8 Things I’d Tell Trump If I Met Him In An Alley
If I ran into President Donald J. Trump in an alley today, this is what I’d want to say:
1. “The company you keep is creepy.”
So you’ve partied with Jeffrey Epstein? You’re endorsed by White supremacy groups and far right extremists? You’ve appointed Cabinet members who aren’t even qualified for their jobs? While these are clearly deal breakers, the way you express your feelings about women — particularly your own female children — is what makes my skin crawl most.
2. “You’ve made us the laughingstock of the world.”
In your overzealous efforts to project confidence, strength and power, you’ve alienated most allies and countless Americans — even those who formerly stood with you. Even worse? You seem blind to the disfavor and disillusionment you create.
And though you — and your blind loyalists — attempt to downplay/joke about/make excuses for your impulsivity and narcissism, you can‘t ignore the truth: People are laughing, and it’s not *with you*.
3. “Transparency is a superpower, and secrets are for cowards and liars.”
Why didn’t you tell the American people the truth about the dangers of coronavirus? Why do you continue to keep your taxes hidden? Why don’t you ever acknowledge vulnerability or struggle? You work overtime trying to project “strength”, “stability”, and “sturdiness” without offering a balance of openness or accountability. In doing so, you lose more than our respect. You also lose our trust.
4. “Your lack of empathy and respect for others is toxic and pathological.”
Of your own experience with COVID-19, you’ve said, “I think this was a blessing from God that I caught it…”
Okay, so let’s get real. I need you to think about these things:
- I want you to think about my friend and neighbor, Hecky Powell, who died of COVID-19.
- I want you to think of Hecky’s family and his employees and his legacy as a civic leader.
- I want you to know that NONE of these people (or anyone who’s been impacted by this virus) would consider COVID-19 a “blessing”.
- I want you to think for a moment of your own words to journalist Bob Woodward, when you said of the virus, “This rips you apart,” “It is the plague,” and “[…] it’s so easily transmissible, you wouldn’t even believe it.”
- Finally, I want to know if you’ve ever put yourself in someone else’s shoes, to let yourself feel what it is to be someone other than Donald J. Trump. Frankly, it doesn’t seem you ever have. Instead, you seem entirely focused on two things:
a) Donald J. Trump and
b) what people think of Donald J. Trump.
5. “Your knowledge of U.S. history goes as deep as your most recent layer of self-tanner.”
I’ve noticed something about you: You love to wield “Presidential Power”.
What’s fascinating, though, is how little you seem to understand our country’s history. Take, for example, your Proclamation on Columbus Day 2020.
You realize, don’t you, that modern historians do not look favorably on Columbus, right? For example, the writer Kirkpatrick Sale, in his book Christopher Columbus and the Conquest of Paradise, described Columbus’s legacy as one of racism, colonialism, greed, and violence.
You’re also no doubt aware that, in 1892 (the 400th anniversary year of Columbus landing in the Caribbean), then-President Benjamin Harrison (who was, like you, a Republican incumbent freaking out in the midst of his reelection campaign) urged New Yorkers to spend a full WEEK celebrating not Columbus Day but rather Discovery Day — a celebration “originally intended to recognize the Native Americans who were here before Columbus, as well as the countless immigrant groups who came after.”
Surely you realize that “the first Columbus Day parade in New York featured 350 Native American students alongside several private Italian schools,” and that Discovery Day “was to be a national holiday that was not about the Founding Fathers or the Civil War, but about the rest of American history. Like the Columbian Exposition dedicated in Chicago that year and opened in 1893, it was to be about our land and all its people.”
And of course you’ve heard that, in the end, “Discovery Day (celebrated less than 3 weeks before the voters went to the polls) was not enough to secure Harrison’s victory” since “[Democrat] Cleveland was returned to the White House in a landslide.”
Oh, and while I have your ear, this might be a good time to remind you that the Pledge of Allegiance — written by socialist minister Francis Bellamy — also started that same year and “…resonated powerfully at a time when immigrants sought to display their patriotism”. The original version, which did NOT include a reference to God, was a military-like salute that, during World War II, “too much resembled the Nazi salute, so it was changed to keep the right hand over the heart throughout.” (Sources: https://www.holycross.edu/sites/default/files/educ/columbus_chapter.pdf and https://www.ushistory.org/documents/pledge.htm)
6. “People don’t like you.”
In one Tweet alone, you showed us how comfortable you are portraying yourself as a victim and assuming the position as “Your favorite president”:
Let me be clear: You are neither a victim nor my favorite president. Why? My God, where do I begin? You shift blame. You take no responsibility for (or interest in) others unless they serve a purpose to you. You are self-congratulatory, boastful, indecent, reckless, impulsive, crude, misogynistic, and untrustworthy. And, you seem to think that those who do not believe as you do are fools, cheats, liars, and agitators. I personally find you more than just unlikeable. I find you offensive, unintelligent, distasteful, and embarrassing.
7. “History is (justifiably) unkind to racists.”
As a politician gunning for a place in the history books (“I’ve done more for the Black community than any other president with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln”), you should read this short essay by Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch, who wrote that the killing in Minnesota of George Floyd compelled our country to “confront the reality that, despite gains made in the past 50 years, we are still a nation riven by inequality and racial division.”
Just as you’ve denied the grim realities of COVID-19, you’ve similarly kept your head in the sand about the toxic, systemic racism in America. You’ve also failed us as a leader by refusing to denounce White supremacy as the domestic terrorism that it is.
But don’t you go worrying your fluffy little Propecia-noggin, because you’ll definitely appear in the history books. Just you wait.
8. “Hate to break it to you, but I will kick your ass.”
Last weekend, I completed the Virtual Chicago Marathon. I took more than 55,000 steps across 26.2 miles and raised $3700 (5 times what you paid in taxes last year, btw) for an organization whose dual mission would make your eyeballs explode: Eliminating racism and empowering women.
I’m small, but I’m in shape. I’m no supermodel — I’m just a middle-aged, suburban woman, but I’m smart enough and savvy enough not to believe your narcissistic rhetoric. And on November 3rd, I will loudly and proudly vote you the fuck out of office.
Christine Wolf is a political biographer and writing coach. Sign up for her newsletter and writing tips at www.christinewolf.com.