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Title

Resign, Mr. President

My last letter to President Trump.

August 19, 2017
 
 

 

In my first post after the fateful election of 2016, I wrote you a deeply considered letter grounded in my respect for the law and hopeful that you would pursue a presidential path of comity. I followed that letter with another one some months after to express my profound disappointment in your leadership, although in a post script I left a little door open for the future prospects. I am writing this final letter to you as president to let you know that I have closed that door. Your remarks in the aftermath of Charlottesville, combined with so many other demonstrations of inadequacy and failed leadership, reflect the absence of that most fundamental traits required of a president: a moral compass. 

 Is the nostalgia you feel about “heritage” a vestige of what must be very complicated feelings about your father, a man who marched with white supremacists and who unabashedly discriminated against Blacks? It seems to me you have an unreflective affection for him, one that does not take into account from where your own blind ambition starts. That perpetual sense of being wronged, your emotional trademark, bespeaks of truth you see not. The anger, the drive, the projection. And then, of course, the narcissism. That hurt came from a mother who favored a brother, doesn’t it?  You needed your father’s approval to compensate for what your mom failed to give. And now you have attempted to subject this country to consequences of your own wounded past.

I have nothing but compassion for every person’s story, but not for when people act out their hurt. An explanation is not an excuse. As I write today, you sent out tepid support for the protesters yesterday who came out in support of equality and civil rights. Maybe it’s P.R., maybe your new chief of staff composed that message and made you do it.  Maybe it is from your heart.  It doesn’t matter anymore, Mr. Trump. Your failure to stand for what this country has historically fought for so valiantly in the past -- the end of slavery, the overthrowing of legal segregation, democracy over fascism, equality and civil rights -- in the moment when this country needed it most tells us you failed the test. Although I would rather you support those positive qualities than not, your path to understanding is best conducted on your time, not ours, as this country goes forward. 

Resign. The presidency is bad for your business. It will never provide you with the emotional balm that you seek. That goal is not one that can ever be achieved by external accomplishment. Show us you have, in the final analysis, the courage to go home, and for once, be quiet.  In that solitude, you may actually come to find the release you want. And give the rest of this country the opportunity to heal itself. 
 

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