This is not the best we can do

President* Trump,

So my starting-out typo tonight is that I accidentally entered 3030 for the date, which occasioned a very quick string of very conflicting feelings and thoughts; a spike of angsty adrenaline signaling that I’m not very confident that humanity is going to be around in 3030, a brief “serves us right” thought, chased by an unbidden image of Starfleet Academy on our peaceful, verdant, figured-out home planet. Unfortunately right now, it sure seems like 1 & 2 are more likely to come to pass than 3, but maybe 1,010 years is long enough for humanity to get a grip and stop allowing itself to be driven and riven by its insecurities.

Off and on all day I’ve been thinking about whether it makes any sense to try and write down the shittiest things that I learn about you all every day, or at least most days. For the record, two such things popped up for me today: 1) the deal where your administration knew the antibody tests were no good and let them go out anyway, apparently thinking they’d help punk the public as you pushed to re-open, and 2) the report that your campaign team removed the social distancing stickers that were adorning every other seat in the BOK Center ahead of your Tulsa rally. #2 was a particularly shortsighted move since if you’d left them alone and had people do even that nominal bit of distancing, the place would have looked more occupied than it was and the cameras could have panned out further. Plus, we have another 40k+ day of new covid-19 cases.

As far as the daily history recording, it does seem sort of silly to bother since all this crap is being documented every which way from Sunday. Plus, the odds of me (or anyone else) going back and reading through all these letters is pretty dang slim. On the other hand, I do find it somewhat grounding to actually write down what’s happening – sort of like a trauma narrative that would otherwise just swirl around in my head in a confused and pretty jagged way. So if I put the historical record deal aside and focus on the sanity boost, me noting and commenting on the shittiest things you do on a given day is probably here to stay for the duration. Sigh.

I also want to tell you about a few more of the protest signs I’ve seen lately. Yesterday morning I took an especially unusual walk for me and ended up on the major arterial that eventually goes over the Montlake Cut South of here. Just before I turned off this street, which is 25th Ave NE, onto 65th St NE, I saw a flag depicting Bernie Sanders clocking you and sending you flying – it’s crazy violent looking. I have a feeling a lot of people like it a lot. Just saying.

Well, around the corner in the front yard of this house is a handmade “End Police Brutality” sign and the house right next door has its own version of “End Police Brutality.” Happily, I’m noticing a lot of this sort of “woke contagion” around here. Anyway, there’s a big tree in the second house’s yard so I couldn’t see the two-story retirement home next door to it right away and I was wondering to myself whether there were rules about posting political stuff there. I’m still not sure, but one of the residents has my very favorite sign of all time in their window – they used the bottom of a cardboard meal container and on the underside they wrote in black marker “Black Lives Matter” and attached it to their blinds. It’s awesome – it’s humble, it’s clear, it’s a creative use of unusual materials, it’s the best. It gives me hope.

May we be safe from the shitty things our POTUS keeps doing.
May we be willing (and able) to keep looking for hopeful signs.
May we be healthy, strong, and courageous as we brace for what’s ahead.
May we not accept that this is the best we can do.

Tracy Simpson

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