A Letter to my Anti-Trump Friends

Dear Friend,

There is no getting around it. This is going to be a rough (at least) four years. Odds are, you are a liberal who supported Hillary Clinton, but even a dyed-in-the-wool conservative like me appreciates the danger Trump is to our Republic. (I’ve written a bit about it.) He is a buffoon, he is arrogant, he definitely has authoritarian impulses, he traffics in anti-Semitic rhetoric, he conspired to bar black people from renting his apartments, he has abused eminent domain to take advantage of poor people, he has used incredibly sexist language, and he is a serial philanderer.

This is all absolutely true, and it should chill us all that such a grossly incompetent and immoral man now serves as our president.

But please — and I ask this as a fellow Donald Trump hater — let’s not go crazy when Trump does something that any other Republican would do.

Believe it or not, Donald Trump will do a few things that are not evil. He will (probably) do some things that are in fact good. And he will do many things you disagree with. But when he does something — like, for example, issuing executive orders “to seek the prompt repeal” of Obamacare and barring NGOs that perform or promote abortions from receiving federal funding — that Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, John Kasich, Jeb Bush, or Jim Gilmore would have done, let us not succumb to the cycle of outrage. Let us not even allow ourselves to be moved by his constant lying. Yes, of course he is lying about the size of his inauguration crowd. He lies about everything, from the size of his buildings to the size of his hands.

Let us reserve our umbrage for the truly dangerous aspects of Herr Trump and his administration — like his advocacy for torture, his continuation of the Obama administration’s policy of using drones to indiscriminately bomb brown people (without constitutional warrant, I would add), his likely abuse of executive orders and the imperial presidency in general, which has certainly not been limited to him, the Scylla of the Nixonian cast of his character, and the Charybdis of corruption that will swirl around his administration throughout its term.

Not even to mention the surely perceptible chances of nuclear war.

A Trump presidency poses many dangers to us. Betsy DeVos is not one of them.

(None of this is to minimize the threat Trump and his acolytes pose to many in our society, like the illegal immigrants among us (the majority of whom are really good people who are either here because they want a better life, or because they were brought here as children), or persecuted refugees. It is only to say that we will lose our minds if we get upset over every single thing Trump does. Or, we might start sounding like this guy, who imagines every poor white person he sees might be an anti-Semitic Trump supporter.)

When Trump starts to act like the authoritarian that we think he could be, then let’s do all that we can to stop him. In the meantime, let’s at least enjoy this farce. After all, how often do we get to see pure fiction come to life?

How often do we have a president so arrogant and shameless that, when asked about who his heroes are, talks about himself?

So when Trump goes all Willie Stark on us, let’s oppose him. Until then, let’s just laugh together at the fact that he can’t even spell honor.

All the best,

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