A Thanksgiving Day Open Letter to Donald Trump
On January 20, you’ll succeed Barack Obama as America’s 45th president, an awesome responsibility as you admitted.
You’ll have the power of your incumbency to use for good or ill – at a time I call the most perilous in world history.
Bipartisan neocons infest Washington, a powerful, destructive force. Allied with Wall Street, war profiteers and other corporate predators, they want endless wars; wealth, power and privilege served exclusively; not peace, stability and governance of, by and for everyone equitably.
While campaigning, you made lofty promises. Were they empty or real? Will history remember you as just another dirty business as usual leader or a force for positive change?
Will you renounce perverse notions of American exceptionalism; the indispensable nation; US moral, ethical and cultural superiority; its divine right for dominion over planet earth, its resources and populations?
Will you end US imperial wars against nations threatening no one? Will you halt support for ISIS and other terrorist groups, combating them cooperatively with Russia instead?
Will you normalize relations with Moscow as promised, end illegally imposed sanctions by executive order, meet with Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, invite him to Washington for an official state visit, and afford him the same respect shown numerous other leaders?
Will you save humanity from unthinkable nuclear war? Will you be a peacemaker, not warrior at a time America’s only enemies are ones it invents?
Will your policies turn public critics into supporters? Will your tenure deliver historic change or hugely dangerous continuity?
I’m skeptical but hopeful. It springs eternal in me always. Without it, all is lost. I refrained from criticizing you post-election, withholding judgment until you begin governing.
Depending on policies you institute, I’ll either be one of your staunchest supporters or severest critics.
You pledged to drain the swamp, restore honor to Washington, challenge special interests responsibly, give working people a voice for the first time, improve their lives and welfare, and be a leader for all Americans, not just its privileged few.
Were they empty promises or ones you intend to fulfill? Will your agenda diverge dramatically from the Clintons, Bush/Cheney and Obama?
Their administrations were responsible for endless wars of aggression, contempt for democratic values and rule of law principles, special interests favored over popular ones, along with horrific human rights abuses harming tens of millions at home and abroad.
Thanksgiving for long-suffering Native Americans is a day for mourning – remembering decades of state-sponsored genocide, ongoing this moment against Standing Rock Sioux Tribe members in North and South Dakota, their sacred ancestral lands threatened, their people and supporters brutalized by police state viciousness.
Are you with or against them, Donald Trump? Do you support justice or corporate predation? You’ve been silent in the face of unconscionable abuse – ongoing for months, continuing while millions of Americans enjoy a long holiday weekend, yourself and family included.
Jane Fonda is in Standing Rock, in solidarity with indigenous Sioux and supporters, involved in serving them Thanksgiving dinner.
Will you stand with them symbolically? Will you say so publicly? Will you serve all Americans responsibly, not just its privileged few? History will judge you accordingly.