Dear Mr Trump,
I’ve heard you use that word quite a bit over the past few months:
The world is a mess.
America is a mess.
You inherited a mess.
I’m not sure if you actually believe these statements, or whether they, like many things you say are simply lies meant to instill fear and to mask your own deficiencies—preemptive salvos fired in advance of your failures.
Either way, I want you to know that you’re full of it.
America is not a mess—it is complex, and I imagine this is the disconnect if there is one. It doesn’t seen like complex is your gig. America is made of intricate systems and a complicated history and delicate social relationships and elaborate laws, none of which you seem all that interested in or capable of understanding. So yes, I can see how you would look at all of this and be overwhelmed, as this is what 65 million of us saw coming a mile away. We’re just surprised that you’re surprised.
The reality is, you didn’t inherit a mess, Mr Trump, you received the job that you politicked for, lied for, likely colluded for, sold the remaining segments of your soul for. Even though you weren’t qualified or deserving or chosen by the people, you received the title of Leader of the Free World, and the least you could do is not act like this country owes you sympathy or some special grace period—or that we’re the problem here.
We’re freakin’ amazing, actually.
We’re who we’ve always been: a beautiful, flawed masterpiece in progress. We are a diverse mosaic made of every kind of humanity on the planet, and we’ve been doing this for a couple hundred years and then some—far before you ever showed up. With all our profound imperfections, we have made a home to freedom and equality and goodness like few places on the planet, so don’t you dare pretend that we’re the issue, and don’t make us think that we’re here waiting in our mediocrity (or worse) for you to bestow greatness upon us, because we both know that ain’t happenin’.
This isn’t a campaign promise, it isn’t a news story sound bite, and it isn’t an ego rally speech tossed like raw meat to your shrinking faithful cult of salivating sycophants—this is the Presidency. It is a big person’s job. It’s complicated and it’s difficult and it requires work, and it requires a capacity and commitment that it’s fairly clear you don’t possess. Most of all, it requires an ability to know when you’re attempting something above your pay grade and when you need to delegate to qualified people, instead of flailing around wildly and blaming everyone else when it all hits the fan.
44 other men already sat where you now sit (where a woman should rightly be sitting), and dozens of them inherited far greater financial, social, or military challenges than you have. Yet not one of them daily complained to the Press about how difficult their job was, and they didn’t blame America for being “difficult”, and they didn’t publicly declare their country a mess (of course none of them spent 20 percent of their days on the golf course either, but then again they seemed to realize the gravity and responsibility of the position.)
But the point, Mr. Trump, is that we are not the mess you say we are, we are not standing on the precipice of certain disaster (your staggering recklessness aside), and we are not presently horrible.
If you stopped golfing and Tweeting, and indiscriminately dropping bombs to distract from talk of Russia long enough to actually took a look around, you’d see:
This country is wildly diverse and quite miraculously coexisting in this reality, all things considered.
Christians and Muslims and Jews are serving in the streets of their cities together.
People are marrying outside of their faith traditions and across color lines.
More and more churches are welcoming the LGBTQ community.
Good people are feeding the poor and teaching children and rebuilding neighborhoods and caring for the elderly.
Families are raising children to be decent and generous and compassionate.
Teenagers are discovering who they are meant to be.
College kids are studying hard and forging their dreams in real-time.
We are straight and gay, bisexual and Transgender.
We are people of every pigmentation.
We are Christian and Atheist, Muslim and Agnostic, Jew and Humanist, Native American and immigrant.
We are refugee and undocumented and 4th generations born here.
We are rural whites and coastal elites and Bible Belters and heartlanders.
In other words, America is being who America has been long before you arrived and (if you can manage not to completely destroy us), long after you’re gone, hopefully less than four years from now. Far from perfect, but even further from being a mess—we’re the place where all people are supposed to be treated with dignity and decency, and allowed to pursue life, liberty, and happiness unfettered. We are the land of the free, the home of the brave, and we’re not falling for your nonsense that pretends we’re anything less than that.
So, Mr. Trump, stop being so cavalier and careless with something that we and our forefathers and foremothers worked so hard for. You don’t deserve this country, and the least you can do is stop try to gaslight us into believing that we are broken and in need of fixing or that we’re something doomed that needs saving.
We just need you to stop fighting and derailing and sabotaging us at every turn and we’ll be just fine.
We’re not the mess here, Mr. Trump—
—we’re pretty damn glorious.