Dear Government Goons of Trump –
Forgive me for not being more specific in addressing you, but when you showed up to peaceful protests in Portland last month without identification and ready to bash heads and teargas people, “goon” is the kindest word I can think of to describe you.
Can we talk about your behavior the last few years?
Supposedly, you goons are from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which also heads up U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), but who knows for sure, what with your full-face helmets, military gear, and lack of insignia or name tags as you denied peaceful protesters their Constitutional rights.
It’s not a good look on you.
Nor is your continued abuse of immigrants at the southern U.S. border … your separation of families, including young children from their parents, and your keeping people, including children, in cages under inhumane conditions.
What are you thinking?
Imagine your mom, dad, or favorite teacher asking you that question. If my adult children were engaged in such destructive behaviors, you can damn well bet they’d be hearing about it from me.
Oh, I get it. You’re just following orders, from the “Commander in Chief,” no less. Here’s the thing. Though you are being allowed to live out your fantasies of playing commando, most of you are not actually in the military, where each service member has to take an oath to uphold the Constitution. While the military oath says that soldiers and sailors will follow the orders of the President, the oath gives the Constitution primacy over the President’s orders. It’s why military leaders were not happy with the appearance of you goons in Portland. You’re not following military protocol and haven’t taken an oath to uphold the Constitution. Your actions in Portland prove that you are not defenders of the Constitution.
While you may enjoy your anonymity in carrying out Trump’s unconstitutional demands, perhaps feeling that if no one can identify you, you aren’t responsible for your actions, I want you to consider the following:
By having you appear without identification, Trump has stripped you of your humanity. You are only useful to him so long as you follow his whims, tantrums, and orders.
In case you haven’t noticed, Trump shits on the Constitution and wipes his ass with the American flag.
He is tearing apart this country to enrich himself.
If you think by carrying out his wishes that he’ll have your back, think again. He throws everyone who crosses him under the proverbial bus eventually.
Is this who you want to pledge your allegiance to? Is he worth trading in your soul, your compassion, your humanity? Is your service to Trump worth being compared to Nazis or called goons?
If your answer is no, welcome to the Resistance. Two-thirds of Americans are doing our darnedest to resist Trump and his enablers’ dismantling of our democratic republic, fighting as hard as we can to prevent the United States from slipping into authoritarianism. And we’re doing it without guns. If you want to be a bad ass, the Resistance is where it’s at.
Did you see that Wall of Moms in Portland? And the Wall of Dads? And the Wall of Vets? Did you look any of them in the eye and feel a glimmer of remorse for facing them down with weapons or hurting them? I sure hope so. It means your humanity is still with you and it’s not too late for you to reverse course.
Allow your compassion for others to help you find ways to resist Trump and save our democracy. It won’t be easy, but you can do it. We’re counting on you.
A Concerned Mom Worried for the United States
Note: I intended to write this a couple of weeks ago when the Portland protests were in the news, but so much horrendous news is thrown at us every day during the Trump regime that we can barely catch our breath before something else shows up in the news cycle. This is by design, with Trump attempting to keep us all off-balance so we can’t hold him and his enablers accountable.
I was almost ready to scrap the idea of this letter altogether when I read an interview between Bill Moyers and Heather Cox Richardson, the historian who is authoring daily Letters from an American that provide context for how the Trump administration is dismantling our democracy. She said the following:
“So it’s partly to control the narrative, but it’s also something I think more nefarious with this particular president. And that is that, if you, as Steve Bannon said, “flood the zone with expletive–” what you do is, you keep your audience off guard all the time. They never know what the truth is. They never know what’s coming next, and they don’t know how to answer to any of it. And it’s a game of psychological warfare, if you will. But if you keep knocking people around enough, eventually what they will do is simply say, “I don’t care. It’s too much for me. Everybody’s lying. I don’t know what’s real. Just make it all go away.” And when you do that, the way is pretty clearly open for an autocrat to step in.”
That gave me the resolve to go ahead and write this, to take the time to backtrack and bring up news that may seem old but isn’t really. DHS, ICE, and CBP are still out there, still taking orders from Trump. If we can get any of the individuals serving in these agencies to stop and question what they are doing, to stop and reclaim their humanity by not playing Trump’s games, then we need to do what we can to help them in that.
We don’t need to take Trump’s psychological warfare.