Shortly after #45 was inaugurated, I woke up in the middle of the night from a horrible nightmare. International relations had deteriorated, and nuclear weapons had been used. In my dream I was an invincible superhero, witnessing the aftermath, powerless to do anything but soak in the sadness and horror of the situation.
When I woke up, I tried to calm myself down. I tried to enumerate the many reasons why humanity now knows better. I tried to think through some of the global treaties and protections that might prevent this kind of melt down. But in the Trump era, I found it much harder than usual to calm myself down. Many of the assurances I’d been able to give myself about Obama weren’t true anymore. Trump was sparring with Iran, and seemed treacherously underprepared to maneuver diplomatically with China, not to mention North Korea. The more I thought about it, the less calm I became. Finally I quit trying to go back to sleep, and instead wrote a letter to President Trump.
I posted photos of the letter, above. In contrast to some of the sassier correspondence options I’ve put on this blog, the letter was pretty somber. It explains my dream, and implores Trump to take more care with his foreign policy. If I’m being honest with myself, a letter in this spirit of seriousness is a fairer reflection of how I feel about the situation than the ‘pink slip’ postcards I’ve distributed for the #IdesOfTrump. Much as I would like to get rid of him, a clear-eyed appraisal of the situation suggests that it would be better right now if he could rise to the occasion (at the very least) of maintaining international peace and diplomacy.
The article the New York Times published on Saturday about the failure of covert US cyber-attacks to slow North Korea’s progress toward long-distance nuclear warheads was terrifying. I had to read through the comments on the article as a therapy session, hoping that someone out there had some good ideas that might make the situation sound less perilous than was given in the article. And there were some ideas out there, mostly involving taking US warheads out of South Korea, thereby giving the Chinese a sense of security that would incentivize them to undermine the Chinese government.
The prevailing sense one is left is that we’re walking a razor edge. Making fun of Donald Trump’s combover just doesn’t seem constructive under the circumstances. As annoying as it is that this man got elected without solid policy ideas (and that it was potentially because of the complexity of her ideas that Hillary failed), it just isn’t going to help us to keep harping on that point. At this point, we need to take his improvement seriously. Where there appears to be rationality (i.e., Ivanka and Tillerson arguing that we can’t go back on our Paris Climate Agreement), we should offer resounding, positive feedback. Good job, guys! On topics where rationality is sorely lacking (tweeting on international affairs), we need to underline the seriousness of the situation, and ask that he rise to the occasion by hiring some expertise.
So here are my ‘appeal to reason’ postcards for #45. Print and share, send something meaningful for the #IdesofTrump.