Dawn of the Donald: An Open Letter to the Honorable President-elect
By Tim Curfman
“Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”
—Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980)
Dear Mr. President-elect Trump:
I am writing you as a born-and-bred, died-in-the-wool, Ann-Richards-admiring, Hillary-loving, out-loud-and-Proud, yellow-dog-Democrat. I did not vote for you. I’m not a fan.
I can’t tell you how horrified I was on Tuesday, November 8, when a shocking reality became clear: you were going to be our next president. The last time I was this horrified was…hmmm…let’s see…what was the last time? Oh yeah! It was when George W. Bush got elected president.
I guess the W years weren’t that bad, except for, you know, September 11, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Patriot Act, and the Global Financial Crisis of 2007. I thought that George W. was going to be the scariest president that our country would face in my lifetime, but then came you.
I thought I’d share with you my own personal Five Stages of Donald Trump Winning the Election:
Denial: Hillary won the popular vote, so she’s president now. Right? RIGHT???
Anger: ARGH! UGH!!!
Bargaining: I promise, dear God—and I’m serious this time—to become more politically involved!
Acceptance: Yeah, I’m not quite there on that one. I’m sure that some people will see big opportunities in your presidency, and have already moved to El Paso to start their own giant-wall-building company, but I just can’t get excited about any of that. And sure, your campaign gave me a well-needed excuse to un-friend half of my Facebook friends, but otherwise I see no upside.
I’m not alone in my sense of horror. My gay friends are devastated. My international friends are concerned. My 70-year-old mother is flying to Washington DC to participate in the January 21, 2017, Woman’s March on Washington, just to make sure you know that women are not going to take any crap from you.
And I am stunned. I spent my adolescent years growing up in rural West Texas, terrified of being persecuted, ostracized, or killed because of the mere suspicion that I was gay. As an adult, my husband and I were together for 19 years before we could get legally married. The progress that our country has made on so many civil-rights issues has been glacially slow, and it’s heartbreaking to think that we’re about to spin back into an age of social regression.
But now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I have to admit that your win is not that surprising. Our country seems incapable of doing a continuous march toward personal freedom and a wider sense of tolerance. The Kennedy/Johnson years and the Civil Rights Movement were followed by the Nixon presidency and Watergate. Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was followed by Bush’s Patriot Act. Should it surprise me that the Obama Era that ushered forth Obamacare and legal gay marriage would be followed by you?
Your victory is beginning to make more sense to me for another reason. The average American is afraid of the trends that are rocking our world, and it’s not just terrorism. Every year, we all become a little bit more unemployable, as robots and computers and low-wage workers in developing nations nibble away at our job-base. You have offered a simple answer: to build that giant wall.
Mr. President-elect, as I try to accept the reality of the situation, I realize that I want you to succeed. Your success means the success of the country, after all. And since I have about as much political experience as you do, I feel no qualms about giving you some advice on how to run the U.S.A.
I offer up this cautionary tale:
Ronald Reagan was another president whose election caused massive consternation among liberal voters. (I was 12 years old at the time and remember being quite concerned.) One of his hallmark pieces of legislation was to de-regulate the Savings and Loan industry. Suddenly all of these shady investors had access to unregulated loans, and started building a bunch of unneeded shopping malls. And then, the whole thing went belly-up, and the American taxpayers ended up bailing the industry out at a tune of $160 billion.
Legislation often has unintended consequences. Whatever “business reform” you decide to implement will be studied by roomfuls of smart people who will ask the question, “How can we get rich off of that?”
Here’s what I hope:
I think you have proven that you are willing to say just about anything, and scare, alienate, and offend just about anybody in order to become president. I can only hope that you don’t actually believe many of the things that you said on the campaign trail. Because if you do, then I’m going to have to wait for the Canadian Immigration website to reboot. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it keeps getting overloaded and crashing.
I hope you’re actually more liberal than your hate-mongering rallies would lead people to believe. Otherwise, I hope our liberal Supreme Court justices are taking their Geritol pills and watching themselves on icy sidewalks. Talk about having a new reason to live!
I hope you really do have a secret plan to get rid of ISIS. I bet they’re behind all of those exploding mobile phones. You should look into that.
Finally, I have one last word of advice: Don’t stay locked up in the top of your dark tower. That’s what evil wizards do.
Yours in Terror,
Tim Curfman is a frequent contributor to OutSmart magazine. Read all of his OutSmart articles at outsmartmagazine.com/author/tim-curfman.