Dear President Trump,
This might be difficult for you to imagine. As you putt around on your golf courses. As people in your administration rampantly abuse taxpayer dollars for unnecessarily lavish trips. As you play a real life game of Risk with one of the world’s most troublesome and unpredictable dictators.
Nevertheless, try to fathom a life in which everything has been stripped from you. Not just the luxuries. Your home, a means of transport, clean clothes. Compound that further. You have no electricity and limited means of communication. It is near impossible for you to contact your family and loved ones. And making these already dire circumstances more unbearable is the fact that you are also running dangerously low on the basic necessities for human survival: food and potable water.
And there is no end in sight.
Your government is refusing an extended waive of a preposterously antiquated act that is essential to your immediate survival and long-term recovery. While making a weak attempt to acknowledge your suffering, your president decides to highlight your outstanding debts. Never mind that even your lenders have understood the gravity of your situation and are offering to come to your assistance. And in a most disgraceful showcasing of common decency and humanity, that same commander-in-chief pours a bucket of salt into your wounds by lambasting you for not sufficiently coming to your own aid. For not doing enough to help yourself.
Mr. President, if you even had any stamina left after weeks of subsisting on limited provisions, without a roof over your head, wondering about the whereabouts and security of your family and friends, hoping every day for some respite or at least a sign of better days ahead, how would you respond to this callous attack? One might imagine what the people living this nightmare have to say. And one can be confident of what any person with even an inkling of compassion, humility, or sense of responsibility, has to say. How dare you!
How dare you criticize 3 million people left with nothing for not banding together to lift themselves up from ruin. How dare you suggest that these American citizens are not capable of community effort – the very ones who used their private ships to provide relief and transport to the citizens of islands devastated by Hurricane Irma. How dare you try to pin a plea by an American government official in the throes of a catastrophic humanitarian crisis on a political maneuver by your opponents.
For once, try to imagine how the man of the people you claimed to be might behave when faced with disaster. For once, try to exhibit a smidgeon of humility and turn some well-deserved criticism into something positive. For once, stop pointing a finger at everyone but yourself.
You are the president. You undertook an oath to represent the interests of all Americans. You wanted so desperately to be in charge. So take charge. And stop expecting a nation full of desperate, homeless, hungry people to start rebuilding their infrastructure, their communications systems, their electricity grid, their homes, their lives… with nothing but their bare hands, community spirit, and a prayer.
You have it in your power to reverse the course that this tragedy is taking. Put aside your deflective armor and listen to the requests and criticisms of first hand witnesses with an open mind rather than defensive sparring tactics. There is still time to turn this situation around. However, every single moment you waste evading your duty and your pledge to lead, is an egregious injustice to the very Americans you vowed to protect.
Originally posted on Medium
Photo Credit: Getty Images