I had really hoped we could be friends. I’m not sure this will happen.
Dear Man Who Grows Amazing Produce and Plants and Sells Them on the Honor System,
We’ve met a few times. Well, two times, to be exact. The first was when I bought tomatoes from you. We chatted about flavors and what we like to do with them, shared salsa recipes and how we cook our fried green tomatoes, you weighed the bags and charged me and then threw in a few more. I never did get your name, but since I drove by every day, I figured I’d see you again. You also told me about the honor jar and said if I came and no one was there, take what I wanted, weight it, and pay, and if the scale wasn’t out, make a guess and put the money in. I visited the honor jar another half dozen times.
The second time, I came by hoping that you’d help me identify the giant green leaves that were taking over my garden. You had tomato and squash plants out and identified that differences between this and that and then offered to show me your greenhouses. You introduced me to your pet chicken and I held her while you ran back up to the road to escort the Canadian geese across it and glare at the cars who honked impatiently while the dozen or so birds waddled across. You came back cussing at how you had to escort them three times a day. You loved the geese, but hated how people were so impatient that they honked or revved to tried to drive around the geese. I agreed. I love that throughout our area, at all sorts of random times, you can be made late by one or two or a two dozen geese taking their time, crossing the road. And I loved that this man dropped whatever he was doing to make sure they were safe. I went home that day with more tomato plants than I expected and lots of squash plant scraps. I hoped to get back and visit again, but he kind of disappeared, and his winter harvest for sale was meager.
In my mind, I saw the beginning of a friendship. I am expanding my compost garden this year, and had hoped to find in him a brain to pick, mentor, someone to share gardening victory with, someone who could appreciate a squash that looked like a spaghetti and tasted like a pumpkin.
And then the Trump signs started blooming.
First there was one small one. Then two. Then one larger one. Then one BIG one. And two smaller ones joined it. And two more. And another.
Yours were the first I saw. And it was the first time that I was faced with having to decide what to do when people I like are not only supporting someone I find despicable, but someone who says and does things that would have, not too long ago, gotten him banished from polite society. Someone who, should he be elected leader of our country, will try to make this a place that will hurt people like me, people who I care about, and even more tragically, the very people who are working to get him elected. Like you.
If you are supporting Trump, sir, you are saying that you agree with discrimination; racial, ethnic, and religious profiling; a potential leader who doesn’t care about hurting people or the consequences of his actions, now or in the future; a person who doesn’t care to educate themselves on facts, history, or the people around them; a man who uses taunts and insults to try to gain support and counts on the willful ignorance and blind devotion of his followers to keep them following him; a man who, lacking anything of substance to say, finds a handful of words and repeats them until the listener forgets the question…he hopes. You are supporting the playground bully, the guy who picks fights for the sake of getting in a fight, the person who proves that the line our parents gave us about, “If you confront a bully, they will back down,” is total bullsh*t.
When you put those Trump signs up, you gave your neighbors and customers a glimpse into the kind of person you are. You might say that you support or like his ideas or policies on this but not that, but make no mistake…this is not a man with some ideas that might be softened or that exist is an ethical gray area. If you vote for his economic policies, you are voting for his plans to exclude and marginalize. If you vote for his tax reforms, you are voting for his civil rights rollbacks for LGBT people and immigrants of any status. If you vote for his “tell is like it is”, aka “he says what I’m afraid to say” speech, you are voting for rhetoric that will at best lose support from international allies and at worst make us more vulnerable to our enemies. If you dislike President Obama’s executive orders, what do you think will happen if President Trump does not get his way? Consider his behavior thus far, when he still has something to lose.
Maybe you have thought all of these things through, Garden Guy (and the other Trump supporters coming out of the woodwork of my life). Maybe you really think that a Trump America will be a good place for YOU to live in. That it will hurt people around you, possibly even your business if enough people decide that they can’t support a Trump supporter, apparently doesn’t matter. That it might hurt you, if programs that you depend upon disappear or aid that you receive is cut, apparently is not important.
Your decision. You are free to support who you want, as am I.
But we all make choices, and we all face consequences.
I hope that your choice, to support that Man Who Would Be King, does not come back to hurt you, disabled veteran, gardener, honor jar business man, and protector of geese.