Dear President Trump,
On home-based days I like to make hot lunches, which usually involves heating up leftovers or maybe grilled cheese if there’s any decent gluten free bread in the freezer. Yesterday lunch consisted of a fried egg on top of leftover toasted cornbread covered with Hatch red chile (that it comes from Hatch NM is important). As I was cooking the egg I wondered what it’s like for the kitchen staff in the Resident portion of the White House that takes care of you and your family. I’m sure you have strong preferences about how your eggs are cooked (most of us do, I think), and probably everything else as well. I’m also 99% sure you let those preferences be known in no uncertain terms. I hope I’m wrong, but I could see you throwing hissy fits if something is not to your standards or is too healthy, acting like a spoiled brat who is used to being waited upon.
This train of thought led me to remember the portion of Michelle Obama’s book where she talked about the relationships she and her family formed with the permanent White House staff and about how they relaxed the dress code for ordinary days so that polo’s and khakis were allowed instead of formal butler-esk attire. I remember thinking when I was in this section of the book about how jarring it must be for the staff as each new First Family transitions into and eventually out of the White House and how the latest transition was likely one of the most unsettling ever. The formal position descriptions probably stay static, but the jobs themselves almost certainly feel completely different day-to-day from one administration to the next.
As I thought about whoever makes your eggs for you and what their life now is likely like serving someone who has probably never made his own eggs after serving the Obamas, I mostly felt sad. Your impact on those of us at a remove from you is hard enough, so I can only imagine what it must be like for those who are in your everyday sphere, subject to your moods and whims – especially those who didn’t choose to work for your administration, but who form the backbone of continuity from President to President.
I may be wrong about this, but I’m pretty sure MO said that a lot of the permanent WH staff are people of color and if I’m remembering this correctly, it adds a whole other layer to the dynamic of being thus employed in a service capacity. To have gone from working for and with an African American First Family that strove to be respectful, inclusive, and kind to working for an avowed White Nationalist who is telling members of Congress of color to go back to their home countries must simply be awful. There hasn’t been anything in the news about turnover rates among the WH staff since you all took up residence and maybe there hasn’t been an uptick, but that seems unlikely. My bet is that the USAjobs website is on pretty constant refresh around there.
It would be lovely to be wrong about all this, to learn that you are a model boss who treats his staff with respect and dignity. However, the odds of you not being you all the time are slim to none so for your staff’s sake, as well as for the rest of the world’s sake, I hope there’s a Senate-miracle in the offing and McConnell feels sufficient pressure to hold a real removal trial. I know – when pigs can fly and when snowballs won’t melt in hell – but still, there’s at least a tiny chance that Senator Murkowski, and now apparently Senator Collins, can persuade a few of their colleagues to join them in standing up to you and MM.
May we be safe from nasty bosses.
May we be willing to stand up as conscientious objectors.
May we hold strong and keep the faith that this evil is unsustainable.
May you stop trying to start a war, right now.