Dear President Trump,
I told you yesterday afternoon that I was close to the end of Michelle Obama’s book (I had the afternoon off and thus could write to you). Well, later I listened to her describe how she coped on election night by going to bed early so she could have a few more hours of not knowing you’d won. It was ages ago that I told you how I did that exact same thing. I bet if you lined up what I wrote to you with what she wrote in her book someone might think one of us plagiarized the other (of course we didn’t), but really, there were probably millions of us doing the temporary ostrich thing that night so it’s not much of a coincidence that we dealt with it pretty much the same way.
Further on in the narrative MO describes what it was like shoring herself up to attend your inauguration. She spoke of her sense of duty to the country and how she was determined to maintain her composure and move through the ordeal as gracefully as she could. She also spoke of eventually deciding that she didn’t need to keep smiling. She didn’t come out and say that she couldn’t keep smiling, but listening between the lines, that’s what I was hearing.
Later in the evening a “universe thing” happened. Laura played me a short clip of the interview Howard Stern did with Hillary Clinton yesterday about her experience of attending your inauguration. She explained she was there as a former first lady, no longer being a senator and Secretaries of State not rating a front row seat. She explained how she’d called you on election night to concede and how she’d told you she hoped that you would do well by the country. She went on to tell Stern how she listened to your speech waiting for words that would help bring the nation together and how she heard nothing remotely of the sort.
It was extraordinary to have happened to hear both MO and HC talk about their inauguration experiences within a couple of hours of each other. The similarities are striking and their grief and frustration stark and painful to hear, the memories of that dark time painful to revisit.
Looking back it’s probably good none of us knew then just how bad it was going to get. Well, I mean some of us did see right away that not only were you going to be a disaster in the role, but that the fact of you in the role was a disaster in and of itself, signaling our brokenness as it did.
And here we are today in the midst of the disaster of your presidency and the disaster of our profound disunity with Speaker Pelosi having announced that articles of impeachment are forthcoming. I know you are mocking her and that your minions are claiming the Democrats are undertaking impeachment because they hate you, but I believe her when she says she doesn’t hate you and that going down this path is not something she wants to do. I believe that she, HC, MO, and most the rest of us wanted you to come through for the country. I don’t think any of us are surprised that you’ve failed miserably, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t want a decent outcome for you and for the country. Some of us really do have the capacity to be loving even when we really, really don’t like someone and may even hate their behavior.
And, truly, lots of us are still praying for you every day and it doesn’t matter one tiny bit that there is a hefty measure of self-preservation laced through those prayers.
May we all be safe.
May we be willing to go high as needed.
May we care for our individual and collective health, broadly defined.
May we accept we are in trouble and respond accordingly.