AN OPEN LETTER TO DONALD TRUMP
I want to congratulate you for winning the 2016 election. According to my calculations, from numbers I could find on the internet which, as you have said, may not be all that reliable, you won approximately 61,864,015 popular votes. That means you have the full support of about 19% of the US population of 325,046,461. That is almost one in five people who live in the U.S! You have impressively unleashed America’s silent majority, or at least America’s silent 19%. I’m not sure what portion of those people say theirs wasn’t a vote in favor of hate but in favor of a change in the Washington establishment, but I know there are some, and some portion of those didn’t like you or Hilary, and if we count some portion of those who are growing increasingly uncomfortable by the spike in hate crimes and the boldness of your neo-nazi supporters, even with all that I think you solidly have the support of at least 5% of the US population.
Don’t be disheartened by the number of protests, marches, candlelight vigils, prayer meetings, petitions, articles, student walk-outs, songs, poems, and letters of condolences from foreign countries against you. Every despot in the history of the world has stood exactly where you stand, looking down on his subjects and wondering where the love is. Why does hate speech beget so much hatred? I’ve always wondered.
Anyway, it is going to take a lot of determination to build that wall, deport the Muslims, build concentration camps, deregulate the environment, replace immigrant labor, get women back in the kitchen, prepare for the rising sea levels, turn away the climate refugees, and all the other things presidents do. I wish you luck. And if you win and no one is left but that 19%, all I can say is you won fair and square. The spoils of the earth will be yours to keep.
Chaitali Sen is the author of The Pathless Sky, Europa Editions, 2015
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