An open letter to Donald Trump

I finally see you, and the Donald I see isn’t running for president.

I remember the first time I incorrectly assumed your campaign was over; you had openly discredited a former Republican presidential candidate and POW on television, on the basis that his capture signified some sort of weakness. I remember the next time, when you publicly ridiculed a physically handicapped reporter in front of some of the world’s most powerful journalists. It happened again, when you suggested an entire religion — roughly 23% of the world’s population, I might add — should be banned from entering the United States solely because of their religious affiliation. The list went on and on; when you picked a fight with the most powerful religious figure on the globe, consorted with members of the KKK, claimed that all immigrants are rapists, or any of the other unconscionable statements you have made that I falsely believed would finally be the nail in your coffin. But nothing did, and I was as puzzled as anyone with an actual brain would be listening to you speak at a rally.

And then I finally realized: this is exactly what you wanted. Because if you hadn’t stirred the pot — no matter what degrading terms you employed to achieve this goal — your time spent masquerading around the country giving speeches without a trace of intelligence or gravitas to undereducated Americans, or “running for president” as you’d have us believe, would have been entirely in vain.

But you’re not running for president.

First, let me give credit where credit is due. You’ve executed your role in this production expertly; stirring the political pot very unapologetically, wearing your brand of political incorrectness as proudly as you sport your strange hair, and creating such division within the Republican Party that you threaten to destroy it. It is commendable and has made for some very entertaining, albeit frustrating, press coverage. I’m just waiting for the day when the press finally sees you the way I see you: not a legitimate presidential candidate, but using your boisterous brand to derail the GOP and pave the way for the #ImWithHer hashtag to finally reach 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Let me begin by illuminating an often-overlooked element to your “brand”: the failings of your business ventures. As your stint on “The Apprentice” is long in the past, your casinos continue to flounder, and your towers across the country remain full of vacant condominiums, the Trump name needed a spark. And while you might not have the chops to be the leader of the free world, you are more than capable of turning the election into a literal circus simply by being the attention-seeking celebrity you are at heart. You wanted publicity for your failing brand, and you sure got it.

Next, let’s consider your murky ties to the Clinton family. Your republican rivals have tried and failed to illustrate your history of donating to the family’s political campaigns, but it’s simple: you have donated to the Clinton campaigns over the years. Just before this election cycle began, you were part of a hotly disputed phone call with Bill Clinton, and you were at Chelsea Clinton’s wedding just a few years back. It’s speculation surely, but whether the GOP is bright enough to see it or not, you are acquainted — in one way or another — with the Clintons.

It is also worth noting who often lands in the crosshairs of your childish insults. For someone who is very openly hateful towards women, you have been surprisingly gentle on Hillary Clinton. Sure, you’ve unloaded a few sexist jabs here and there. But a legitimate presidential frontrunner would spend less time bitching at the Pope and more time trying to take down the undeniably experienced frontrunner of the opposing party. But you haven’t done too much of that. And why?

Because you’re not running for president.

Because trashing Hillary would negate the very reason you entered the race in the first place: to revive your disastrous business ventures with the unending press coverage you’ve secured, wreak havoc within the GOP, run as an independent, split the Republican vote, and solidify Hillary’s presidency.

In some ways, it pains me to make this accusation, for I believe Secretary Clinton would be a fantastic leader of the free world. Her biggest mistake was when she thought it was a good idea to be in cahoots with a sexist, racist idiot who can’t run a casino much less the most powerful country in the world.

It was a valiant effort, Mr. Trump. But I see you, and I hope the rest of this country does, too.

Sincerely,

An American with eyeballs, a brain, and a heart