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Dear Mr. Trump...

What Hath got Wrought?

Dear Mr. Trump,

I want to pity you, I really do. However, I have no idea what you thought the outcome of your candidacy would be. Your scorn and derision for President Obama are simply being repaid, in kind. If you are the man that you think you are, prove us wrong. I would love to look back in three years at the wonderful surprises that led to a better country for all of us. Winston Churchill was also a harsh man who was little liked by anyone who knew him personally. Yet history remembers him as the man who was needed at that exact moment in time. This isn’t at all uncommon in history. My question to you is, can you be the dealmaker? Because this country is on a collision course with a second Civil War, and we need you to be that man.

I didn’t vote for you. In fact, I never took you seriously as a candidate. Like the media and DNC, I didn’t count on how thoroughly the masses were disgusted by Hillary Clinton and Washington’s inner circle. We all thought that there was no way that this loud, obnoxious character was going to win the Presidency of the most powerful nation on Earth! Then, you did. You beat two political dynasties and surprised us all. Not only did you win, but it was a devastating landslide as well. Sometimes we get so focused on attaining something that we don’t know what to do once we have it. However, the fate of the nation rests in your hands, and it is not impressing us so far, sir.

Not since the 1850’s have the political divisions in our country been so deep. This is an almost inevitable outcome of the two-party system. By nature, each party becomes an institution, with its own will to survive and grow. The GOP and the DNC have become professional organizations, but their profit is power itself. As the need for power grows, the more radicalized the focus becomes on the extreme right and far left. In short, the business of running the country became a business. As people, we forgive some pretty amazing things in the name of our own institutions. The executive who decided to cut corners with the Deepwater Horizon wasn’t intending evil, but to profit his company. This has gone on so long that neither party can even see each other anymore. The Democrats prey on idealism and sentiment to gather power, while the Republicans no longer even bother to base their arguments in reality. It would be funny, if it were any other country. I don’t say that as a citizen of this country, but as a citizen of the world.

This country is the keystone of the modern world, and all eyes are on you. Are you the dealmaker that you say you are? Because we need that back. The single most important job of the President, since the days of Abraham Lincoln, has been as the party leader and deal-broker between the parties. What won Reagan the absolute landslide reelection? He dealt across party lines for the good of the country. Why is President Clinton remembered fondly, even by some Republicans? Because he made their concerns part of every discussion. Towards the end of the Bush campaign, this relationship deteriorated. “Unilateral” and “Push through” became the words of the day. Then President Obama made it the official policy to exclude the Republicans until the entire United States Government shut itself down. No matter who had been elected, we would have seen signs that “___________ is not MY President!” The last time this was so publicly announced was 1863…and hilarity did not ensue.

No one can make easier on you what you have so carefully made difficult for yourself. The media cannot misconstrue things that you don’t say. No one has ever recorded me using the phrase “grab her by the pussy” in any context, because it is not a phrase anyone with a healthy respect for women says. This was never excusable, but it seems most of the world found it easy enough to ignore until you had the fates of hundreds of millions in your hands. Everything you have ever said, done, or someone thinks you might have done is going to be a headline. You are not above scrutiny, you are beneath it. At all times. Woe to the country that doesn’t put its government under scrutiny. It seems sometimes leaders need to be reminded that they are servants of those they lead, above all. Elsewise, this Great Democratic Experiment will fail.

The good news is that history is full of great leaders who were terrible people. Winston Churchill, as I said, was not liked by anyone who knew him. He was rude, misogynistic and eccentric. However, he was the man that was needed at the time, and who knows how drastically history may have been changed without him? George S. Patton was famously ill-tempered, and a tank cannon’s range beyond eccentric. He believed he was Alexander the Great reincarnated, and wrote poems about his “past” in Napoleon’s Army. Yet these men were the right kind of crazy for the times. They say there is a fine line between genius and madness, and all of us are holding our breath that it’s true. The truth is that no matter what the picket sign reads, their success or ruin is tied inexorably to yours.

Success is a conclusion, not a path, though. It’s not about how we get there, and most of the country has forgotten that. We need those third options that haven’t been tried. I swear, no one will care about how you do it, if you can make the government more effective for every dollar. You say you aren’t a party man, well then don’t look for solutions only on your side of the aisle. Yes, you will have to eat humble pie and compromise. That’s the whole purpose of a Representative Republic: to balance the needs of the many against the rights of the individual.

I have name-dropped great men of tremendous historical gravity with deliberate intent, sir. I will tell you, unflinchingly, that I do not find it fitting to mention your name next to theirs and that you will have to work tremendously hard to change that. That is a trap that you baited and set yourself, and no one but you can undo it. People’s opinions change with results, not with words. No matter what I, nor anyone, thinks about Donald Trump, President Trump is an institution. Yes, I could go protest, but as things go, historically, that’s only ever made things worse. I implore you, Mr. Trump: Look around you. This is the worst it’s ever been until it gets to the part that is hell-on-earth. Whether we like it or not, you are the man sitting in the chair. Whether you like it or not, we are the country that you work for…and whether we all get along or not, we are all arguing over who holds the lighter to check the level in the gas can.

Respectfully,

Mickey Finn    


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