To Dad, In America

Potton, Bedfordshire


Sept 23, 2020

Dear Father:

I presume if you are reading this that this letter has reached you safely. Here ’tis about as you would expect. The miasma has spread increasingly about here too and the first minister issued a pronouncement yesterday that major sacrifices must be accepted, such as the closing of all public houses and places of dining by 10 o’clock in the evenings rather than 11. Falsehoods too about the mysterious illness are gaining increasing currency and that is what we might expect from those who merely seek to create mischief without regards to the health of their fellow man. I know that there remain many unanswered questions about this which appears to have descended upon us from distant Cathay. I pray that it is subsiding where you are in New York.

I fear greatly though any effective moves between now and November given the incompetent and money mad man who has been tasked inexplicably with piloting as president our country, when he is hardly capable of piloting himself down a ramp; yet ’tis unfair of me to note that given I know physical prowess is uncalled for in a president as we recall one who could not walk at all on his own. Far more important that he seems intellectually unable, including unable not to mangle a sentence, and possesses a vocabulary so limited as ’tis said by those who have heard him of how embarrassing it is to listen to him speak.

What manner of man is he really? I admit after four years, I still know not. General Washington not only survived in the field against the enemy for eight years and led us to victory. He loved to dance and to ride to the hounds in his youth. Although lacking a liberal education he read much. President Adams was a man well-traveled and as well-read as any man ever and competent in Greek and Latin, and who much enjoyed repairing of his small farm’s stone walls with his own hands. President Jefferson, despite his shortcomings, such as his visionary obsession with democracy that leads also to the guillotine for the innocent, especially ladies, had voiced of his disdain for gambling and dissipation, and was also well-traveled and educated in Greek, Latin, and modern languages and much enjoyed even Italian. He was by accounts also a voracious reader; a visitor to his Virginia home revealed to me that he saw him once entirely alone in his study, sitting on the floor, books and assorted papers scattered on the floor all around him, and he reading one book so intently it was almost impossible to seize his attention. He was said also to walk miles each day on his mountain and to invent all manner of small household mechanical improvements. Compared to such men of what might we say of the current president? We know of his repeated claims to a large inherited fortune, yet he is quite hesitant to show us receipts of paid tax on its supposed great value. We know also of two marriages previously, with his now third being with one from the lands of the Slovenes. It is said by many that he reads but little. He is not much traveled other than to his properties. We are told that he partakes much in the game of golf. He enjoys also dining at a group of taverns known as McDonald’s. It is said he imbibes no alcohol, but I know not if that is a positive; it might be better to enjoy now and then a glass a wine than what he is said to prefer which is a decidedly unhealthy substitute he drinks in excessive amounts called Diet Coke. He spends much time he has himself said reviewing also a source said by some to be news and named Fox. Despite his advancing age and terrible eating other than the golf – which is really just a stroll – he takes no vigorous exercise. Might he not at least consider ownership of a dog?

Hopefully this letter reaches you before the presidential voting of Nov the 3rd. It is said that Mr. Biden of Pennsylvania and of Delaware stands an excellent chance of unseating that current president. I must admit that I have grown weary of this president and I think he rightly ought to be retired by voters. He has had four years in the office in which to prove himself and yet has truly accomplished little. I have read he was present at a peace signing between Hebrews and some Mohammedans of late, but most other Mohammedans remain much opposed to the treaty. Other than that, I can think of no other reason to support him, and that one is not a reason enough to do so. There is too much else about him wholly to discredit him in the office, including his constant changing of his advisers and members of his cabinet, for he appears to take no heed of advice that does not support what he wishes to do, a position utterly wrong for a president. He appears to rely mostly instead on his close family, especially his eldest daughter and her husband. I have no quarrel with trusting family, but family cannot be dismissed from their roles for incompetency as readily as the appointed who are not family. And we know too of his only niece’s adamant opposition to him, having as you know published that book of late that declares him entirely unfit to lead our country.

What do the English think of him you wonder? Most here I suspect believe we ought to return to their empire as this is obviously the absurd route that independence has led us. I cannot argue at times with such a view. However some few appear also actually to respect our current president because they hold to much the same views as he. Although I do not think they understand that there is no logic to his views as he appears to know very little about matters a statesman by necessity ought. A cad and a bounder are two words I think best applied to him. As for the French, they appear utterly baffled by the entire matter of he being placed in office as a successor to President Washington when he had never held any public station previously, which again I cannot dispute given I do not understand why so many American voters believed him fit for the role we created with General Washington in mind. He is most decidedly of not anywhere near the General’s quality in experience on the battlefield – of which he has none, and worse say numerous people who have been close to him that privately he holds those who serve in some contempt because soldiery does not make one as rich as he – nor possesses as the General did at least the happy ability to keep to employing as few words as possible because he so loves the Twitter. As the office is also half meant to be the chief representative of our country to others overseas in the manner of an elected king, I wish the holder to be a man of some honor and integrity of which I firmly believe he possesses none.

As you gather I hope for Mr. Biden’s victory. With him in the office I anticipate a calmer presidential demeanor and more competence and a willingness to listen to advisers. He is a man much experienced, who has suffered as you recall the great loss of his first wife and daughter years ago and it is said such has resulted in him possessing much empathy and he does not consider those with whom he merely disagrees as losers and suckers in the manner of the current officeholder. He did about as well as a vice president for eight years as we might expect a vice president to do. We shall have it appears with him as president a lady of color as vice president and I think too that is a good and necessary accomplishment at long last.

However, if the electorate chooses to return that impeached man currently in office to the Executive Mansion for a second term – thus he will be the first president impeached to be elected once more – I believe that we ought respect such. But that does not mean we shall cease to criticize him heavily when he deserves such or that we will not always look to prevent or at least delay and frustrate by whatever constitutional and moral means the implementation of his stupid and hateful undertakings. A president is never an absolute king or a tyrant and should always be controlled by law and that is above all an accomplishment of which we as Americans ought to be most proud and to do our best to see preserved even after his disgraceful period in General Washington’s office is finally passed.

Your daughter-in-law sends you her best as well. She says she intends to vote too for Mr. Biden, which being English born but now as you know American too and perhaps more American even than we in some ways, that choice pleases me as she arrives entirely at her own decisions.

I am I admit much at times feeling depressed as I have no idea when we shall return to America. Maybe never? True, I doubt that latter; but one never knows either. Yet our situation is not nearly as bad as that of so many others, I know, so I simply take heart in that knowledge and we go on each day. It is unsaid here that I hope you are in good health. I hope also that my sister is still among the living.

Your Most Obedient Son,



[UPDATE: I just realized I may assume there too much. If you merely dropped in here due to a search engine or some link and have no idea who I am or what I write, so you know I wrote that above deliberately in the style of a letter composed in about “1800.” 😉 Much as in my two most recent novels.]