As I sit here editing this copy, I have just learned that Donald Trump left the hospital against medical advice and returned to the white house with an active Covid-19 infection. When I initially wrote this book, POTUS was still promoting the China Virus Hoax Theory. Now that he has been exposed, he is making insane claims that he may be immune, found the cure, and reiterates that Covid-19 is disappearing. He continues to ignore the immense stressors placed on our health care facilities, neglects Americans who are still sick and dying, and disregards survivors drowning in hospital bills.
Simultaneously while writing this book, watching the news, and reading Michael Cohen's book – Disloyal, I have come to accept that none of Trump's stunts are surprising. His only concern has been and will ever be - his ego. Many of Trump's evangelical followers are convinced that Trump is a demi-God, sent from Heaven to save us. Trump loves to promote that storyline. His illness is a perfect opportunity to exploit the theory that he is invincible.
Most educated Americans know that Trump is an older, obese man who is flawed physically and emotionally. He surrounds himself with people who promote his invincible image to maintain his fragile sense of self. The people surrounding him are afraid to confront his outrageous behavior for fear of vengeful retaliation. Just ask Michael Cohen how ruthless he can be.
There are countless books and articles published explaining what a fraud Donald Trump is. My complaints are more of the same. However, when I view clips of Trump's rallies on television, I feel disconcerted when I see the kiddos in the crowd. Obviously, the young ones at the rallies are being indoctrinated by their parents. The children are taught that never-Trumpers and liberals are bad people. To provide an alternative perspective to young audiences, I am writing this book from a child's perspective.
The main character in the story is a young girl whose two best friends are from third-world countries. The main character Dani is writing a letter to the President, questioning his behavior, as any bright, open-minded child would do. She is trying to make sense of what she hears from the President on television versus what her parents teach her about integrity and kindness. She is aware of the value of humility; however, she only witness's bravado from the President. This confusion prompts her to write President Trump a letter asking him to clarify her questions.
I hope if you are reading this book with your children, or using it as a teaching tool in school, that you continue to teach children to question everything. Continue to explain that even though we don't see kindness from the President, it doesn't mean acts of kindness are unnecessary, and we should all strive to be better.
Dear Mr. President,
I am writing you this letter to tell you that you are scaring my friends and me. Every time we watch you on television, you are yelling about how our country is full of thugs, mobs, and gangs. You incite panic by saying our neighborhoods are going to be invaded by terrorists and drug dealers. Why are you saying this stuff, Mr. President?
When I look around my neighborhood, I don't see any of the violence or chaos you are shouting about on tv. Everyone in my community is friendly, except for one boy named Johnny.
Our neighbors help each other when a car breaks down, and we exchange cookies on holidays. I am so confused! Why are you telling us this scary stuff, Mr. President? Why are you trying to turn us against each other?
My friends call you a bully. To them, I say, "How can our President be a bully? He is the President!" They respond with, "Listen to what he says at his campaign rallies and how he is insisting we should not trust one another."
Mr. President, you have been suggesting that some Americans are untrustworthy, out for revenge, and scheming against us. Is that true?
Mr. President, maybe if you knew more about me and my life, you would stop saying such mean things on television. Perhaps if you knew me, you would show more empathy regarding my feelings.
Let me tell you more about me. I have two best friends from different backgrounds. My one friend is from Haiti. Her family came here after the hurricanes and earthquakes destroyed their small tropical country; her name is Esther.
My other best friend is from Guatemala. A Central American Country south of Mexico. Her name is Andrea. Andrea and her family were forced to flee from violence and poverty in their village.
Andrea said she didn't want to leave her home, but her parents said they would not be safe if they stayed. Andrea said her family thought the United States would be safe and welcoming. However, when she arrived here, her family members were treated like criminals and separated from each other for a long time.
Andrea felt angry with her parents for making her leave Guatemala. They told her America was supposed to dreamy, like the saying, "The American Dream." She said her parents were wrong, and America has treated her family very poorly.
Andrea wishes she could return to her country of origin; however, there is nowhere safe to go. Yet, here in America, she does not feel safe or welcome either!
My two best friends and I enjoy watching the news while being homeschooled due to the virus. Our parents tell us we can only watch one news program a day because news stories can be stressful.
My parents encourage my friends and me to watch news programs with different speakers. My mom said, "You need to keep an open mind and listen to all news platforms, not just one channel."
My parents keep telling me to be objective and stay positive, but it is hard when my friends and I hear you make disturbing comments about this country and our neighbors.
It is also confusing because you said you didn't want to scare us about the virus or incite panic. Yet, you and your friends scare us about everything else – which makes us panic!
Andrea, my friend from Guatemala, felt very nervous when you became the President after you said that people from Mexico are bad people. She did not come from Mexico, but she did come through Mexico to get here. Andrea has many family members who still live in Mexico. She said she does not want to repeat what you said about Mexicans, but you offended her so much when you accused Mexicans of coming to America and doing terrible things.
My other best friend from Haiti, Esther, said you called her country a bad name. (I can't repeat the word because it's a cuss word, but it starts with the letter S).
Esther said you have referred to her family as thugs, and you don't want their family living close to your family. I remember one time I heard you say on television, "You will no longer be bothered' by low-income housing." Why would you say that Mr. President? I live in low-income housing, and I don't bother people!
Mr. President, I thought America was different. Last year my school took a field trip to the Statue of Liberty. My friends and I read the sign on the statue that said, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."
We thought those words were so beautiful! Our teacher said the Statue of Liberty is a universal symbol of freedom. She said that the statue provided a welcoming to those passing through Ellis Island, hoping to find opportunities in America.
Another thing that scares me, Mr. President, is my neighbor Jonny. He wears a MAGA hat all of the time, and sometimes he wears a long gun on his chest. We don't understand why Johnny is so mean to us. He keeps telling us to go back to our countries. (But I am from this country, so I don't know what he is talking about!).
My two friends keep trying to explain to him how much they loved their country of origin, but they didn't have a choice to leave. Even after they explain, he keeps saying, "Stop looking for handouts, stop causing riots, and blue lives matter!"
Handouts, riots? What? We think he is the one stirring up trouble! We don't bully anyone, don't have guns, pay our taxes, and never call anyone mean names or start fights.
He calls us fat, ugly, short, stupid, and makes fun of our friend who has a disability, which she cannot help! He seems to be the one who does not show up for class, and he cusses – a lot! We are always on time for school, and we do all of our homework. When Johnny shows up for class, he never knows the answers, and he is always so aggressive!
Mr. President, I know you want us kids to go back to school, and believe me, we want to go back to school too! Esther, Andrea, and I want you to know how much we miss school. We are missing dressing up in matching outfits, riding the bus together, sitting with each other at lunch, and writing notes back and forth.
We miss our teachers, who always ask us how our day is going. We miss our after-school program, where we can play with friends from different grades. We want to be back in school, but our parents say it isn't safe right now. My dad had a heart attack last year. Andrea's mother has asthma, and Esther's sister caught Zika in Haiti. (She is fine now, but she is afraid to get that sick again). Our moms' say that people with pre-existing illnesses are more likely to struggle with the virus. We are terrified we might get our teacher sick because she is pregnant, so she definitely cannot be in school right now!
Even though we are homeschooled, my parents insist that whenever my friends and I socialize, we must wear masks to avoid spreading germs. We don't like wearing masks because they are uncomfortable. The mask fogs my glasses, and sometimes, we have trouble understanding each other when they are on. However, we love our families and would never want anything to happen to them; if we have to wear a mask to save lives, then that's the least we can do!
Let me tell you more about Johnny (the bully) because he loves you so much! Johnny's family used to be very rich. He lives in the giant house next to our tiny house. He said his family lost a lot of money from paying too much money in taxes and supporting people like my friends and me. Why does he blame us for his family losing money?
Johnny keeps telling us that we make his neighborhood look dirty. He tells us that our house makes his house look poor. He also said that he refuses to wear a mask because "Masks look stupid!" He said, "My family is healthy, and we are not afraid of getting the China Virus, so we are never going to wear masks!"
At first, we had no idea what Johnny was talking about when he said, "China Virus." When we asked our parents, they said, "The Coronavirus Disease, known as COVID-19, has been confusing for all of us. The President refers to the virus as the China Virus or Kung-flu because it originated in China, but NEVER repeat those words because they are hateful and xenophobic!"
I asked what xenophobia is, and my dad said, "It means hatred towards people from other countries."
Mr. President, why do you say that mean stuff about China? Covid-19 has affected people worldwide, not just Americans! No one would spread a pandemic on purpose!
I learned from our school counselor that when we have a problem; we have to all work together to find a solution, and not blame one another or pick on people from Asia!
The Doctors on the news keep telling us the virus spreads very quickly. They say we should wear masks, social distance, and wash our hands frequently to avoid getting sick (or worse, getting someone else sick!). That seems like a simple solution to me. I would never want to get anyone else sick. I would feel so bad if I caused someone else to suffer because I was being selfish. But Johnny doesn't care about getting others sick; he says, “It is my civil right to not wear a mask!” He said, "Donald J. Trump said he won’t wear a mask, so I'm not going to either!"
President Trump, Johnny said many of your followers don't wear masks because they think the virus is a hoax. One time we overheard Johnny saying, "If Trump wore a mask, maybe I would consider it, but everyone knows the whole China Virus is a hoax."
We didn't even know what the word hoax meant until we Googled it. Once we Googled it, Wikipedia defined the word hoax.
Why Mr. President, would you suggest the virus killing our neighbors and friends is a hoax or political? The virus does not know who you vote for; it's a virus!
Trying to change ‘the virus’ subject, our teacher asked our class to describe our mentors, someone we look up to. This was one of the only days Johnny showed up for online school because both of his parents worked from home, and they made him login to class. Everyone expected Johnny would say Donald Trump is his mentor… (Which of course he did!).
I said my mentor is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Andrea noted her mentor is a tie between Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg.
Esther said her mentor is Michelle Obama. After Ester finished speaking, Johnny chimed in and said, "Michelle Obama's husband wasn't even born in the United States, he should have never been President, he rigged the election!"
We were shocked because Michelle Obama's husband is former President Barack Obama, born in Honolulu Hawaii. Maybe Johnny didn't know that the Hawaiian Islands are part of the United States? We were so confused. Johnny said you said that stuff about President Obama. Is that true? Our teacher told Johnny that he was being inappropriate, then he said a cuss word and posted this article from Huffpost.com.
Moving on from Johnny's outrageous comment, our teacher said to us girls that we don't have to pick only females as mentors; she said that men could be mentors for us too.
So, the three of us chose Colin Kaepernick as our male mentor. Mr. Kaepernick encouraged Americans to think about the words in the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. He told the NFL that he would kneel until there is "Justice for all Americans, not just some!" He tried to promote social change.
We agree that Mr. Kaepernick is right; the Pledge of Allegiance says, "One Nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all." But there is not always justice for all.
Speaking of justice for all, my three best friends and I have signs outside our home. Our parents united together and put up homemade signs that say "Black Lives Matter."
Every time Johnny rides by my house on his dirt bike, he chants, "All lives matter, blue lives matter!"
Whenever we hear him yelling, we try to explain to him, "Yes, Johnny, all lives matter, of course, and police matter too!" However, the BLM movement is not about all lives, because "all" Americans are not discriminated against or disproportionally killed by police, in the same manner black men are.
He always responds, "Blah, blah, blah, all lives matter– not just black lives, so take those stupid signs down!"
We have attempted to educate Johnny by sharing postings from reliable sources, but he never listens.
Mr. President, why don’t you help Americans like Johnny understand what the Black Lives Matter Movement is about? Do you even know?
Why do you encourage violence and fighting at your rallies with people like me? Don't you want our fellow Americans to be united? My friends and I are confused about your behavior. We thought the President of the United States would be smart and reasonable! We think the President should be honest and diplomatic. However, when we fact check what you say, Mr. President, it doesn't seem like you know what you are talking about. One day you say one thing and the next day something else. It is confusing!
It also appears you have a double standard for your MAGA fans. Johnny’s parents support some group called Q-something…
The Q people say you talk in code so that only they can understand you and your messaging. Is that true? If yes, why do you only want to speak to 'some' Americans and not all of us?
Recently we heard you say, "I don't think science knows," at a press conference about climate change and the forest fires in California. Why would you want us kids to go to school to learn about science if you don't believe in science? Should I even study for my science test if science isn't real? Is it another hoax? I am so confused. My teacher said science is real. Who should I believe? My parents said I should acknowledge my teacher, but you are the President…
I want to believe you too! I wanted to become a scientist, but after hearing you talk about science not being relevant, now I am not so sure…
After the mentoring activity was over, our teacher asked our class to research ruthless dictators worldwide. I chose Vladimir Putin. Andrea chose Kim Jong Un, Esther chose King Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia. (She regretted that one because it was hard to spell!). Johnny logged into our class late as usual, and said his dictator of choice is President Donald J. Trump!
We all spoke up at once, "Wait, what?!" Our teacher interrupted us and said very politely to Johnny, "Johnny, President Trump is not a dictator, our government is a Democracy, and he leads our government."
Johnny replied, "Trump doesn't lead our government; he hates government! He calls the government a swamp, and he is right!"
Our teacher sighed and replied, "Johnny, the President of the United States is both the Head of State and Head of Government and Commander in Chief of the armed forces. The President executes laws created by Congress."
Johnny piped in - "Well, he should be a dictator, he is the only person we can trust in this country, politicians are liars, and he loves dictators!" Our teacher responded, "Thank you for your opinion Johnny, however, please choose a dictator who is currently operating as an actual dictator for this project." Johnny said, "This is stupid! You are all stupid liberals." Then he disconnected from the class. I don't think he heard the rest of what our teacher was saying after he logged off. Our teacher said we should study all leaders of the world so we know why we are lucky to live in a Democratic Country.
We had no idea what Johnny was talking about when he called us stupid liberals.
From our Google search, we learned that the word liberal originated from the word liberty. Politically it means a liberal person is active in supporting social and political change.
We asked our parents why the word liberal seems to be a bad word to our friend Johnny. Esther's mother replied, "Because it means you will not be voting for Trump in 2020." My mom laughed and replied, "That's funny and true, but it also means you are more open-minded about change and focusing on the future, being progressive.”
Mom continued, "Conservatives are afraid of change. They are worried that change will disrupt their comfort. President Trump's slogan is Make American Great Again because he liked the country better when white men were in charge.
Conservatives want to go back to a time when most white men were superior to women and people of color. Where the Christian religion was the only religion practiced. Where gay men and women could not marry who they loved."
I said, "But mom, would that mean you would not be a manager? Esther's mom and dad would be discriminated against because of their skin? We would be judged for being Jewish, and Uncle Harold would not be married to Simon?" She said, "Yes, dear, that's what it means." I was so confused.
Mr. President, please help me understand why you want to go back to those old ways? I thought your grandchildren are Jewish? Don’t you want them to feel the same comfort that Christians feel?
President Trump, I hope you can see from this very long letter that I am writing to you - why I am scared. My friends and I want to look up to you as our President, but we don't understand why you don't like us. It seems like the people who like you are not like us at all. They are more like Johnny.
Esther, Andrea, and I want you to love us too! You are the President of the United States! We want to love you the way we loved President Obama, but you make it difficult for us to love you because of the mean things you say about our families and friends.
Finally, Mr. President, I have a few more questions... Did you really say that nasty thing about grabbing women's private parts?
Do you really think windmills cause cancer?
Do you actually think climate change is a hoax or do you just stay that stuff to get re-elected?
Finally, why can't we see your tax returns? Every year around March and April, my parents get so stressed out about filling their tax returns. When I ask why they have to pay taxes, they say, "It is our civic duty to pay taxes to support American programs." As our Leader of this country, Mr. President, why wouldn't you want to participate in our civic duty?
Our teacher always reminds us kids "Be the change you want to see in the world and lead by example." Don't you want to lead by example, Mr. President? Why can't you show us that you paid more than $750 to support America? Is that all you think we are worth? Do you have enormous medical bills as we do?
Sometimes, I feel bad for my neighbor Johnny. You are his hero Mr. President, why won't you be a hero for all of us?
One day, when I get older, I will look after Johnny. Even if he doesn't make it to college or he gets in trouble for bullying other people, I will still help him. My parents taught me to advocate for other human beings, even when they say or do bad things. They tell me to ask someone who is hurting or acting out, "What happened to you?" Instead of "What's wrong with you?"
Everyone needs a second chance, and I am willing to give you as many opportunities as you need to stop being so scary and confusing! If you ever want my advice, I will give it to you - even though I am just a kid. I know you can do better! It doesn't matter if we are conservative or liberal, we are human beings, and that is what counts!