Dear Mr. President – October 21, 2020

October 21, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

I apologize for this letter really just being a short note to wish you well in the debate tomorrow night. The new rule of muting the mikes after the allotted time for an answer seems like a great idea. Now VP Biden can’t step all over your yelling. It’s actually a good thing for you, for him and for all the listeners who choose to tune in. I do have some more thoughts to help you in the debate, if you chose to listen to me. Yes, I know, I’m not a political advisor but I am a voter (who has already voted) and I am part of a larger group of people who would give you the same advice, so, here it goes.

1. Try and be positive. Talk about what you would like to accomplish in the next 4 years. Other positive ideas might include acknowledging that the country needs to unify over something, anything. I think we can all agree that children, ones who are already born, need a healthy home, healthy diets, clean air and water, great education, safe communities and, PARENTS. Maybe you could speak about how to reunite 545 CHILDREN with their parents. You could get extra credit for your answers if you can explain how this happened. Remember, answers need to be in complete sentences. Points will be deducted for inappropriate language, lies and yelling.

2. Try and be respectful of EVERYONE! There is no need to call people names, accuse them of being criminals or being anti-American. For Pete’s sake, who would run for public office without caring about our Public! Did you think VP Biden is only trying to get rich, or avoid prosecution? Conspiracy theories or stories that have already been disproven will also deduct points from the final score. Many more points will be deducted for dissing Dr. Fauci.

3. The public would like to have some straight answers for the inevitable question on the current state of your virus. Both you and VP Biden will be asked on what the national plan is and how and why your plan is better, meaning, how will it lower the infection and death rates, as well as protect our overwhelmed health systems. Extra points will be given for facts, statistics and not speaking about what you did 8 months ago, and not mentioning the word, “ventilators”. Points can be deducted for accusing governors of not accepting your “plans” or threatening them with cutting off Federal funds that go towards battling the virus and providing other health care funds.

4. When you are asked about the economy simply explain of how we go forward with supporting small businesses and building real infrastructures like roads, bridges, homes, schools, hospitals, and other jobs of the future. Don’t waste your two minutes on what happened during the last three years. Extra points may be given for discussing how new green businesses will be part of the economic plan, but points may be deducted for trying to return to coal as a major industry.

That’s it for now, I don’t want to make too many suggestions but let’s talk again after the debate.

Dear Mr. President – October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

Do you remember the game Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? You are playing a different version of it; Where in the Country is Donald Trump? The true answer is all over the places you love, need and want. You are seeing airport hangars large and small and visiting with your nearest and dearest. Your travels seem a bit frantic but so exciting. They also remind me a bit of the game Whack a Mole meaning who’s going to go down and how fast can you (or your virus) hit them.I also noticed that you haven’t really changed your message from “I shut down the country very early” to “the Democrats want to keep the country shut down”, from “I built the greatest economy in history” to “Our V shaped recovery is starting very soon”. There’s also “I’m protecting your suburbs from low cost housing” to “Why don’t the suburban women like me?” I’m not sure why so many women don’t like you, but it might have something to do with the names you call smart, strong, intelligent, powerful women. Come to think of it, it may also be your history of sexual abuse and harassment charges. It may also be how your words have led to a real time threat to the life of our governor, even if your daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, says that encouraging a crowd to yell “Lock her Up” was just part of the light hearted fun of your rally in Muskegon, Michigan.

I read that your administration put out a lovely statement about “Character” and how important it is to show you have it. It is the start of a Presidential Proclamation on National Character. It is an idea most people could support. Here are some of the lines from your Presidential Proclamation: “During National Character Counts Week, we reaffirm our commitment to developing and the demonstration of admirable qualities to enrich our lives and the lives of others.” Here’s another, “Our American story is rich with famous examples of those with outstanding character, including President Washington’s admirable humility and honesty, President Lincoln’s strong will, and President Eisenhower’s courage.” There was one other line that stood out to me, “May we never forget that our Nation is only as strong as the virtue and character of our citizenry.

”Then I discovered that National Character Counts Week was October 18, 2019, not October 2020. It was a great idea, sort of like Infrastructure Week, full of hope but no actions or plans.

Maybe both ideas could be resurrected next year.

Dear Mr. President – October 14, 2020

October 14, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

“Remember the ladies”. Our second First Lady, Abigail Adams, wrote that in a letter to husband, John Adams, our second president. Did you know that? I was thinking about that line, “remember the ladies”, as I turned off the never -ending hearings for Amy Coney Barrett, the next person to be voted onto the Supreme Court. This is the third and probably last day of this boring marathon. She will be another ultra conservative on the Court and will rule on important cases that we all know she will hear. The men (it’s still mainly Republican men), who are asking her questions are really just going through the motions of praising her. So, let’s get this over with and get her seated. Then we will see what happens with the ACA case due to be heard next month and the cases on Roe v Wade that will come before the court in the next year or so.

But, “remember the ladies”! If Roe v Wade is overturned and the individual states can make it impossible or nearly impossible for women to make their own choices with their bodies, watch out! In all of human history women have had the honor and privilege of bearing children but they have also been forced to have babies they could not or would not be able to raise. In all of human history people have had sex, thank goodness, or we wouldn’t be here. But, it’s not always a choice for the woman and it has led to disasters for women and their health. This is a case of “good people on both sides”. Those who view it as a sin aren’t being forced to undergo a procedure, but I don’t understand why they are allowed to interfere with each woman’s decision on whether or not to give birth. It’s not up to me to make that decision for someone else nor do I understand the legal arguments that have been made and will continue to be made. All I know is that the women of this country will continue to make decisions about their bodies, and I hope they will be able to make those decisions safely whether or not someone else tells them they can’t.

“Remember the ladies” also applies to other issues. Abigail Adams also wrote; “Do not put unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could”. I thought about that line when I heard your speech telling suburban women “I saved your damned suburbs”. Then you went on to complain they should love you. In the previous rally you told people you want to hug and kiss them, whether or not they wanted to be hugged and kissed. I think you were trying to tell jokes again. Remember when I suggested watching a Master Class video on humor? Apparently, you didn’t watch it because your “jokes” are not funny. If you are going around the country doing gigs with this kind of humor, I feel sorry for you. You won’t get many more bookings and you might start to get booed. You are also starting to sound like a “tyrant” who thinks he has unlimited powers. You will need that Superman t-shirt. It’s sold in many stores and you can get it on Amazon. I think they carry X-Large sizes. Just remember, even Superman was vulnerable to Kryptonite so don’t count on the t-shirt being your protection.

Whether it’s women of child -bearing age submitting to the rule of others or suburban women being told how to vote or who to fear, the women, the ladies, the girls of this country, have learned they have powers. They will control their own minds and bodies. They will vote their own interests and beliefs. They will not be silenced, put into a corner or denied their equal rights under the law.

Dear Mr. President – October 13, 2020

October 13, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

Speaking of Nobel Prizes, you didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize this year, but the Nobel Prize for Economics is shared by Robert Wilson and Paul Milgrom who is our classmate from Oak Park High School!!! Mazal Tov!!!!

It’s another beautiful day in Michigan. The colors are just about at peak and we’ve had sunshine and warm temperatures. Of course, it’s Michigan, so there could be a snowstorm this afternoon. Michigan’s temperature swings might be a metaphor for your campaign. Currently the polls in Michigan don’t look so good for you but there could be a big swing in your favor. Actually, it’s a bit like the expression “a snowball’s chance in Hell”. You know there is a place called Hell, Michigan, so if the temperature drops enough, maybe you could win the state.

You are a traveling man, traveling all around certain places to hold your incredible rallies, also known as “Super Spreader Events”. They are amazing feats of bravery, boldness and BS. My only worry is that the election is 3 weeks away and the spread of the DTVirus can occur in less than that time. You must be hoping that your fans will mail in their ballots during early voting periods before anyone gets sick or worse. You should worry that your non-fans aren’t going to these rallies and are following the CDC and Drs. Fauci/Birx health guidelines and are also voting now.

Since we are discussing your travels, I have a question. Who pays for the use of Air Force One? Do you rent it for the campaign stops? I know other presidents have combined public and political events and that seems to be legal, but what if you are using it only for campaign events? This question also applies to using the White House or the Rose Garden. Did your campaign reimburse the Federal Government for the use of the Peoples’ House and garden for the Republican convention and political rally? You really don’t need any more grief from financial inquiries.

Also, did you file last year’s taxes yet or do you need an extension?

Dear Mr. President – October 10, 2020

October 10, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulations! What a surprise to hear you are “cured”, “immune to the virus“, and “think you aren’t infectious”, “in great shape”, feel like “20 years younger” while at the same time “a senior citizen, which we didn’t know”. It’s all so amazing and unbelievable, really unbelievable. I wrote you a letter a couple of days ago but never sent it as the news exploded with an overload of information and I got busy with other things that caused me to forget the things I was supposed to do.

You seem busier than ever following your miraculous cure from the dreaded disease and yet you seem angrier than ever at everyone. You are mad at most of your cabinet members, your AG, the CDC, parts of the Intelligence Community, the Senate along with the folks you’ve been mad at forever. Apparently, my attempts at helping you with anger management, relaxation exercises, and meditation mantras aren’t helping. I read that among the many drugs you took was Melatonin. I thought that was supposed to help with sleeping better but it hasn’t worked very well as you look exhausted. It’s hard to think of anything else I can suggest would to you that would improve your mood……unless, it’s to start thinking again about the future. I don’t mean right away but think about next year! You could enjoy improving your golf game, eating steaks, having dinner with Melania and maybe even Barron. You could sit with the grandchildren while they attend Zoom school. Goodness, you could start working on your Presidential Library. May I suggest a room at Mara Lago as the location?

Think about it. You wouldn’t need to worry about the physical, mental, emotional or economic health of the country. You wouldn’t have to write love letters to the leaders of other countries who don’t even speak English. You could take Lindsey Graham off the A-list of golf partners and never have to talk to Senator Mitch McConnell again. You wouldn’t even have to make phone calls to tv and radio shows, unless there was a contest for free tickets to a concert. You’d have plenty of time for exercising, reading or volunteering in the community. If you need millions of dollars to get out of debt, you could join the circuit as a motivational speaker or write another best seller about your years in the White House. You could join a militia and train with a bunch of really cool guys who could teach you about law and order. So, cheer up. Losing an election isn’t the end of the world. There are tons of opportunities for a senior citizen like you who is so healthy and so beloved.

Dear Mr. President – October 6, 2020

October 6, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

So, how are you doing today? I didn’t want to bother you over the weekend but now you are home and doing great! That’s wonderful news. No one wants the President of the United States, one month out from an election, to get sick and die. That would be terrible for the country on so many levels. One, we don’t want you to die. Two, we want the people to decide whether or not you leave office. Three, there is enough drama going on and we, the people, don’t need more worries than we already have. You are trying so hard to project an attitude of “What? Me Worry” (shout out to Alfred E. Neuman) but, for most of us, that’s an attitude we don’t have.

You know, it’s not based on your projections of not worrying. It’s more about our reality of worrying about loved ones and ourselves. We do worry about the DTVirus, the economy, the division in this country, racial injustice, climate change, education for our children and grandchildren, suppression of the vote, foreign interference in the election, violence and so much more. By the way, I think many of us worry about violence from the far right, you know, the ones that carry long guns to peaceful protests and believe their guns are the ultimate protection. I was actually thinking about violence against women, children (not that looney Q crap) and people of color.

As usual, I do have some advice for you. Please wear a mask!!! You think you are modeling courage and the “can do” spirit. Some of your supporters said it was a “miracle” when you took a spin around the hospital. But, “here’s the deal”, for most of us, it seemed incredibly irresponsible and, frankly, stupid. I read an OpEd by someone named Heather MacDonald, in the City Journal. She wrote, “There is still no uncontroverted evidence on mask wearing”. That’s simply not true. Wearing a mask is not a perfect way to prevent infecting others but it is PART OF WHAT INTERVENTIONS WE HAVE!”.

Sorry, I got carried away with emotion. This OpEd person also wrote “Trump is now modeling masculine leadership at its best, upbeat, rational and unbowed.” Sigh, there’s only a few problems I have with this sentence, like, EVERY WORD!!

Okay, I’m calmer now. My last piece of advice, which, of course, you are free to ignore, is a reaction to your words to Rudy Giuliani. You said, “Great generals do not lead from behind. They get out in front and motivate troops.” My advice is let the great generals do their jobs. Your job is leading an entire nation, not just parts of it. Your job is modeling responsible, appropriate and sane public behavior.

Dear Mr. President – October 2, 2020

October 2, 2020

Dear Mr. President, (and First Lady, and close advisor, Hope Hicks and everyone else in the White House who may also be infected with the Donald Trump Virus but about whom we have not yet heard),

First of all, it’s sad to hear that you have the virus and are experiencing “mild symptoms”. I certainly hope that mild continues to describe your symptoms, but I also hope you will be honest with the country if they are not. I know Speaker Pelosi is praying for you and the Missus as are many other people. You should try to believe that prayer helps or, as some would say, it couldn’t hurt. You are not the first national leader to become ill with this disease during the pandemic. Remember England’s Boris Johnson, Brazil’s Juan Hernandez, Guatemala’s Alejandro Giammattei (actually, I never heard of him so maybe you didn’t either), and the Armenian Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan? What about Putin? I read that he is doing a lot of Zoom meetings and not so much in person visits. That’s starting to look like a lot better idea than all the flying around, in-door fund raising and unmasked, no social distancing rallies. I know you’ve heard that before but maybe the DTVirus has shown you in its own way, that those rallies are not a good idea.I also read and heard this morning that the White House folks are still not masking up. It seems that you and your people put too much faith in testing without practicing the advice from your expert health and infectious disease experts. Your new guy, Dr. Scott Atlas, pushed the idea that masks were not necessarily good, that children cannot pass on the virus and it’s not the government’s job to stamp out the virus even if it is okay to protect the vulnerable. He’s probably going to recommend you drink the Clorox. (Don’t). It’s not clear how to protect the vulnerable except by stamping out the virus but, maybe he knows about something else. In the meantime, maybe you could push the idea that masks and social distancing really are our current best plans.

You have managed to change the focal point of the news back to the virus. You tried super hard to move towards Law and Order and Economy and how great you are with the Blacks and Latinos. But, as Joe Biden said, it’s the pandemic that has led to a failing economy and you are not the greatest thing since sliced bread (he didn’t really say that), for people of color. It is so hard for you to admit that your efforts to “Slow the Spread” and “Open Up” were not completely successful on their own even with your Executive Orders in January or pushing for the manufacture of ventilators. There always is something else you could do to stamp out the pandemic but right now, you need to concentrate on your health.

By the way, I read your Tweet “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER! Actually, being in quarantine means we will not go through this together with you. Where will you quarantine? Chris Cuomo quarantined in his basement. Maybe you could go to the bunker. I certainly join everyone who hopes and or prays for your recovery.

Dear Mr. President – September 30, 2020

September 30, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

You know I always try to be truthful with you. Last night was “horrible”, “a disgrace”, “disgusting”, “ugly”, “pathetic”, “weak” and “like nobody would ever believe”. In short, it was a “disaster”. You wore your “I’m really mad “face, waved your hands about like you were ready to sweep all the papers off a desk, and pursed your lips so tightly they looked like a pout. You turned beet red and there was steam coming out of your ears. The only thing that wasn’t coming out of you was Truth, Justice and the American Way. Seriously, Mr. President, is that how you treat anyone who doesn’t kiss your ring?

There are words that describe this type of behavior. One is “bully”. I don’t think that is a completely true description of your behavior last night. We often use the word to describe someone who tries to use power, intimidation, violence or fear to control someone else. You didn’t intimidate or scare anyone, but you did manage to demean the Office of the President of the United States and threaten our democracy. Everyone already knew you would make the same accusations you always make about other people, the media and anyone who challenges you. You shout, bluster, glare (ooh-not scary), and then tell ridiculous lies while shouting over anyone who tries to speak.

There was absolutely nothing from you about what your plans are for another four years. There are no ideas from you on how to solve some very important problems for this country. In fact, you can’t even acknowledge there are problems, except for dead trees and leaves in California forests, most of which are under Federal jurisdiction. You made a decision in January to ban some people from China (not everyone) and that did help but nowhere near enough and you have undone that help by your actions, inactions and untruths (lies) over the past 8 months. Your non-plan for the economy seems based on your business acumen, which seems based on cheating, lying and running your businesses into the ground. As VPBiden would say, “C’mon man”.

There was a very large audience for the rumble in Cleveland, but the ratings were a flop. You won’t have a very large audience for any future debates because no one wants to watch POTUS turn into a player on WrestleMania. A friend taught me a new word (thanks Marci) that I’d like to use rather than “bully”. It comes from British and Scottish slang and it’s really fun to say. “Cockwomble”. It means “a person, usually male, prone to making outrageously stupid statements and /or inappropriate behavior while generally having a very high opinion of their own wisdom and importance”.

Check it out.

Dear Mr. President – September 26, 2020

September 26, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter. No, it’s not about your poll numbers; I have faith that you will do something to change them, even if I don’t know whether your numbers will go up or down. My heart is very heavy from the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Every picture, every ceremony and every ritual of Jewish mourning seen and heard this week, has brought me to tears. Our rabbi shared a video clip of her reading the Prayer for Our Country that is found in our prayer book Here are a few of the words of this prayer that she read: “May citizens of all races and creeds forge a common bond in true harmony, to banish hatred and bigotry, and to safeguard the ideals and free institutions that are the pride and glory of this country”. Can you see why I’ve been tearful? My heavy heart is also about the appearance that you and Senator McConnell and all but two of the Republican senators seem gleeful about her death and your opportunity to name another justice to the Supreme Court. It’s the “glee” that makes me sad and angry and worried about “our ideals and free institutions”. It’s the utter lack of feeling or respect for what she stood for. It’s also the knowledge that with your nominee on the Court, there may be a reversal of Roe v Wade and/or an overturning of the Affordable Health Care Act. That would not be good for the country.Anyhow, you know me, I’m not able to stay demoralized, depressed and disgusted for too long. My nature is to feel more balanced and even-tempered. Sure, I worry about the continuing and lasting effects of the Donald Trump Virus, the disasters caused by climate change, social unrest due to blatant racism and lack of social justice, and a million other serious problems, but I know there are solutions for these issues. It will take more than reciting the Prayer for the Country. I look forward to hearing from you what your ideas are on “forging a common bond in true harmony, to banish hatred and bigotry”.

With all due respect, I don’t think I’ve heard you speak on this topic.In the spirit of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, I have some ideas for you for positive changes in your life and the life of our country. Please read through the statements in the “Al Chet” prayer (For the Sins We have Committed) that is the centerpiece of the liturgy for this day. It’s recited in the plural so as not to embarrass anyone. There is quite a long list but I’m sure you will find some that are relevant for you. The day gives us the opportunity to take an account of our actions, before G-d and before other human beings and to really think about how to change for the better.

My last idea to help you change is for you to make time to practice for the debates. Everyone knows you don’t like to prepare, and you certainly have a way of speaking off the cuff, but that may not be the best strategy. You have some wild accusations about VP Biden that are just offensive, not funny nor true, so leave them out. You may want to insinuate negative things about his son, although, be careful as your older sons have some shade on them, so no to that approach as well. In short, maybe prepare answers for policy questions that you may be asked. You may be asked how to work toward mitigating climate change or social injustice or how to prevent more people from getting sick and dying. Another question may be how to be a president for all the people. Good luck.

Dear Mr. President – September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

This is a pretty serious letter, but these times call for serious thoughts and words.

Rosh Hashana was different this year, but it was full of spiritual and emotional meaning and the words and lessons continue to preoccupy my thoughts and plans for the coming year. The time spent in prayer and reflection was a gift to be able think about the past year and all the tensions, anxieties and sadness and to find some hope for the next one.

This is a tough time for you what with all the worry about the election and your own future, so I thought I’d share a few words of the Machzor, and my Jewish texts and traditions that might be helpful. The first of these thoughts comes from Psalm 146 and it is about justice. “Put no trust in the powerful, in mortals who cannot save. Their breath departs, they return to dust, and that is the end of their grand designs”. So, neither you nor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, may her memory be for a blessing, will have final authority over how justice will rule. You may appoint a new Justice to the Supreme Court, but the outcome of that appointment may not lead to “justice” as defined in the Torah. Justice Ginsburg worked for those principles of justice. The biblical standard of justice, repeated over and over and over again in the text, is “always defined by the treatment of the poor, the weak, the powerless, the infirm, the unprotected.” (Machzor, Sim Shalom). It is this principal that allows the world to exist. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Here’s another thought that might help you deal with your current turmoil. It’s a quote from Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, may his memory be for a blessing: “If you see what needs to be repaired and how to repair it, then you have found a piece of the world that G-d has left for you to complete. But if you only see what is wrong and what is ugly in the world, then it is you yourself that needs repair.” If you are constantly breaking and destroying institutions and laws or demeaning or accusing people of untruths, you might need to work on the second half of that quote.

One last thought has to do with the gut wrenching, rising heart rate and joy of hearing the shofar blown. Our service included intensely personal reflections by a number of people on their thoughts and memories about hearing the sound of the shofar. The shofar is viewed as an alarm, as a wake- up call and as the start of personal motivation to action. It’s our push to do what is right and to improve the world and ourselves. The prophet, Micah preached about how division in the country and in families led to hate. He scolded the people about being dishonest in the marketplace and about corruption in government and warned that both would lead to destruction if ways and hearts were not changed. So, what should we be doing? Here is the famous prophecy of Micah who told us what G-d wants us to do: “Do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy G-d”. As we think about our world, our communities, our families and ourselves, it is a push to DO justice.