Open Letter to Donald Trump…

Dear Mr. Trump,

Before I begin, let me provide a little context. I’m not a fan. Frankly, you lost me right after you got off the escalator in June of 2015. You really lost me when you referred to Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers.  Your actions since that time only serve to highlight your announcement speech on that June day as the high-point of your campaign.

You use music before and after your rallies to incite and inspire your crowds, which I will say are sometimes impressive in number. I have always found it curious that at the end of your rallies you play the Stone’s You Can’t Always Get What You Want. For a guy whose great claim to fame is branding, this is a curious way to brand your campaign. If I may, a small suggestion for the sake of properly and accurately branding your campaign; at the end of your rallies, why not play ACDC’s Highway to Hell?

Also, for the sake of disclosure, I wrote an open letter to Hillary asking her to have a press conference in order to, once and for all, answer the allegations made by you and others regarding her email servers and the family’s Foundation. Today, she has announced that, beginning Monday, she is going to make herself more available to the press and that she intended to hold a press conference soon.

I take no credit for this change of heart. Frankly, she didn’t read the letter – hell, I doubt if anyone did. All I claim is that I plugged into the zeitgeist associated with this issue, nothing more. Unlike you, my ego doesn’t need to take faux credit for a result that I had no part in achieving.

This reason I’m writing you is because, like Hillary, you might – through some cruel twist of fate, the cosmic practical joke as it were – become the next President of the United States. So like Hillary if she wins, if you win you will become my President. As a citizen, I have the right to communicate with my President, sharing suggestions or criticisms with the person who leads our nation in this changing and somewhat perilous time.

So let me begin by saying that you are without doubt, by far, the worst candidate for president in my lifetime.  Since tomorrow is my 68th birthday, that’s a considerable time frame. It isn’t that you haven’t studied real issues that impact real people, it’s that you trade in on your ignorance to gain the applause of those fearful folks who hear bluster and mistake it for leadership.

You get away with this approach, when nobody else could, because you’re a seemingly “successful businessman” worth “billions” of dollars. The former is subject to discussion and the latter is unproven. I won’t focus on the “successful businessman” part but I will state that you absolutely need to release your tax returns. We both know that the invocation of the audit as a reason not to release these returns is a dodge, pure and simple. But to be fair, I’ll concede that you don’t want to release the returns currently under review – those who hound you for the release don’t know why the IRS is auditing you, so you may have a very good reason not to disclose the initial filing.

But, that is no reason not to release the years of returns not under review. Failing to disclose those returns makes it look like you’re hiding something, either that you’ve made money in partnership with unsavory characters, of haven’t paid any tax in years, or – and this goes to branding – you’re not (gasp!) a billionaire. If you do not release these forms you will become the first nominee of a major political party, in modern political history, not to do so. You accuse Clinton of running from media scrutiny, so why not lead? Isn’t that what Presidents do? Or is hiding from public scrutiny is what passes for “unconventional” in the Trump campaign?

And while you’re at it, how about releasing real medical records? That letter, written in five minutes (to be fair, he did think about it all day) by your Gastroenterologist stated that since all your tests came out “positive” you would be the healthiest President in American history.  That letter is an insult to the body politic, exhibiting the cosmic disdain you have for the  process in which you have voluntarily engaged. And one question: why have you seen a Gastroenterologist each year for 35 years if there’s nothing wrong? Explain that and maybe I’d even consider voting for you.

Aside from your shameless self-promoting, your bully tactics when people can’t respond in kind, your slanderous representations and demonization of others’ characters, intellects and physical attributes, what bothers me most is your nearly total lack of anything akin to knowledge of public policy issues, even your signature issue of immigration reform. One contrasting example: when Rick Perry in 2012 couldn’t remember one of his signature positions, he at least had the decency and dignity to smirk and say “oops!”  When you don’t know something, you make stuff up and then double down when challenged. This is more surprising coming from someone who professes to have a “good brain.”

Let’s look at two issues from this week: your immigration gambit and your meeting Saturday in Detroit. Regarding the former, I think it’s safe to state that over the past ten days, you’ve been all over the park on this issue. Are you softening then hardening? Or are you doing the reverse hard to soft maneuver? You have been tumbling and twisting like an Olympic gymnast who can’t stick the landing.

Behind on points in this competition, you decide to go big or go home. Thus your trip to Mexico City to meet with Mexico’s President Peña Nieto to discuss problems common to both our countries, especially immigration. Don, this was your moment, the stuff dreams are made of. In the way that only fate can arrange, man and moment have met to stand tall and represent your supporters and your country as a whole. You, Donald J. Trump, blessed with implacable conviction and unshakable resolve had the opportunity to stand tall and strong.

And then you shrunk and got soft right before our eyes. How do I know that? Easy, I saw the statements given by both of you. The statements themselves were largely unremarkable; what was remarkable was your response to a question as you were getting ready to leave regarding any discussion of the “Wall.”  Your response was that you discussed the Wall, but not who was going to pay for it. WHAT?

So let’s review – you discussed the Wall with Mr. Neito but not who would pay for it. Then, almost immediately after you leave Nieto tweets (God I hate this) that he broached the issue at the beginning of you meeting and declared that Mexico would not pay for it. Then, a few hours later, safely back in Arizona, you stated that not only would the Wall be built, but that even though they don’t know it, Mexico would pay for it, 100 percent. Raucous applause ensued.

Now here’s my problem. If your version is to be believed, then you didn’t bring up paying for the Wall. Not exactly a profile in courage is it? But then, it’s on to the speech where you get all bold and boisterous. Then in an interview the next day you say that you wouldn’t have brought up the payment in the previous night’s speech if Neito hadn’t tweeted about the payment.

This is junior high school on steroids. I can almost accept ambiguity, I can even accept people changing their minds when new information is entered into the mix; what I can’t accept is someone who is gutless, especially when they present themselves as you do as a strong resolute “leader.”  You, sir, are gutless.

As for the afore mentioned speech, aside from taking credit within your 10 point policy for policy already on the books, you have dissembled on the number of deportees. On the kinder and gentler side, the side that courts white suburban women, you talk about your efforts to be humane and to look at those who are left after the first round of deportations, and decide what to do with them. On the tough Arizona white guy side of you, you talk about immediately, on your first hour as President, getting rid of gang members, criminals, and people taking public benefits like food stamps. You also raised the specter of doing something with those “illegals” who work in low wage jobs, taking those jobs away from American citizens.

I’m not a big math guy, but using your math, if you deport everyone you say you will, there won’t be a lot of people left to be humane towards. Put another way, if your math is right, then there are 11 million illegal aliens in the United States. Assume now that there are 4.4 million households that comprise your total. Assume your stat of 62% of these households receive some form of public benefits, then members of 2.728 million households will be deported, leaving 1.672 million households. Assume these households comprise 5.183,000 people left. Now from that number, subtract 2 million gang members and that comes to 3,183,000 left and we haven’t even adjusted for the “criminals” and low wage laborers in our midst. In other words, there aren’t a whole lot of folks left for you to be humane toward.

Your “policy” is a joke. The blame for this placed on President Obama is not for him alone – in order to do what you ask, Congress has to appropriate the funds, something you may one day find out. How Clinton gets blamed is beyond me as ICE is connected with Homeland Security, not the Department of State.

Saturday you will wade into the waters of inner-city race relations. Another staged event, complete with pre-screened questions and scripted responses. That’s a lot of lines to memorize, are you sure you’re up to it? Evidently, the media is excluded from this meeting thus limiting scrutiny. Once again, substance and seriousness takes a back seat to the performance art of your campaign.

I want to think you’re better than this. I know America is better than this and deserves more than you’ve given over the past nearly 15 months. You owe it to people to do better, to be better. But I think you’re in way over your head. I dare you to prove me wrong.

Respectfully,

Geoff Schoos

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