See Disclaimer. This article is part of the ‘Letters to an unfit president‘ series.
I am an independent voter. I did not vote for you in 2016. But, as you were democratically elected, I gave you the benefit of the doubt—until I no longer could. In early 2018, I explained to my Republican congressman why I felt compelled to vote Democrat in 2018 and 2020.
That was the first of many articles offering my views on your failed presidency. Why failed? Because, on January 20, 2017, you became the most powerful person in the world. Your mission was to serve while leading. Instead, your attempts at expanding and prolonging your personal power have consistently and systematically diminished the US presidency, damaged our country and threatened global sustainability.
Your shameful abuse of the location, power and resources of your office for political purposes, during the Republican National Convention, now prompts me to address you directly.
My message is clear, Mr. President: Please resign.
As your wife said in her Convention speech, “Total honesty is what we as citizens deserve from our president.” That alone disqualifies you as US President. But, alas, there is far more.
Your resignation would save lives, now and for generations to come. Lives that matter, each one of them. Lives that are being taken away by a pandemic that you mishandled, by social and racial injustice that you aggravated, and by an economy that you failed to protect. Lives that will also be lost in decades to come, should your callous disregard for climate change and sustainability not be urgently reversed.
Your resignation might also prevent a catastrophic meltdown of our democracy. A meltdown that could follow from your resisting recognition of a November defeat. Or, alternatively, could result from your frontal assault on our basic freedoms, should you be re-elected.
Even your supporters—including the Republican leadership—must recognize, deep inside, the absurdity of your presidency and the dangers of an eventual re-election. It is mind boggling that so many have for so long overlooked your ineptitude, lax ethics, and proclivity to lie, deflect and obfuscate. But their self-interest, pet issues, fringe thinking, or naiveté, do not equate to respect—and will prove ephemeral.
Your presidency would be laughable, if it was not so tragic. That is exactly how history will remember you. As a grandfather, I pity you for how your grandkids, and theirs, will ultimately remember you. As an American, though, I cannot be silent.
You are jeopardizing our democracy, to serve your interests. You are sacrificing American lives, both by ignoring science and to serve your agenda. You are willing to destroy the fabric of what we are—from principles to institutions—for the sake of ego, power and profit. You are a threat to our national security. You brought international ridicule to a country that was—not long ago, and however imperfectly—a global and positive role model.
It is time that you face reality: You are not the President the US needs. This job, so critical for the country and humanity, is truly and tragically above your capacities. You lack the knowledge, critical thinking, principles and empathy. Even if you wanted to, you would not know how to repair the damage you have done.
Resignation is the only dignified choice you have left. It might also be your best legal shield, past January 2021—if you can negotiate a pardon on your way out.
Whether for dignity or self-interest, Mr. President, please do step aside. Let this country have a critically needed mature conversation about its future. A conversation that you have neither the interest nor the ability to lead—and that you have precluded for way too long.
With profound sorrow,
— Antonio Baptista