Think big!

President* Trump,

Happy September! We’re inching closer and closer to November 3rd – just 63 days and we’ll be there. I know it’s possible we won’t have clear results that day (though how the election can be close enough for there to be any doubt that you lost is a travesty of justice and reason), but there’s an end of you in sight and it’s such a relief.

There are also a lot of hours and minutes yet to unfold over these next 63 days and you’re getting even more rapid-fire mouthy and Tweety so unfortunately you’ve got tons of opportunity between now and November 3rd to instigate just about as much violence and chaos as you want. Of course it’s possible that you’ll stray so far out there that your handlers will feel compelled to try and reel you in. Actually, that’s already started, but if your exchange with Laura Ingraham last night is any indication of how well that’s going to go, they might was well save their breath. Basically, you weren’t heeding any of the ‘danger, danger!’ signals Ingraham was trying to flag for you when you doubled down about a mysterious plane full of dark-clad thugs and likening the police shooting of Jacob Blake to someone choking on a golf putt. She tried to warn you that you were starting to sound Looney Tunes and beyond callous but you didn’t care. At all.

I know I don’t have control over your media appearances or your Twitter account, but I do feel torn about whether I want you to keep making such horrible, whacko-sounding statements that are so out there that even your vilest surrogates are freaking out that you’ve gone too far or if I want them to be able successfully muzzle you. The ‘let her rip’ scenario would allow more people the opportunity to see for themselves that you are a dangerous lunatic or would at least give concerned folks more explicit fodder to argue with their brainwashed loved ones with. However, the downside of this scenario is that the most entrenched among your base, the ones from whom you likely get these whacko conspiracy theories, are likely to be heavily armed and ready to feed on your increasingly explicit encouragement to respond violently to protestors, in particular BIPOC protestors. When I put it that way I think the answer is clear – for the greater good, we need your handlers to get a handle on you and make you stop spraying gasoline on the fires you lit.

On a more constructive note, Laura and I listened to a Q & A between Seattle activist, Peaches Thomas, and ex-Black Panther Captain, Aaron Dixon, on “Defining Community Safety.” In response to Thomas’s questions Dixon shared about growing up in a Black neighborhood and feeling safe going everywhere he needed to go at all times of the day and night. He gave a brief history of the Black Panthers, their mission, and their values. And he repeatedly encouraged us to read and study about history and systems and to think big.

In response to a question about defunding the police, he said that while he does think it’s a good idea to redeploy resources to communities and fundamentally change policing, it’s not going to make any real difference if the culture doesn’t change, enjoining us to think really, really big rather then getting bound up in the weeds. Another person asked about a specific traffic surveillance camera in his part of the city and Big Brother worries and Dixon just gave the content the merest nod before making clear that it’s not helpful to get wrapped around such specific axles and that we need to think much bigger so we can work out how to create sustainable communities that will meet everyone’s needs.

May we be safe from our POTUS and hold on until we can vote him out.
May we be willing to break away from small, manageable concerns and think big.
May we trust that we’re strong and healthy enough to do this.
May we accept that our visions of what will sustain the common good will differ and that this is ok.

Tracy Simpson

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