Dear President Trump

Loving My Enemy

Dear President Trump.  David Brooks observes that classic liberals require everyone to obey respectful rules of conduct. He rightfully observes it takes two to dance cheek to cheek and work out our differences.   You blew that up.  You are a solo tap dancing gangsta. You tapped into the ‘Cain vs. Abel’ sentiment of “If I don’t get what I want, I’ll just kill you”… literally, metaphorically, politically, socially, religiously. Compromise is for weakling sissies. You blew your Republican opponents apart by refusing to play by ‘the rules’..

By refusing to play by ‘the rules’ you’re forcing everyone who trusted ‘the rules’ to play catch up.  Mitch McConnell saw that, changed course and moral compass, screwed the rules and will rule the supreme court for 50 years.  Politically, liberals are trying to play cricket in the New Roman Coliseum. And the lions are eating up any who lament, “why can’t we just get along with one another.” You are waging a sophisticated war while we still yearn for peace in the political valley.

You are  a smart, conniving, amoral wartime politician.  We still yearn for peacetime senatorial knights jousting by day, dining collegially together in Washington splendor by night.
Many advocate fighting fire with fire. Out west we know the theory of starting backfires to kill off a raging forest blaze. Meet power with power.  Doesn’t always work out as we planned.

Out of Vietnam (at least for my generation) came the delicious quote, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for I am the meanest SOB in the valley!!!”

Do multigenerational liberals and progressives beat up Trump by being the meanest SOB in the political valley? If so, how do we succeed without losing our souls, our moral authority, and, thus, the election?

In times of fear, we look to strength and security. Trump is cornering the fear market. He is not the real enemy.  He is a cipher for our fear and insecurity. I loved Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” We work together, liberal and progressive, young and old, or we become lion fodder.

As a Christian, I am forced to ask, “What would Jesus do?”  Each of us will answer that question in our own way from our own faith.  May God give us strength and wisdom and love for the journey. 071619

Dear President Trump.  Welcome to the Cyborg generation.  Elon Musk is close to hardwiring Artificial Intelligence with the human brain.  When do you think the government will regulate who gets an upgrade… and who does not?  Will it be based on IQ? (doubtful because the AI will have more than enough IQ for anyone) Will eligibility be based on race, ethnicity, wealth, political affiliations?

You may try to save your plutocracy by excluding those you fear but once the technology emerges, like cell phones and the internet, it may be uncontrollable.  Oh Sure, the Cows of Bashan of the world will want to keep it for themselves.  They’ll call it dangerous, threatening, revolutionary, or food for terrorism.  Fearful religious leaders will call AI/Brain combined people monsters, abominations, spawns of the devil, half-breeds.

What if we take AI intelligence and DNA CRiSPR technology (or it’s next generation) to unlock the genetic code for skin color?  What if you could change the color of your skin as easily as your party outfit for tonight’s outing.  How then could we claim superiority based on race.

No, No, No, you say.  We’d pass laws preventing AI/Biological people, (CYBORGS), from citizenship or positions of power.  We could institute biological purity laws.

Problem is, AI/Biological mixed people will be smarter than you and I are… maybe smart enough to see through the power games, petty greed and avarice of today’s 1%.  Rather than fight you, they may simply bypass you, building good, just, comfortable, loving lives without you.

And what would Jesus say to all this change, equality and freedom? I think he’d quote Isaiah 11.6.  “The wolf shall lie down with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.”

Perhaps that little child will come out of your ugly shameful border concentration camps.  God does have a sublime sense of humor.  So be it. 071419.

Dear Donald. For 150 potential deaths in Iran, you call off an air strike in retaliation for the destruction of our drone. I am curious Mr. President, 26 people have died in ICE detention since you took office. Between 200 and 300 people have died crossing our southern border each of the last two years. Are the Iranians worth more than the immigrants? Do you fear what the Iranians will do? But because you do not fear the immigrants, they can die?
So, you fear potential Iranian deaths more than real immigrant deaths when the immigrants cannot fight back.? That seems to send a dangerous message. When your enemy is poor and vulnerable you act brave and macho when they die. When your enemy is strong, your bravado dissolves in a tirade of tweets.
You play your power games. You fear the Iranians but not the immigrants. I wonder who else is figuring this out. I fear you will feel trapped by your own fears and do something ugly.
Please, before doing something stupid, remember Rehoboam. (ask your bible friends…) Son of Solomon, his older advisors told him to be generous with the poorer more rural tribes of Israel. But Rehoboam heard instead the voices of the rich young scions of Jerusalem to tax Israel more and more for their personal benefit. He, like you, took a brutal, “Make Jerusalem Great Again” stance. 17 years of war with the northern kingdom set the stage for an Egyptian invasion from the south. Rehoboam was defeated, made a puppet and gave Israel’s treasury to the Egyptians.
Whose puppet will you become? Will your puppet masters be the politicians, the bankers, tech giants, just your major donors?Perhaps your religious handlers or the Russians or Chinese will pull your strings or yank your chains. God knows. Two things I know. I am not in control. Neither are you. God help us. 062519. 

Dear Donald. I understand you want to use game theory to punish China for it’s tough capitalist trade practices. So you impose tariffs on the Chinese which they pass onto their suppliers who pass increased costs onto us, the tax paying Americans. You do this to strengthen American production. But farmers produce more than Americans can consume so their produce rots and they are forced into bankruptcy. Then you give $16 Billion in our tax money to farmers on top of Billions already doled out. So we the tax payers pay for your tariffs in higher prices and for your socialist bailouts of impoverished farmers in higher taxes and higher prices.
I am impressed. You can then blame democrats for being socialist while using government money, our money, as social welfare for your chosen few. They will then support you because they have joined those you accuse of feeding from the public trough.
In the meantime you try desperately to take away their health care to make them even more dependent on your social handouts. But that’s OK because the rich are getting richer and their wealth will trickle down to us unless they decide to put it in offshore accounts. There it can mix with the money of other offshore oligarchs to begin another round of international tariffs designed to help the world’s farmers and consumers. My My My. Jesus Wept. 052319

Dear Donald.  I think when Jesus said “let the little children come unto me” he didn’t mean you should lock them up in cages.  He didn’t mean throw them out of public housing if a parent isn’t a U.S. citizen, even if the children themselves are indeed legal citizens. He didn’t mean let drug companies charge such exorbitant prices for insulin and other drugs, that children die for lack of them.  He didn’t mean punish the children of adoptive parents and deny their citizenship because their mothers were surrogates.  By what Christian teaching do you punish American children for the sake of their parents’ birth.  Once the bible said the sins of the fathers would be visited on their children to the third and fourth generations.  (Numbers 14.18).  But, Ezekiel 18.20 says the children will not share the guilt of the parent.  We could proof-text our beliefs to the end of time. Many do.  It is a moral death spiral.  Please do not feed your own desires by twisting anyone’s holy scriptures. Instead, join me in confession of our sins and shortcomings.  Let the children come.  We have so much.  They have so little. 051619.

Dear Donald.  I grow weary of fear and anger.  I am dull to your ceaseless drumbeat of spite, greed, lies and hate… your constant pitting of one group against another to enrich the 1% Cows of Bashan…men against women, rich against poor, race against race, faith against faith.  Yes, I am aware that the best way to control any group of people is to create an enemy (real or imagined). Then you can demand loyalty, sacrifice to flag, faith and fatherland against The Foe.  Jesus was crucified by people convinced by their leaders that the “Prince of Peace” would lead them to death and disaster.  You imprison children because they threaten us with death, drugs and disaster.  The trap I fall into is responding with fear and anger. My declaring you an enemy gives you the power to lump me with the Alfred E. Newmans of your yesteryear… fools to be mocked and denigrated as enemies of your Great America.  No, Donald.  You are not my enemy.  You are not Satan.  That would give you too much credit. You are and always have been, like me, a child of a loving God.  You are my brother.  You have so many brothers and sisters, children of that same loving God, who suffer at the whims of your greed and lust for money, sex and power.  So, while others quote scripture to support hatred and bigotry, I will quote Jesus, my chosen leader of The Way.  Daily, I will pray for you and your growth in love and justice and mercy towards all people.  Much as my fear and anger would drive me to hate you… to beat you over your head with the ten commandments… I will do my best to remind you of the Sermon on the Mount.  I choose to live in the New Covenant promised by Jeremiah, that is yet to be realized. 051419.

Please forgive the length of this article.  Dear President Trump.  I’m going to let a neonatal nurse, Julia Pulver, say what I want to. I lack the words and experience… but not the pain.  This is her response to you, when you claimed that doctors, nurses, and mother’s commit infanticide for fun.

“This is perhaps one of the sickest accusations levied by this deranged dictator yet. Don’t believe a word he says about anything important. As a NICU nurse, I served on the “Bereavement Team.” We were a special team of Nurses tough enough to help new parents go through the worst day of their lives. Parents of babies who had fought so hard for their tiny little lives and weren’t going to make it. And parents of babies who, after they were born, and wouldn’t have their moms body keeping them alive, would die rather quickly.

As these small bodies were failing, it was our job to be there with the parents at every step, give them support, and do our best to make some memories of their precious babies that could help ease their impending and overwhelming grief. When heroic measures failed or a baby without a brain or working lungs or heart was born, we knew the end was near, and we encouraged the parents to be present in these finals moments. We placed the babies skin to skin with mom and placed a blanket over them both. We lowered the lights and quieted the room. We had as much or as little family and the parents wanted in the room. We sang songs, we prayed, we hugged, we swayed… and we all cried.

I cried until my throat burned for this family who has just had to endure the unthinkable. We were in the moment with those families. We took pictures, even for the ones who were too traumatized to think they’d ever want to see them, just in case they did. We made footprints. We put a lock of hair into a ribbon. We measured the babies length and marked it on a tape measure. We made special tiny white gowns and hats for our angels. We created a memory box for these families who were losing their child that day.

So yes, there are those in hospitals who are around infants who pass: they are the Bereavement Teams & they provide the equivalent of neonatal hospice to families who are living through absolute Hell. Babies and children die, it’s a sad part of life. But no one, absolutely NO ONE ever, in any hospital, nor any mother who has just given birth, is conspiring with a doctor on whether or not to commit infanticide.”

Personally Mr. President, I happen to agree with others who have posted this article… ‘This is perhaps one of the sickest accusations levied by you yet.’  Others want to call you a deranged dictator.  I know you to be a human being in need of God’s grace and forgiveness. Please accept them before it is too late for all of us.  042919.

Dear President Trump.  I was hoping you wouldn’t do anything more appalling than imprisoning children in metal cages to threaten their parents. But, of course, as you keep harping to us, they aren’t white Americans.  They don’t deserve love, compassion or justice.  But now we find that Gold Star families are being taxed at a grossly higher rate on the benefits they receive under your new wonderful tax plan.  These families lost a husband/wife, father/mother serving our nation.  They made the ultimate sacrifice and you increase the taxes on their benefits? You make them a joke.  Your tax plan made the rich, richer. But it increased taxes on many middle class families, and punishes Gold Star families.  What more sacrifice will you ask of the widows and orphans of fallen soldiers.  Jesus had much to say about widows and orphans.  We Make America Great Again by increasing their taxes and insulting the sacrifice of their loved ones.  God forgive you.  God grant me the strength to forgive you.  Perhaps forgiveness will come after you and your Cows of Bashan correct this ugly scar on our nation.  You sir, are not Making America Great Again.  You are making our nation stink to high heaven.  God smells our rot.  God forgive us.  042819.

Dear President Trump. It is my assumption that the key to understanding God’s love is not atonement… but example. Grace and forgiveness are needed because the example of Jesus showed that if we speak love and truth to both power and weakness you might live to be thirty years old. But someone is probably going to kill you or lock you up. So, we live lives of compromise and grace. To live long enough to do some good we compromise with evil and sin.  What keeps us whole and alive is God’s forgiveness… (Father, forgive them…).  Mr. President, many people do not want to forgive you. You show no evidence of wanting to forgive anyone for any real or imagined offense.  That may keep you in the Whitehouse. But an attitude of “I’m perfect and have no need of forgiveness” puts you at odds with Jesus. That’s a game we cannot win.  We humans live a daily compromise between good and evil. Grace, God’s loving forgiveness, renews us each day to draw breath and do good and live a little longer.  I know I’m preaching… it is my nature.  I am not perfect. You are not perfect. To think otherwise cuts you off from the grace you need but cannot accept because of your blindness.  We’ll talk another day about guilt and innocence in the American legal and political systems. Because Robert Mueller is an honorable man and you are not… you will remain our President. But in God’s eyes, that may be the least of your problems.  God forgive you and me.  I hope you can learn to accept and reflect that forgiveness before it’s too late for all of us. 032719.

Outrage is a somewhat satisfying response to evil. It gets the juices flowing. It targets an enemy and focuses us on what we value and love. But outrage accomplishes so little. It could spur us to action. It may not. Usually, it’s an easy way to feel I’ve accomplished something without actually doing much. You and I get outraged at so many things. I see your face redden. I see you sputter and lie and spew hatred at so many people. Then I get outraged and rant and rave and spew epithets at you. I don’t know about you but after a while, outrage gets boring and repetitive and childish for me. You use it to run a country. I use it to call you to be a better Christian. I fear we are both failing, badly. I’m tired of outrage. It’s unproductive. It’s boring. It’s unloving. I wish my love could or God’s love would make you a better person and leader. I fear it won’t. But, beyond outrage, I choose to love you. Outrage and anger won’t change you. But trying to love you might change me. If, by some chance, my love, other people’s love, God’s love changes you…. that’s a bonus worth working for. God bless you, Mr. President. God forgive you. God make us both better people. 031919.