An Open Letter To President-Elect Trump

Dear President-Elect Trump,

The election is over, and, because the founders of our nation were fearful of direct democratic power in the hands of the populace, despite a majority of voters having voted for Secretary Clinton, you will be the next President of the United States. A job you never even wanted.  Ironic.

But Mr. President-elect, this is a job. A real job. With real responsibilities. And now you will have real work to do.

Most of the people in this nation didn’t want you to be our President. So you area already starting out in a nation deeply divided. People are scared. You could, as fascists before you have done, play on that fear, and continue to divide and cower the nation for the next four years. You could destroy the economy, entangle us in wars, and make this country, and the world a more dangerous place.  But I don’t think that would be of any benefit to you. You would go down in history as the worst President ever, if not the last President ever, in the history of the United States.

Alternatively, you could rise to the occasion and the office. You could recognize that you now have responsibility to everyone in this country. We do not serve you — you now will serve us. All of us. Not just the rich, but the poor. Not just whites, but blacks, latinos, Asians, and everyone else.  Not just Christians, but Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, atheists, and those of every other faith.  Not just straight married people, but lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, married or single. Not just cis-gendered people, but transgendered people.  All of us. Everyone.

Your wife has said she wants to campaign against cyber-bullying.  You have been the biggest cyber-bully of them all.  You will have to lead by example.  The name-calling will have to stop.

Mr. President-elect, people are scared.  If that’s what you wanted, well, you’ve got it.  But how much more would we be able to accomplish if we weren’t frightened of each other and instead worked together?  The ball is in your court.

That’s my mite.  It’s all I’ve got.

Sincerely,

The Mite-y Widow

Living in the Wall

Rahab was a prostitute who lived in the wall Jericho. She literally lived in the margin. She hid Joshua’s spies and helped them escape, thereby helping Joshua to capture Jericho (Joshua 2).  For this, she and her family were spared, and she was honored in Israel’s memory. Rahab is even one of only four women named in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1.  But Rahab couldn’t have been much of a hero to the citizens of Jericho. After all, she betrayed them to the Israelites.

What could have made Rahab turn against her own people? What can make anyone turn against their own society? Well, Rahab lived in the wall. Rahab was marginalized. She was in the most vulnerable place – in the wall – in her society. Rahab chose to do something for herself – she had no allegiance to her own people. She sold them out to the Israelites, and really, who can blame her?

Whom are we marginalizing in our own society? It seems that we are living in a time of increased political polarization.  Donald Trump has been pandering to the fears of white people who are feeling a loss of power. While these are not the truly marginalized, we ignore them at our peril. These are people fighting to keep the status quo. They fear the empowerment of the currently marginalized.

But Trump’s tactics have been to pour gasoline on the fire. He’s been advocating divisiveness and hate, and has recently demonstrated that he’s willing to sell out our own government to foreign powers.

Trump and his supporters have engaged in racist and anti-Muslim rhetoric and actions.  He’s mocked the Black Lives Matter movement.  Trump and his supporters are actively working to squeeze people into the wall. They’re working to make sure that people remain in the margins.

What will become of us if we continue to push people to the margins? God has shown once before that God did not stand with the people of Jericho. We are becoming Jericho. And the more voice we give to Trump and his fascist supporters, the we will push the marginalized to welcome Joshua’s spies.

Where do you want to be when the walls come down?

That’s my mite. That’s all I’ve got.