An Open Letter to Donald Trump as You become Our 45th President

I have stepped away from this blog for the past few weeks to see how you might change as you approach your presidency.

You haven’t.

I could have supported your presidency if only you had said, “U.S. intelligence showed me the facts. Putin tried to destroy our election and our democracy and he will pay a price so this will not continue.”

But, you didn’t. You didn’t come close.

Instead, you attacked our intelligence community. They gave you inconvenient facts. You minimized them before the world. You said other countries hack, too. True but nowhere near the point.

You didn’t stop there. You told us Putin liked you “and isn’t that a good thing”. Your being Our President is not about you or your Brand. It’s about the good of the nation. They are not the same thing.

The point of what the intelligence community proved to you and to us is America was attacked for the destruction of our most fundamental right, belief in a free and fair election. Of course, you damaged that belief, too, to your advantage during the campaign and, like the Russians, seemed to be ready to damage it further had you lost. How you handled yourself raises many questions.

I could have supported your presidency if only you had, like your 43 predecessors, understood, tolerated and not actively undercut, freedom of the press. But you do undercut it, almost every day.

Since your campaign’s earliest days, you have attacked the fact-based press repeatedly. Of all things, you have talked about the National Enquirer, which has functioned as a tool for you, as a great paper. The founders, through the First Amendment, knew a free press is our greatest protection against demagogues. It’s not perfect but it’s essential. As president elect, you have used the stature we have given you to continue the attack. Lately, you are making noises about moving them from the White House – Our White House, not yours. Today you are tweeting about polls showing your low approval ratings not as mistaken but “rigged”.

I could have supported your presidency if you had not acted as an enemy to our friends. But you have and you do.

Less than a week before your presidency you’ve talked about the EU as bound for breakup…and to you that’s ok. With Marie LePen in Trump Tower last week and your contact with other European nationalists, are you interfering in upcoming European elections on their behalf, as Putin did for you? You’ve told the world that the NATO structure is obsolete – making it weaker – rather than quietly working to strengthen it.

For these and other reasons, I believe you are different from every other president…and not in a good way.

You may be setting up transactional relationships by playing one party against another to achieve control and benefit. If you are, I suspect the benefits will be short term. It is not good to make other people with national ambitions small. They will hate us and look for opportunities for payback. The fragmentation you are creating has been the cause of many wars and you are resetting that scenario.

You may be seeking totalitarian rule. Your moves against the press and toward other totalitarian leaders certainly indicate that possibility.

You may just be narcissistic crazy. That would not be your fault but will certainly be dangerous to us and the world when you become president this week.

In closing, John Lewis said he believes your election is not legitimate.

Well, you certainly will be sworn in on January 20 but by your attacks on everything that has made this country great, your defense of attackers and you and your surrogates hard work at destroying facts and truth to create a new path for whatever you say, give great credibility to what Congressman Lewis has said. They certainly give us a clear need for constant vigilance.

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