August 1, 2020
Dear Mr. President,
What a week! Thursday, in particular, was such an emotional and inspirational day. I’m referring to the funeral of Representative John Robert Lewis. You probably missed the beautiful and meaningful, somber and joyous ceremony but you can hear most of it on YouTube or other media. Three of our ex-presidents spoke but President Jimmy Carter wasn’t there because he and Roseanne Carter aren’t traveling these days. I noticed you weren’t there and you also didn’t pay your respects when Rep. Lewis lay in State at the Congress. Did you send your condolences to the family or to his office or to the state of Georgia or to anyone? I don’t think you were invited to speak at the funeral and that was probably a good idea as your speeches tend to be angry and full of doom and gloom, while the other presidents’ speeches were sincere and full of grace. They also knew and respected Representative Lewis, even President Bush who explained they did not always agree on policies, but knew it was important to understand that disagreements don’t mean disrespect or personal animus. Did you know that President George Bush signed legislation in 2006, to extend the Voting Rights Act of 1965 for another 25 years? The Act was to continue to outlaw racist voting practices in the South. I know you are concerned about voting rights this year and you only have a few months to encourage all states to have enough polling places, equipment that works, and the money to allow for timely efforts to collect and count mail-in ballots.
I read that you are still concerned about why, as you said, “Nobody Likes Me”. You are worried about fading hopes for reelection. That plus not being invited to Representative Lewis’ funeral (and not being invited to Senator John McCain’s funeral nor asked to speak at President George H.W. Bush’s funeral) must really hurt your feelings. I want to cheer you up with a song we used to sing at camp when I was a kid. It goes: “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I guess I’ll go eat worms.” Check it out on YouTube (the source of just about anything). It will make you smile.
Sorry for the aside but we were taking about voting and the upcoming election. You know it’s November 3, 2020 and that date is firm. I think you understand that each state controls how elections are run in a state, even national elections. So, you really can’t control dates or whether or not the state uses mail in ballots. I know that won’t keep you from whining and saying “no fair” but you don’t have control over this. I’m sure you will continue to berate the system of voting we have and honor, you know, one person, one vote, and you will accept the results of the election when they are announced. Here is what you can do, or at least what I suggest you do.
1. Be realistic, be truthful and honest about the effect the Corona Virus has had on the world and particularly on the US. You call it the China Virus and go off on China, but, really, at this point it’s the Donald Trump Virus. It arrived here in January and it is now August! Most other countries have dealt with how terrible it is by SHUTTING DOWN AND STAYING DOWN UNTIL THE INFECTION RATES COME DOWN. You must know that if you have heard the experts and read the books. So, stop complaining about China.
2. Get engaged with the negotiations to continue unemployment aid, rent assistance, money for schools, unconditionally, to open safely when the rate of infection in their areas are lower and get more money for states to continue their programs of testing, tracing and health and safety. Don’t be a scared-y -cat and stand on the sidelines.
3. Read and listen more about the social justice movement. It’s not radical. It’s about human needs, justice, fairness, and it’s based on our common good.
4. Don’t listen to Stephen Miller about anything.
5. Read and practice how to be a good sport whether you win or lose.
I have lots more suggestions for you even if you don’t want them. The closing words of Representative John Lewis’s glorious OpEd in the NYTimes sum it all up.
“…walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide”.