Dear Mr. President: Why Do You Hate Us So Much?
Last night, I listened on the radio as you spoke to a crowd in Nashville. It was a nasty flashback to a nasty campaign. The speech was a time warp, complete with chants of “lock her up.”
Who were they talking about?
For months I’ve observed people who “won” the election tell people who “lost” to “get over it.” Last night it became clear that you are locked in a time warp, one that is based on false promises, three word chants, lazy headlines and most of all, a complete lack of respect that has morphed itself into hate for the very people you are supposed to represent, or at least unite.
Since January 20th you and your team have bumbled and fumbled at every possible turn. Many many people who voted against you — myself included — were willing to give you the benefit of the doubt when they woke up the morning after the election.
“It can’t be as bad as we think,” we thought. Friends from other countries called and said, “it can’t be as bad as you think.” Some people may have given you the benefit of the doubt because of a love of country. For some it was a belief in our system. For some it was because they were just too tired not to. And a handful may have actually believed that you might even have the ability or willingness to transition from a candidate into a leader.
You have not.
At first I thought it was because you were as surprised as anyone that you won and you just weren’t prepared. Then I thought it was because you let vengeance, like what your son-in-law exhibited to Governor Christie, take priority over experienced governmental leaders helping drive the transition. Then I thought it was the disgraceful lack of understanding about what it takes to govern in this country that you exhibited by appointing a whole lot of billionaires — most of them completely disconnected with the people who voted for you — to be your key advisors. Then I thought it was the spinelessness of Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and so many others you insulted during the campaign to stand up to you, failing to understand that when ten million more people vote against you than for you, it is not a mandate.
Then I thought it was because you were in such a rush to pretend you were taking action when this entire country is not set up to be run by Executive Order. It was back to the original problem from last summer, I thought — that you simply never read the U.S. Constitution (even though I personally have sent multiple copies — I even delivered one last summer and the doorman promised to deliver it to you).
While all of that is accurate, it isn’t the real reason why the first two months of your presidency has been such a disastrous failure. Nope, the real reason is a lot simpler.
You just hate us.
You claim to love this country yet all I see is your love of the freedoms and wealth this country provides you.
You claim to love this country but you continue to insult the very people who make it what it is — courageous men and women in uniform…. the best and the brightest who have chosen country over personal gain to serve in the intelligence community… committed public servants from Sally Yates to the hiring freeze on federal employees (how about just give the departmental secretaries 90 days to come back to you with a plan to cut their departments but 5% or some other basic business strategy that you of all people should know is the real way to lead)… scientists whose very purpose you denigrate… immigrants whose families you insist on breaking apart without specificity or heart…children whose parents you heartlessly deport… Muslims whose existence you ridicule through not one but two bans… women who you insult in so many ways, not the least of which is to hold up KellyAnne Conway as an example for others to emulate…to say nothing of the fact that it took the President of the United States more than a month to say anything about the raging anti-Semitism that swept across this country you claim to love so much and proudly showed itself because you were elected.
And what about those twenty-four million people whose health care you want to strip? And what about those people who voted for you whose tax credits will be hurt the most. On the local news in Indiana they showed a lovely elderly woman named Maureen. She voted for you. She gets seven meals every week through Meals on Wheels.
Don’t you see? Mr. President, you just plain hate us.
A couple weeks ago while you were fumbling around at your so-called press conference, you said nasty and disrespectful things about just about everyone but your own family, you made up terrorist events that didn’t happen, your henchmen starting dismantling all the things that make us us. Your own chief of strategy is playing you and you are trying to divert the likes of Rachel Maddow from finding the real truth. You hide. You play golf with rich people. You try to divert. You blame the press. You create an environment where our children see you personify hate as the way to operate, instead of leading by example to show that the issues we face are big and complex, democracy is hard and a country of this size is unwieldy at best.
Last night at your rally you took to yelling and complaining and saying that the 9th Circuit should be “dismantled.” You said that the judge’s order regarding your second Muslim ban in as many weeks makes us look “weak” when your own military advisors are telling you the opposite (or maybe that’s not getting to you?).
Two weeks ago, some say you came close to seeming presidential, when you stood in the hallowed halls of Congress reading off a teleprompter. You stood in front of career public servants and civil rights leaders. You stood in front of people who fought tooth and nail for things they believed in.
And then you go on twitter and rant about wire-tapping. I don’t even care to get into the details of how foreign nationals who do not have the best interest of this country in their consideration set have space in that building. I don’t even care that your former advisor, whom you had to replace on your own campaign for questionable dealings, has space in that building. I care that you accused your predecessor of a felony with no grounds to do it. And ten days later, #stillnoproof. Say what you will about his policies. But you of all people have no right to ever question his integrity.
Yes, Mr. President, you just plain hate us.
Your press secretary stood before the press corps and somehow found a way to almost look them in the eye and say that after silence for a month of threats against Jewish community centers, cemeteries and synagogues, that you care all about “all Americans.” And what about coal? More coal plants are closing. The congressman in Ohio went home on recess and said there are still not jobs.
You may love this country. But you sure hate us.
Killing wolf pups in Alaska, dumping hazardous stuff into our rivers and streams, defunding NPR and the National Endowment for the Arts, ignoring the hard work of scientists who are fighting to educate so we can save our planet? Dismantling laws that protect our most vulnerable children, and taking away food from the hungriest among them. Stripping away support for our public schools under the guise of “choice” by a person whose own work in the area doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. All those pictures from the Oval Office, thinking that governing by Executive Order really works? Do you even know what you are signing, other than some other document that proves yet again that you just plain hate us?
Your promises are empty. Your ridiculous wall will not be paid for by Mexico. Now you want the taxpayers to pay for it. You haven’t made this country safer — you’ve just made us appear less tolerant and you even forgot to extreme vet your own advisors (it wasn’t just a few phone calls between Flynn and the Russians). You haven’t actually done anything to solve immigration. You have not completely divested of your own business conflicts of interest (how you’re getting away with that really blows my mind). You did not repeal Obamacare on “day one.” And you haven’t cut any taxes. Everything you promised on the campaign trail is so far a lie.
You really must hate us. Even the people who voted for you.
I saw a focus group on CNN three weeks ago that made me laugh out loud for the first time in months. A Clinton voter said he was “cautiously optimistic” and it made me literally stop in my tracks.
“What in the world?”
Then he said he felt that way because you said you were “going to unite the country.” Stunned, I just stood there.
Then he paused, and said…. ‘He’s uniting everyone against him.”
You see, that’s your problem. You hate us. We know it. And when you hate that many people, they will come together simply to stand against.
So if you still are counting crowds, I sure hope you look out your window when you leave your fancy desk where you sit and sign things you don’t understand. You saw the crowds on January 21st. You might not see them now, but they didn’t go away. They are laughing at you. They are organizing. They are not going away.
The courts will not allow you to get away with it. Senator Durbin will not let you get away with it. Senator Sanders will not allow you to get away with it. Senator Warren and Senator Harris and Senator Booker and Senator Collins will not let you get away with it.
Senator McCain will not let you get away with it.
David Farenthold and Jake Tapper and Anderson Cooper and the New York Times and the Washington Post will not let you get away with it.
AARP will not let you get away with it. The ACLU will not let you get away with it. The Southern Poverty Law Center will not let you get away with it. Planned Parenthood will not let you get away with it.
And all of us? Well, it’s too bad you hate us so much because if you didn’t you might actually listen. Because “we the people, in order to form a more perfect union,” will not let you get away with it.
There is great irony in that you think you won the greatest prize when really all you did was set up the greatest loss of your life. I wish you sanity as you watch all you are trying to do unravel before your eyes. The hate you have for us, and the hate of others that you so perfectly channel through your ignorance, will not divide. It will exhaust us but it will not break us. You see, in addition to loving this country, we love our families, and our neighbors and our communities and our churches and our planet. It does not belong to you or your merry band of “administrative dismantlers.”
That guy in the focus group was right. Steve Bannon may be convincing to you, but he got it wrong. His strategy may work other places but it does not work here.
This is America.
The land of the free and the home of the brave. And when faced with the forces of evil we come together.
It’s really too bad you hate us so much.