OPINION: An open letter to the President

Published 12:59 pm Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Dear Mr. President:

I have lived through the administrations of 13 of this country’s presidents prior to your election. During that time, I have always tried to extend to the office the greatest amount of respect and veneration. In fact, during three presidential administrations, I was privileged to be able to refer to the President as my commander-in-chief.

While I have often disagreed with policies of sitting presidents, and have certainly not voted for some, I have attempted to come to understand that each tried, in his own way, to do what he thought at the time was best for the country. Some were more successful than others, results which have to be judged by individuals based on their political philosophy and the passage of time.

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However, since you assumed the office, my esteem for it and my fear of it have become diminished and elevated respectively.

While I understand that all members of the Presidential fraternity have, at times, lied to the citizens of this country, I also understand that some of the lies may have occasionally been necessary, especially when the security of the country was at stake or when an emergency situation demanded it, although many lies and obfuscations were simply made for political reasons by Presidents of both parties.

But you have taken prevarication to unacceptable limits. You appear to lie whenever it is convenient to elevate yourself. You lied about releasing your tax returns, stating that it was the proper thing to do while campaigning and then refused to do so.

You lied regarding your attitude about others “taking the fifth” in their defense, castigating your opponent for her associates doing so and then said nothing when your own attorney did the same.

You lied when you told your audiences that you would be spending so much time on government business that you wouldn’t have time to “go golfing”.

And then you spent more time away from duties during your first year of office than did your predecessor during his eight-year tenure, while costing the U.S. taxpayer millions to support your numerous trips to your own country club.

Further, you seem incapable of extolling your own assumed virtues, without denigrating others. You resort to name-calling almost daily, with a vitriol and suppurating venom unbefitting the office of president. You even refused to castigate your own staff for despicable remarks about a fellow Republican, John McCain. Obviously, your staff is following your example.

And you unilaterally withdrew from international agreements which have proven — yes, proven — to be working in keeping the world safer from nuclear proliferation, addressing climate change, protecting the environment and normalizing international trade, alienating other nations which have, for decades, been our closest friends, allies and supporters.

Your approach to diplomacy appears to be to threaten and demean other nations and their leaders and your selection of people to speak for you in the international community is based on placing your sycophants, those thoroughly versed in obsequiousness, in positions of importance, where their intemperate remarks further tarnish, even imperil, the reputation of this country.

And now, nearly halfway into your second year as president, you have commanded a military parade to be staged in Washington on Veterans Day, not to honor those who have honorably served this country, but to appease your own vanity, and this from one who received five deferments for specious medical reasons, a parade which will cost millions of dollars that could be spent more effectively housing homeless veterans or providing them needed medical care.

And so, Mr. President, I close with only this final remark. Please, in the name of decency, forego any intent to seek a second term, as you have already proven yourself inept in the office. Take the glory of having served one term, however dishonorably, return to private life and grant this country a respite from your hauteur, a chance to recover from the disgrace you brought to the office. Heed, if you will, the admonition of Oliver Cromwell to Parliament some three-hundred-and fifty years ago: “You have sat here too long for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

Respectfully submitted, citizen

Chuck Witt is a retired architect and a lifelong resident of Winchester. He can be reached at chuck740@bellsouth.net.