The rocky high road

Dear President Trump,

Maybe it’s you and all the negativity you spew (you’re a handy scapegoat these days), or maybe it’s just a more reasonable take on how often it’s semi-reasonable to focus a ton of attention, money, and carbon credits on retail expenditures, but I’ve decided that it would be just fine to celebrate Christmas once every five years. I’ve floated the idea to a few people, and although my sample is admittedly biased, all of them have agreed with me. In a way, I’m sitting out the holiday this year, making the couple of presents I’m giving (still in progress so rain-checks will be issued) and focusing on being nice and staying present. I’ve also got some nice meals to cook planned, but really that’s it. Oh, and I found a book for Laura that we put a library hold on. Woot!

I keep toggling between feeling fine with this non-material approach and worrying that I’m really just too lazy to step up in the gift-giving department. Fortunately it’s Christmas Eve and the amount of time left for me to twist on all this is rapidly diminishing. Seeing all the FedEx, UPS, and USPS trucks clogging the tiny neighborhood streets and the zillions of packages they are leaving on porches, it’s super obvious that I’m in a vanishingly small minority and that our collective addiction to stuff is still full-on. It’s so tempting to just say ‘f*ck it’ and go on an Amazon spending spree to get people shiny objects to show my love and to prove my largesse, but I’m going to stick with my plan of making them gluten free Morning Glory muffins tomorrow instead.

I started out this letter with the intention of putting in my two cents about the House Democrats from districts that went for you in 2016 who voted to impeach you, so I’m going to shift over to that topic. I honestly don’t want to discount their courage in voting their consciences but I think the hype that in doing so they’ve ended their political careers is missing a critical angle. We’ll see how things play out, but as just one journalist (that I can recall) noted, if those Democrats had voted against impeachment they would have risked ticking off the same majority of voters in their districts that allowed them to win their seats in the first place. Duh. And the argument that you’ll blast them to kingdom come for voting for impeachment is silly since even if they’d voted against it you would blast them and call them cowards.

The real deal is that they were in ‘damned if they did and damned if they didn’t’ positions as there was no way for them to please a clear majority of their constituents. I’m not in their heads so can’t know this for sure, but my sense is that they chose the far less damned position by voting to impeach since it almost certainly comports with their moral and ethical sense of your wrong doing.

Similarly, I think Speaker Pelosi is taking the high road by holding onto the articles of impeachment until the Senate gets its act together and articulates for the American people just what sort of trial they plan to hold. Yes, I get that she’s probably not really going to change the make-up of the House trial managers based on whatever McConnell and Schumer agree to, but in the face of McConnell saying he plans to work hand-in-glove with the White House (is that not one of the most corrupt sycophantic things ever?) it’s reasonable for her to get in writing ahead of time what exactly that means. Plus, it allows additional time for more of the requested documents to surface, which will only add fuel to the case for the Senate to hold a real trial. So here again, we have a leader in what is likely a no-win situation, courageously putting herself out there to do right by the country. It’s a high-cost, high-energy gift and I’m grateful she is giving it this holiday season.

May we be safe from complicit goons.
May we be willing to take the rocky high road.
May we keep our moral and ethical slates clean and healthy.
May we keep holding space for peace.

Tracy Simpson

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