Trump is proceeding with his cabinet picks, and while they are not all vicious knuckle-draggers, there are more than enough to indicate the direction Trump’s administration will take. Billionaires, CEO’s and alt-right operatives, oh, my….
Not much in this group changes my mind about what I fully expect will be the most racist, authoritarian and and criminal presidential administration in our nation’s history (which is saying something). We Americans have shot ourselves in the foot, and it’s an open question how much suffering and blood– and I may not be talking metaphorically– we will have to go through before we can bandage up the wound.
But no crimes have been committed yet. The constitutional process is working itself out. Nothing irretrievable has happened.
So I want to address President-elect Trump directly. I don’t think I’m wrong about you, Mr. Trump, but, you know, for the sake of my country, I am willing to be mistaken. I am willing to be proven completely wrong, butt-headed wrong, completely off the beam. There is still time.
You have promised to build a wall on our southern border. Even if that’s just metaphorical, making our relationship with Mexico– tied to us by economic and social bonds far stronger and more intricate than most people realize– into a battleground over an imaginary influx of rapists and thieves hurts everyone. I expect you meant this when you said it.
So prove my expectation wrong, Mr. Trump. Walk back your rhetoric; engage Mexico as a respected partner, not as some sort of punching-bag for your ego and the titillation of your followers. Make your deeds better than your rhetoric.
You suggested you will make religion a criteria for admitting people to this country, a criteria profoundly un-American. Half the people in this country would not be here, if such a criteria had been applied to their ancestors. But you said this, so I expect you meant it.
Show me I’m wrong. Call it campaign rhetoric, call it hyperbole, call it indigestion, but drop the suggestion of religious selectivity, even in the name of national security. Live up to the standard that has guided our country throughout its history, that a person’s religion is no bar to inclusion in America.
You’ve played footsie with alt-right white nationalists. You’ve made one of them a top adviser. I have to suppose this is because, somewhere deep down, you are in sympathy with their philosophy.
Prove me wrong, please. Please. An administration that explicitly promotes a white nationalist agenda would tear this country apart, obliterating everything accomplished in the last fifty years. Even engaging these people with a wink and a nod goes too far. Rise above them, repudiate them, throw them out, wipe your feet on them–truly prove that you really will be president for all Americans.
You’ve suggested torture would be brought back in the name of national security; you’ve threatened to re-write and possibly not honor solemn treaties which have been drawn up between the US and other sovereign nations; you’ve played kissy-face with a dictator while suggesting countries threatened by him might not be able to rely on the US fulfilling its treaty obligations. There are a myriad of things you’ve said you would do that would hurt the country or spell actual disaster. Listing them all would take too long; but you get my drift.
So now’s your chance to prove you really didn’t mean all this bilge-water. Confound my expectations and show yourself to be a real patriot and a true leader. No one will be happier than me, Mr. Trump, to see my many expectations about you confounded. I’m not asking for you to undergo a conversion of a progressive form of politics– that would probably require divine intervention. All I’m asking for is that you set aside your ego and need for attention long enough to think about the well-being of the nation. That’s the action of a true patriot. If you could do that, I will eat crow for breakfast from now until November, 2020. I wouldn’t care, if it would spare the country pain and despair.
The ball’s in your court. There’s still time. Either confirm my expectations that you’re a authoritarian narcissist, or rise above all that and become a true leader. It’s up to you.
I will be watching. And so will a lot of other people.