As Canada Day approaches, and Independence Day south of the boarder, I want to thank you for rousing new hopes and goals for me, and many people like me, not only on this continent, but throughout the world. You have given us a vision to respond to, and remind us daily that the kind of world we want can only be achieved through constant belief and effort. Millions the world over are rallying to your resurrection in virulent form of an image we hoped never to see again scowling at humanity like a lizard hungry for its prey – you sir, are the ugliest of ugly Americans.
I won’t darken inspiration with a long winded recital of your lies, racism, misogyny, swindling, bullying, hatred, repression and stupidity. They are things you take pride in, and to lament your pathetic shortcomings as a human being would only serve to stoke the furnace of insatiable narcissism that powers you and your ilk.
Instead, I am writing this message to remind myself of the decency, camaraderie, patience, generosity and understanding that true leaders show as they work toward a better world – and effective leadership, I should remind you, is not the preserve of the Oval Office. When people like you concentrate leadership into one room, filled with greed-inspired men, what we get is dictatorship (or kleptocracy, to be more precise), a groaning, top-heavy structure doomed to collapse at incalculable human and planetary cost. True leadership inspires, it shares, it asks; your pompous brand of leadership is sustained by fear, greed and executive dictums, delivered as if by the hand of royalty.
There are millions of leaders in the world, Mr. Trump, who are drawn to visions of inspiring leadership; you attract followers, the needy, greedy, disenchanted and hoodwinked, who either want a share of your plunder, or seek vengeance for a world that has been stripped from them by… guess who?
You often boast what ‘beautiful things’ you will achieve through your policies; at the same time, you have been known to brag about how good it feels to ‘crush’ anyone who is opposed to you. Those sentiments are incompatible in the mind-space of a sane society. We do not get to beautiful by crushing people, instead your legacy can only be a world order where the homeless and destitute confront us at every corner; where families cannot afford housing, food, medical care; where indigenous populations are denied justice; where nations bristle and threaten and eventually engage in the cataclysms of modern war; where species are driven to extinction and vast swaths of the planet submerged.
Perhaps the top one-percent will be able to avoid the worst, inevitable consequences of their continuing greed and cruelty by retreating into their ridiculously lavish, cocooned havens; the rest of us will be left to swelter, fight and die on a planet whose natural integrity has been thoroughly degraded.
Your deplorable, shocking example has reminded me to continue believing and supporting, however I can, a world that is inclusive, honest and humane – that is, a world that outgrows the stimulus to rapacious consumerism, and learns to celebrate the plenty there is to share through private and social enterprise. Canada and the USA have more to celebrate from that perspective than most nations in the world; on July 1 and 4 I’m hopeful forward-looking citizens will recommit to a better world then you are determined to achieve.