Confidential Email (Again) To A Friend

Dear “Robespierre,”

I decided to put the writing aside for a little while and vent to you. We all need a vent now and then. Yeh, hello from Bedfordshire…

[Potton, Bedfordshire. Photo by me, 2019.]

I thought I’d write back after your last missive, because I have to ask: Are you kidding? You must have been drunk. Or have they put something in the water in Vermont? Revolutions are not afterschool activities. You know who I am voting for by now. God, I was (broadly) “officially” a Republican – a RINO in fascists‘ Trumpists’ eyes, I suppose. Was. Now it is basically a party of mini-Trumpettes who worship their Dear Leader. Like I’ve told you, there ceased to be a Republican party the moment Dear (future) Leader in 2016 called Ted Cruz’s wife “ugly.” In an earlier era, those were dueling words. If the next time Cruz had seen him he had walked up to him and punched him in the face, Cruz might today be President of the United States – a REAL Texan doesn’t put up with his wife being insulted publicly like that. But craven Cruz rolled over to the bully and now faithfully parrots the Trumpism that is wrecking the executive branch. Remember the presidency was created with George Washington in mind: chief administrator AND chief of state – the officeholder should behave with dignity, decorum, and self-restraint, and aim to be national unifier. Let’s be honest: this incompetent immoral coarse loudmouth thug? Oh, please.

I know you already vote practically communist and think that reeducation needs to be forced upon our “J. K. Rowlings” and that Gus Hall Bernie would have saved the country, but this isn’t 1794 and it isn’t France. The street protests and vandalizing and knocking over monuments and yelling at long-dead people (who obviously cannot answer) must stop too because we need to give the Democrats breathing space to be able to WIN this presidential election. It may be the most important election we have had since 1932. Dear Leader WANTS mobs in the streets and violence (regardless of who started it, cops or protesters) because he will ALWAYS blame protesters who don’t back him; in protesting now they are playing right into his little hands. The vandalizing of the Columbus statue in Chicago’s Little Italy, for example, comes dangerously close to being possibly perceived as an attack on Italian-Americans, and don’t think Dear Leader won’t try to spin that sort of thing that way to try to get their votes.

Sometimes the most REVOLUTIONARY thing to do is to STAY HOME and then make sure you VOTE in November. If we do, we may in January be rewarded with the reassuring and much needed sight of a new president who will return normal functioning to the executive. We have now learned at a terrible cost what it means to give the job to an authoritarian narcissist many times bankrupt dodgy casino owner whose main life goal had been to make himself money and get his name on buildings and screw others and had never been so much as a small town postmaster. His successor will not be perfect of course, but he will have been a vice president, will NOT be incompetent (he knows what a president is supposed to do all day, and it doesn’t include tweeting at 4 AM), and will NOT be pushing a daily whim based on what he awoke to and saw offered by suck-ups on Twitter angling for his approval and nitwits on Fox News who know he is watching.

[Above George and Martha Washington’s tombs. Mount Vernon. Photo by me, 2011.]

Dear Leader, who managed to disillusion even John Bolton (who is usually to the right of Attila the Hun, as they say), does not need just to be beaten at the polls; he needs to be TROUNCED so there is NO DOUBT that he has been shown the door and he cannot try seriously to claim the election was stolen. Given we have a virtual depression now and a raging pandemic AND he got 3 million votes FEWER than Clinton in 2016 and now has to DEFEND his revolting record as president, it is hard to see how he wins. I can’t imagine a single person who voted for HER who would now vote for HIM; but I do believe the opposite is possible, that Dear Leader loses votes to the Democrats as his bunch did in congressional races in 2018.

But if he somehow manages to win re-election, we try to cope for four more years because that is all we can do. This is now the Democrats’ election to lose. Frankly if they can’t beat this guy, they should fold up the Democratic party and we should start again with an entirely new one. The biggest unpredictability is probably Dear Leader’s “law and order” stance: if Democrats become seen as the party of rioting, they may have a big problem as many Americans tend not to vote for a party perceived as condoning “social turmoil.” (Ask “presidents” Humphrey and McGovern.)

The presumptive Democratic nominee also has a habit of saying dopey things, yes, but they are not vicious or hateful. We can live with him babbling technically incorrectly about the likes of Dear Leader being the “first racist” presidential candidate we have ever had. I know what he means and it is not that Thomas Jefferson or Andrew Jackson were not racists or in the 1960s and 1970s that George Wallace wasn’t. Rather he meant that Dear Leader is the first president in recent memory who does not even try to hide how racist he is. In fact, read Jefferson’s presidential inaugurals: having been in Europe from 1784-89 clearly broadened his personal outlook (as did likely his long-time affair by then with the enslaved woman who was also probably his dead wife’s half-sister) to the point that once he became president in 1801 even he sought to try to reconcile being a slaveowner with finding a way at least to appear to non-slaveowners as a thoughtful and forward-looking individual… because slavery, he was sure, was not going to last. In contrast, two centuries later Dear Leader has evidently never had an introspective thought or a moment of troubled conscience in his life and does not even TRY to act like a national father figure.

Moving over to this side of the Atlantic. This next probably made barely a ripple in the US. However, here in the UK we have had this dragging on for ages now:

This sort of unnecessary trouble between friends and allies makes me nuts. An American who was apparently in the CIA and who is apparently the wife of a CIA officer was driving on the wrong side of the road last year outside a US base and hit and killed a 19 year old motorcyclist. She apparently later claimed “diplomatic immunity” and hurried back to the US. Naturally the dead lad’s family and many British are understandably angry that the US now won’t turn her over to face dangerous driving charges. Apparently they don’t teach at secret agent school that here they drive on the left:

[Here, they drive on the left. Photo by me, entering Wales as a front seat passenger, 2019.]

This awful case has been a sad example of why diplomatic immunity should lead states to make sure an “immune” person never drives and always has a non-immune local chauffeur. She should not have been driving if she was unwilling to face the consequences of an accident. Nor should the US have allowed her to drive if she was “immune.” Immunity is meant to protect diplomats from political intimidation, not shield them from their stupid driving behavior. Putting the UK government in the position of having to explain this to an angry and distraught family is on us. If we aren’t going to send her back here, we had better find a way to make it up to the UK. Imagine our reaction as Americans if a UK “diplomat” did that in the US and fled?

What else? I worry some about my father and don’t know when I’ll get to the US again. There are lots of growing family pressures here currently too. This ugly pandemic and all the isolation and all the rest makes us at times grumpy and wishing we could find some escape. I bother you with emails like this more than I did because I used to write emails and messages like this to my uncle and I so miss doing that.

Oh, and speaking of escape, the biggest news of all in recent days? You must have heard?:

I own not a single one of Taylor Swift’s records and never have. I don’t know if I should be proud of that or not. I would not want to get her fans offside.

[Photo by me, July 23, 2020. Text Copyright Me.]

As for my new manuscript, I won’t be surprise “dropping” it anytime soon. I can’t get motivated of late to write more. I decided to take a break for a few weeks and then come back to it. That is how it always is. I look back on the previous one and think, “I don’t know if I can top this so why am I bothering and maybe I will die before I finish this next one anyway…” and then feel depressed. Then I realize it is a book and not the end of everything and that we as writers sometimes have to stop taking all of this so damn seriously.

Anyway, I am babbling too and should probably stop. As for you, put away the mini-guillotine, put on your mask, and get out and go for a walk. The fresh air may help with the perpetual hangover too.

Your Comrade,

P.S. My goodness, I just heard that Dear Leader said yesterday that he has second thoughts now and then about what he occasionally tweets? Wow! A singular moment of reflection!


R. J. Nello View All →

Author: “Tomorrow The Grace,” “Conventions: The Garden At Paris,” “Passports,” “Frontiers,” and “Distances.” British Airways frequent flier. Lover of the Catskill Mountains…and the 1700s.

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