Dear President Trump,
We haven’t done this in a while and since we seem to be stuck replaying the same old scenes, saying (or yelling) the same old lines at each other, I think it’s time for another thought experiment. Are you ready? No, of course not, but since this whole daily letter writing to you exercise is one big thought experiment, it doesn’t really matter whether you’re ready.
So here goes – the deal is that you and Mitch McConnell are being held in separate rooms in which the air is infused with a powerful truth telling serum. I thought about using Wonder Woman’s Truth Lasso, but I like the idea that in order for you to stay alive you have to tell the truth. Makes it way more dramatic, don’t you think? Your choices (and Mitch’s choices) would be stark – you could hold your breath and risk dying or further brain damage (there would be enough stimulants in the air that you couldn’t just make yourself pass out) or you could tell the truth. The rooms would be comfortable enough. I don’t think we need to ratchet up the pathos by sticking you in dirty holding cells with bright lights shining in your faces and disembodied voices barking questions at you – that seems over the top (and it’s liable to induce too much sympathy for you).
Ok, so you’re comfy in whatever is your favorite chair with your favorite food and drink at hand. You’ve got your phone and Twitter is open because what good does it do if you just tell the truth in a vacuum? Actually, you should still Tweet your answers, but let’s get you (and Mitch) on live video feed responding to questions in your truth chambers so that the whole world can get the facts straight from the horses’ mouths (asses….) in real time.
You have Jennifer Rubin to thank for inspiring this thought experiment. In her WP editorial this morning she poses eight pointed questions she thinks the media need to hammer your GOP toadies with for the duration. Here are a couple of examples:
1) “The president did not mention corruption in the July 25 call but did mention he wanted a “favor” from a foreign leader in the form of investigations into the discredited connection between Ukraine and CrowdStrike and into the Bidens. Is this wrong? Is it illegal? Is it using the office to advance his political fortunes?”
2) “You said you saw nothing wrong with Trump’s conduct. Is it acceptable to suspend U.S. aid illegally to get a foreign power to deliver political dirt on a rival?”
Ok, she embeds two or more questions into some of them, but still, you get the point.
Personally, I would love to have you and Mitch both have to respond truthfully to these questions:
“What is your real agenda writ large? What are your motivations for doing what you are doing? What’s in this for you?”
I think it would be really powerful to hear you both come clean about these basic, basic issues, stripped of the asinine rhetoric and scare tactics, scrubbed of the calculated appeals to racism and sexism, free of the lies. Just bare bones – what is driving Donald? What does Mitch really want? Yes, you both telegraph your respective power lust every minute of every day and your greed is palpable – it’s all plain to see, but I think it would be something else to have you have to claim it baldly. On camera. Live.
May we be safe from liars and cheats.
May we stop glorifying and giving equal airtime to cynical relativism.
May we reset our priorities around the health of our democracy.
May you not start another war.