What will make a difference?

Dear President Trump,

I wasn’t able to find the image Seung Min Kim referenced in her WP article this morning (“He also tweeted a clip featuring a mock magazine cover with signs showing him staying in office far beyond the two terms permitted by the Constitution”), but I tried everything short of joining Twitter. I’ve seen images of Trump 2024 signs before, so I know this isn’t a new idea (or meglomaniacal fantasy) of yours, but dude, what nerve to flash that shit again the day after your lackeys illegitimately acquitted you! Seriously, your middle fingers are going to get cold if you keep this up. Sadly, though, that appears to be the only downside for you in all this – your base seems to be even more enthralled with you than before and Mitch hasn’t lost a beat in his ardent quest to stack the judiciary with young mini-hims.

It’s certainly a hard time to be a person who doesn’t fit your all’s mold, who doesn’t want to take up residence in a closet again or revert to tongue biting when my rights or dignity, or someone else’s, are jostled or stomped. But what to do? How to cope? Do I let myself get snagged by the daily affronts coming at us from all directions? Do I put my head down and ignore the flying bullshit, not allow my emotions to get caught up in the maelstrom as a form of self-protection and preserve? Do I somehow find a way to toggle between the two, to stay open to the horror of what’s going on and take deliberate breaks from it to rest and recharge? I wonder if whomever has figured out how to do this has posted an instructional video on YouTube.

A friend of mine thinks I should cut back to writing to you once a week and use the time and energy that I would have spent on daily letters to try and influence wavering voters in a swing state. I’m chewing on this idea since it’s frustrating not to be making an instrumental difference. I started this letter writing, lovingkindness prayer sending thing nearly three years ago as a way to take care of myself, as a way to temper the amount of vitriol I was keeping on board. It was (and is) a way to stay awake to what’s going on and a means through which to make sense of it. And honestly, the daily exercise was also designed to feel as though I was doing something productive. I also had a mini-fantasy that somehow these letters would strike a cord with lots of other people and might help bridge some of the divisions, or at least be little daily doses of balm for others who resist you. To a small extent the latter has happened, and I do still find the practice useful for my mental health, so there’s that.

Yet here we are faced with you, a POTUS who has now been acquitted of abuse of power and obstruction at least in part based on the argument that any and all efforts to eventuate your re-election are just fine because you believe your re-election is in the best interest of the country. So really, what the hell should those of us who oppose you do? What is enough? What will make a difference? Why am I asking you?

Marie Yovanovitch said the following this morning (WP Op Ed):

“Every citizen doesn’t need to do everything, but each one of us can do one thing.”

It doesn’t feel like nearly enough, but for now this is my one thing.

May we be safe out in the open.
May we be willing to find and do our one thing (or our two or three or four things).
May we keep our spirits healthy and thriving.
May we make peace with the fact that this isn’t going to get better without us stepping up.

Tracy Simpson

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