapping democracy itself.

In case you didn’t get the memo, Democracy can only be democratic if all parties engage in good faith. Whether we can arrive at workable solutions that serve the whole nation and uphold our commitment to be good global citizens, the various sides must be willing to come to the table (and must be allowed seats at the table) committed to engaging in good faith (i.e., not lying, cheating, coercing, intimidating, quid pro quoing, etc. to unfairly leverage one’s position and influence).

You all can decry the process and call the Democrats every name in the book until you’re blue (or rather, red) in the face, but future generations are going to look back on this awful time and it will be clear that you and your minions (and puppet masters) were not on the side of truth and honor, and that in fact, you did everything in your power to quash truth and to trample honor.

May we be safe when we disagree.
May we be willing to engage in good faith.
May we know that democracy flourishes when there is trust and respect.
May all our lives unfold and intersect as though we are in this together. Because we are.

Tracy Simpson

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