Dear Mr. President,
Yes, you are my President.
But I do not support you, and I do not expect good things from you. I do not expect good policy choices, nor do I expect good outcomes. My expectations for you are astoundingly, confounding low, because that’s where you put them. You did it by appealing, day in and day out, to the very worst instincts in the American psyche, right from your campaign’s opening address when you warned us all about the steady stream and rapists and murderers surging into our country from across the Rio Grande.
You did it by lying day in and day out, so much that reporters had trouble figuring out how to report that you were lying. You lied so much that you were eventually lying about having lied in the first place. You ran the most dishonest presidential campaign I have ever seen, and yet somehow you managed to reap the benefit of an opponent whom most people seem to think is also a huge liar, even though she isn’t.
You did it by cheering on the expulsion of people from your events of people who don’t like you or who say things about you that you don’t like.
You did it by several years ago making your first big claim to political fame by pursuing the stupid fiction that Barack Obama was not a natural-born American citizen.
You did it by showing on FOX News repeatedly to scoff at the very idea of global warming and climate change.
You did it with idiotic policy proposals like building a wall between the United States and Mexico, and then compounding this stupidity with the idea that Mexico will somehow be forced to pay for it.
You did it by filling your administration with people who are clearly on the take, people who are clearly going to make out like bandits, people who are obviously going to set to the tasks of destroying the missions of the agencies they are heading, and people who are simply downright ignorant (an Energy Secretary who didn’t know what the department even does, or a HUD secretary who believes that the Egyptian pyramids are grain silos).
You lowered my expectations by attacking people left and right on Twitter, by egging on your bizarrely rabid followers, by threatening your opponent with investigations and prosecutions, and by scoffing at one’s obligations as a citizen by saying “It makes you smart” that you managed to avoid paying income taxes at one point.
There is literally nothing you have said or done over the last eighteen months that gives me the smallest reason to think that you might be a good President. You have shown no curiosity about issues or insight into them. You have shown zero respect for the work of the job or the norms that surround it. You have demonstrated no foreign policy acumen aside from chest-thumping and Russo-philia. I can think of no issue that stands to improve for your having addressed it, and I can think of no aspect of American life that will be better for your having been President.
And the thing is? You’re going to fail. No matter what. You’re going to be able to do a lot of damage, and you’ll ruin a lot of lives. Hell, if you and your cohorts in Congress repeal the ACA without a “replacement” (and let’s be honest, none of you has the slightest idea what kind of “replacement” you’ll offer), you might just kill people. But it won’t matter. Not in the long-run, it won’t. You’re not going to reignite American manufacturing so that towns once more have big factories employing ten thousand people. You’re not going to be able to push all of the queer people back into their respective closets. You’re not going to make the young people like you.
Ultimately, though, I don’t even think you care that much, and that may bother me most of all. You seem to expect the Presidency to be this easy thing that you can almost do on a part-time basis, and that your business experience is one hundred percent applicable to the challenges you will confront as President. As to the latter, your business experience isn’t the unbroken run of amazing success stories that you often say it is, and that experience is not always applicable. What might be OK in a board room is not OK in a cabinet meeting.
In short, I expect your Presidency to be a time of awful policy making combined with amazing levels of corruption. The last administration that paired deep disengagement in policy and facts with willingness to profit from events did not result in good results. Your judicial appointees will be terrible people, and our Congress will rubber-stamp your stuff and you’ll rubber-stamp their stuff. The idea of national government in the hands of you, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell fills me with many emotions, none of them happy and most of them angry.
So thus will I join the millions of Americans who are going to oppose you and resist you and work hard to thwart you and your agenda. And when we finally get rid of you and your Congress?
Well, that’s when we’ll start making America great again.