Beyond smoke and mirrors, Mr. President

See Disclaimer. This article is part of the ‘Letters to an unfit president‘ series.

Mr. President:

When I look through the smoke and mirrors that surround you, I don’t see a powerful man. I rather see you as lonely, insecure and frightened. A man whose childhood lacked warmth and love, and who is still trying to emulate a cold, ruthless, and unprincipled father.

I am sincerely sorry for you. For what you missed as a child, and are missing as an adult. But I am even more sorry for our fellow Americans, our country, and the Earth we all share. That sorrow comes from realizing the deep negative impact you have had on all of us, in a little less than four years of disastrous government.  

The sad irony is, I suspect that you feel trapped in a position that you got elected to by a fluke. A position that you are clearly unqualified for, and that you obviously don’t enjoy outside campaign rallies. A position that you are so desperately trying to hold on to, for reasons that perhaps not even you understand. Yes, there is the ego. And, perhaps most importantly, there is the temporary immunity from prosecution for past misdeeds. Also, I assume that the adulation from your base—as much as you may loath many of them—must feel comforting. But none of these is really a good enough reason, is it?

Fortunately, we live in a democratic republic. And not even you can change that. You will have to step down, willingly or not, either this coming January or four years hence. I will thus do both of us a favor, and join tens of millions of Americans to elect Joe Biden by a landslide, already this November.

If you reflect on it, you too may want to join us. After all, COVID-19 will still be a problem in January. Climate change will still require solutions. Social unrest over equity issues will not go away. And you and I know that you don’t have solutions for any of these problems—much to the contrary, you aggravated every single one of them. Of course, you also have been spending federal money hands over fists, without much to show for it. The tab will come due, and you do not have the vaguest idea how to solve it.

Do you really want to stick around for all of this? Better hand the helm to Joe Biden, who has the experience, common sense, collaborative spirit, honesty, and empathy that we need from a President.

All things considered, It is time for me to stop writing to you, at least so often. You are the troubled past, not the much needed hopeful future. Between now and election day, I will instead be writing to our next President. Because I want Mr. Biden to know that when I vote for him, it will not just be a vote against you.

I will be truly proud to cast my vote for Joe. I am an independent, and Mr. Biden is neither perfect, nor perfectly aligned with my political preferences. But I can see how good he will be for our country. Because, unlike you, he is a patriot, a dedicated public servant, a decent man, a consensus builder—and the leader Americans can trust to work to unify us, and to protect and further advance our democracy.

— Antonio Baptista

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