Open Letter, Miriam Johnson, PhD, MSW, MS

Dear Editor,

In his letter to the editor of The New Irmo News (January 31, 2019), Don Carlson asked, “Why do Democrats so universally hate President Donald Trump?” Obviously I cannot answer for all Democrats, but I’d like to answer his question as far as it applies to me. 

There is plenty to hate, but not everything about Donald Trump inspires that response in me.

I don’t hate him because he’s a Republican and brags about giving tax cuts for the very rich, gutting regulations that protect the environment, and suppressing the voting rights of minorities. I am repelled by that, but I don’t hate him for it.

I don’t hate him for his greed and corruption, or for surrounding himself with other grifters. I don’t hate him for his mendacity, although he has lied more than 8,700 times since his inauguration. I am dismayed, but I don’t hate him for that.

I don’t hate him for his arrogance, or for his constant whining and claims of unfair treatment. I am disgusted by it, but I don’t hate him for it. I don’t hate him for his unprecedented incompetence or his willful ignorance or his determination to make critical decisions based on his gut instincts rather than facts or expert advice. I am stunned, but I don’t hate him for it.

I don’t hate him for his contempt for the foundations of our democracy like freedom of speech (for protestors) or freedom of religion (for Muslims). And I don’t hate him for constantly undermining the freedom of the press. Like Stalin, he has repeatedly called journalists “the enemy of the people.” I am appalled by that, but I don’t hate him for it.

I don’t hate him for jeopardizing important alliances that were developed and nourished over decades. I don’t hate him for his fawning adulation of autocrats and leaders of repressive regimes where basic human rights are routinely violated. I am horrified by it, but I don’t hate him.

I hate him for his cruelty.

I hate him for withholding paychecks from 800,000 federal employees just to satisfy his need to throw a temper tantrum over not getting American taxpayers to fund his useless vanity wall.

I hate him for being so quick to insult and demean and belittle. I hate him for the taunts and endless name-calling that are more reflective of an emotionally-stunted 6th grade bully than the leader of the free world. I hate him for callously dismissing the pain of others, whether they are victims of natural disasters, or mass shootings, or police brutality, or white nationalists.

I hate him for mocking a disabled reporter and a heroic prisoner of war and a Gold Star family. He stood at a podium at a campaign rally and ridiculed a woman for telling her story about being sexually assaulted; then he smirked while his followers laughed and cheered and applauded. Yes, I hate him for that. 

I hate him for creating myths about violent, brown-skinned hordes flooding across our southern border. I hate him for using dehumanizing language when he talks about immigrants and asylum-seekers. I hate him for heading an administration that rips babies from their mothers’ arms and puts children in cages and can’t be bothered to keep track of the families they separated or make an effort to reunite them.

And I hate his “core followers,” those whose cult-like loyalty to Trump allows them to ignore or excuse or even glorify his countless faults. And lastly I hate the spineless Republican members of Congress who pretend that none of this matters — not even collusion with a foreign adversary to disrupt our elections — because well, you know . . . Hillary’s emails.

Miriam Johnson, PhD, MSW, MS


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