Dear Mr. President

Letters from Tucson Weekly readers to the 45th President of the United States of America

On Friday, Jan. 20, Donald Trump and Michael Pence will be sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States of America at the Presidential Inauguration. This inauguration is, well, a historic mess based on a campaign that brought racist and sexist vitriol to the surface that made it difficult for many American sitting together at Thanksgiving dinner with relatives across the land. For many with different opinions on how American can be great again, Hillary Clinton won their vote at 48.2 percent (65,844,610) and Trump receiving 46.1 percent of the vote (62,979,636). We asked Tucson Weekly readers to write to our new president (not all letters were able to make it in print, but will be online) ... and boy, did they have a lot to say. Maybe he'll take them to heart, rather than Twitter. Thanks for participating.

Paulo Freire Freedom School

47  E  Pennington St


President Elect Donald J. Trump

275 5th Ave.

New York, NY 10022

Nov 17, 2016

Dear President Elect Donald Trump,

I'm Iris Knox and I'm from Tucson, AZ. Congratulations for winning the election. Becoming a president is a big accomplishment and I'm sure you are very thankful for the people that voted for you.

I have a few things I would like you to know about me. First thing, I am not a Republican and I would not have voted for you. I don't like what you have said about Mexicans, Muslims, Native Americans, or women. I am a quarter black and my mom is half black and all of my family on her side is black, so I want you to know that the things you have said about black people are really offensive to me and my family.

I would not have voted for you not just because you're a racist and sexist man, but because you said you didn't believe in climate change! I don't know what world you live in, but it's real! The temperature is rising and that's only a symptom of it. If we don't do anything about it then in a long time humans won't be able to live here!

These are just of the some things that you should think about, because so far I can't think of you as my president.

Thank you for your public service.

Sincerely, Iris Knox

11 y.o./6th grader

Dear Mr. Trump (Sorry, can't address you as Mr. President),

The bad karma of neo-liberalism, Honey-boo-boo Learning Channel American culture, the age of durga, and myriad forms of toxic astrology got you elected. Hopefully, your corrupt business and perverted sex antics will get you impeached before you have a chance to employ the world's most powerful military dictatorship to bolster your psychotic bullying tweets.

I'd like to make some recommendations:

Teach the hackers and fake news people and all the other rats that thwarted our democratic process a real lesson by calling for a do-over of the election.

If you reject the first suggestion, if you would rather be a good and fuzzy Prez, loved by the American people, here's some heartfelt advice:

In the best interests of yourself, your children, your wife, your current and future mistresses, your corporations and mobster thugs in the cabinet, it would be prudent that the only person in the world holding the nuclear codes is Pope Francis. Papa Paco will know what to do!

Dump Breitbart, and make Bernie the Mensch your main advisor and follow all of his advice.

During the campaign, you said you are Presbyterian. Start flying in and out of Tucson every weekend to attend services at Southside Presbyterian so you'll really have the unadulterated teachings of Jesus (here we pronounce it 'Haysoos") to guide and support you. You can pick from the best variety of tacos in the world after church!

With perfumed regards,

Kathleen Williamson

Can you believe that you are about to become the 45th president of the United States of America?

It's pretty amazing, is it not? I mean, you literally lost the popular vote by 2.9 MILLION VOTES, and only half of the country voted, but somehow, you still managed to pull off the win. Of course having buddies in *ahem* other countries that are fairly adept at hacking into computer systems doesn't hurt either.

Slow clap for you, Mr. Trump. Slow. Clap. For. You.

Now, I know you are an incredibly busy guy right now, figuring out how to schedule an intelligence briefing and a weekly game of golf at the same time. I kid, I kid. Maybe not golf. But, I applaud your efficiency because hello...who really needs to know how the status of our country is every single day.  I get it, man. You've got things to do, and Trump University isn't going to sell itself. You're a regular model of efficiency, Mr. Trump. So, So efficient.

So anyway, I'll just get right to the point. Thank you, Mr. Trump. From the very bottom of my heart, with all of my sincerity, thank you. Thank you for running the type of campaign that you ran. Thank you for being so thorough in your quest to shame, bully, and mock women, disabled individuals, "the blacks" (rumor has it we now prefer either the term "black PEOPLE" or "African American" by the way), "the gays" (also, another rumor is that people in this category prefer to be referred to as LGBTQIA. I know, it's long, but it's kind of like the word BIGLY, just rearranged and with some added letters, so you should be ok), Latinx people, and Muslims. You, sir, covered A LOT of ground in a relatively short period of time. I would imagine that's not an easy feat, but you made it seem so effortless. Years of being in the business of screwing people over have obviously served you well. But I digress. I am trying to thank you, and I keep getting distracted, remembering all the things you said and did.

But actually, it is specifically for these things that I need to thank you because, in eighteen short months, you managed to show America (as a whole) what still lies beneath the surface of our so-called "patriotism". It's racism. It's sexism. It's ableism. It's sizeism. It's homophobia. It's everything our parents tried to raise us not to do and be. And while MANY people living in this country have known this for literally decades, many Americans seemed as though they were seeing it for the first time. Many of them were. Many white Americans had never seen someone called a n***** without provocation before, and even though we told them it happens on a regular basis in some parts of this country, there was still that lilt of disbelief.

We could see it in their eyes. And belief is a burden that typically demands action of some sort. So, disbelief it was. Many men heartily denied that women are treated with anything less than respect in the workplace. The idea that a woman could be berated, and told that her behavior was indirectly related to her having a period, while she was doing her job, seemed like the most insane notion in the world to many men. And then you offered up Megyn Kelly as your sacrificial lamb. Well done, sir. Well done. You didn't stop there, though! You doubled down and said that you could just do anything with us. Us women would let you do anything you wanted. You could just grab us by the p****.

Well, that sealed the deal, sir. Many people didn't give much credence to the LGBTQIA community in the past when they marched, screamed and protested for equal rights and protections. They knew they had little to no protections from discrimination in housing, marriage, healthcare, conversion therapy and the such. But then you chose Mike Pence, and we get it now. These are just a few of the things that I want to thank you for because you've opened the eyes of mainstream/middle America.

People who didn't believe a Black man could be punched while walking up some stairs, simply for exercising his freedom of speech, now saw it with their own eyes. They saw a young Black woman pushed and shoved by grown men as she exited one of your rallies. She did not raise a hand, or even (seemingly) her voice, yet the physical attacks continued all the way out of your event. You showed us, sir. You showed the world sir, simply by running for president of this country. However, you're a smart man and therefore you know that for every action there is a reaction. And man has America reacted...BIGLY. Since your stealing winning of the election, we have seen social justice groups take formation in small towns all across the country.

We've seen a record number of donations made to groups like the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Planned Parenthood (as it turns out, you actually can't grab us by the p****). We've seen communities come together and form chalk mobs to cover up racist graffiti and posters put in place by some of your minions supporters, so that people that live in that neighborhood know their community won't stand for that type of behavior.

Just last week I attended a NOW (National Organization of Women) meeting, and one of the first agenda items under mission building was "fight racism". People who perhaps at one time thought "we're past those times," now see that we, in fact, are not past those times. We are living in, and have been living in those times since the dawn of time, and people are saying "not on my watch." There is a newfound camaraderie among people who otherwise would have never spoken to each other, all coming together at a SURJ (Showing Up For Racial Justice) meeting, to figure out how to effectively combat the rhetoric you gave rise to, and the people you allowed (and encouraged) to feel empowered. And if I might say so myself, the buzzword of the year, thanks in part to you, is CONSENT.

They say in times of emergency to "look for the helpers." We are becoming the helpers, Mr. Trump. And that sir, is more of what is needed in this country right now. So, while you are busy filling your cabinet with grossly underqualified, racist millionaires, we'll be over here saving the country from you and your ilk.

And for that opportunity, I can't thank you enough.

Signed, A woman who will never call you my president, but has no problem giving credit where credit is due

—Adiba Nelson



David Culver Wilson

Sitting up high in your transparent tower

Hiding behind your uncomfortable dress

You think of nothing but capital gains

You worry yourself to death

If you would look past all the mud you live in

You might, just once, feel clean

Instead you insist you are perfect, you see

You're turning from flesh to machine

Well, I'd give you my pictures for nothing at all

I'd give you my statues and rhymes

But, since you put price tags on everything

I'm sorry, I haven't got time for you

I'm sorry, I haven't got time

Explain to your public when you're not around

Just how important your wanderings' are

You say your thinking is never in doubt

But, it's all bluster, so far

If you would admit to a possible fault

You might just shatter like glass

But, then in the mending you might find a piece 

Worth sending to ten o'clock mass

Well, I'd give you my pictures for nothing at all

I'd give you my statues and rhymes

But, since you put price tags on everything

I'm sorry, I haven't got time for you

I'm sorry, I haven't got time

Get down on your knees before some kind of god

Mercury, Vishnu, Osiris or Baal

Don't give too much when they're passing the plate

You lose your life if you fall

Maybe you'll find there are men you can't rob

While on your stomach you lie

But, make sure you pocket your hungry hands

You could find that you're crawling too high

Well, I'd give you my pictures for nothing at all

I'd give you my statues and rhymes

But, since you put price tags on everything

I'm sorry, I haven't got time for you

I'm sorry, I haven't got time

—David Culver Wilson

Dear Mr. Trump;

Allow me my most humble and authentic wishes for an historic and monumentally important Presidency. My greatest wish, at this time, is that you may find both the time and the attention to these wishes for your future that I now put to paper. These I share with no small measure of hope and prayerful desire for you, our nation, and our world. With forethought and sincere deliberation, I wish these objectives for you in your forthcoming Presidency:

May you learn of the momentous and spiritual beauty of a sunrise on our American desert. In that moment, I wish you the serenity of connectiveness to all things under Creation: all sentient creatures, the purity of waters, the Oneness of Creation, the blessings of clean air, forested mountains, and the equanimity of "all creatures, great and small. The Lord God made them all."

I wish for you the sensation of wild grasses beneath your feet; of the quietude of nightfall felt from a tent among the redwoods whose antiquity whispers history and endurance as teacher to humankind. I wish for you your own heart feeling its expansiveness and its embrace of spirit.

I wish for you a tenure that offers an openness of mind, a willingness—nay, a seeking of—knowledge that allows you to make decisions critical to the sustaining of life on this planet. I wish for you a moment of benign aloneness on continent Antarctica, where you might feel your insignificance in the enormous grandeur of environmental inter-dependence. May you acknowledge the significance of our diminishing glaciers and their interplay on human life. I wish for you a sustaining love for and from your family. May they enjoy the God-given benefit of health no different from those benefits of health to all citizens, regardless of financial strength.

I wish for you a heart enlarged by a commitment to all life. May your ethos move to one of compassion and inclusiveness. My greatest wish is that I will enjoy a pride like none heretofore in my new President. I wish you well.

Yours sincerely,

Susan Shields

Dear Mr. Trump,

Made possible by the Tucson Weekly's generosity, I'm able to express my hopes for your presidency, which begins in a few weeks. I can't understate how happy I am that you were elected instead of Hillary Clinton. I don't know how I could have taken a 3rd Obama term and kept my sanity. Mr. "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor" Obama has done more to harm this country than I thought would be possible in eight years. There was even a time that I wished Hillary Clinton had won in 2008 instead of Obama, since she wouldn't have transformed the country in so many negative ways. Thank God that you won and can wipe away many of the destructive policies that he (Obama) put into place.

What I fervently wish for your first term is that you stay the course and true to your promises. Please don't squander this fantastic opportunity to enforce our immigration laws, appoint conservative judges, fix our health insurance system, create jobs, and restore rights that do not constitutionally reside with the federal government back to the states. In your spare time, maybe you can lead a slowing of the nation's creep toward political correctness that seems to infect every aspect of our culture.

I am greatly encouraged by your cabinet picks, who are accomplished doers instead of academics. All of them are strong leaders and highly qualified to get our nation back on the right track. Our national nightmare is over, at least for four years. Please make the best use of them.

It is doubtful that this letter will be published in the Weekly, given its propensity for over-the-top liberalism and appetite for demonizing those with opposing views. But here it is anyway.

Roy Carter

Dear Mr. Precedent (sorry, but you're #notmypresident):

Please think about someone other than yourself, and about something other than money, for a solid minute. 

Now, think about the people you will be directly harming if you continue with your agenda. 

Next, consider the disconnect between your promises and your actions so far (e.g., drain the swamp vs. stock the swamp). 

Then, give yourself one minute to think about the effect your mysogynist words have on girls and women, especially those who have been victims of abuse. 

Think about how you have chosen to run a campaign based on fear, racism, hatred, and insults. 

Consider your Cabinet choices. I'd go into detail here but it would take too much ... what's the word? ... oh, energy. (Oops.)

Consider for a good long while the similarities between yourself and other disturbed, narcissistic dictators in history. 

Sit down with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and listen with an open mind to what they have to say. 

If these steps don't make you want to apologize to the American people, resign. In fact, go ahead and resign first. Then do the above. It will save us all a lot of time and further embarrassment. 

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy tweeting schedule to read this letter.

Lori Bonati

Dear Mr. President,

I have a hard time even saying "Mr. President." It's like wrapping a horrible thing, such as a dead moldy alligator snapping turtle, in beautiful wrapping paper. You are NOT smarter than a 5th-grader. You have NO basic knowledge of constitutional law or even of the Constitution. You are turning years of tradition on its ear. Your cringy relationship with Ivanka just gets more cringy. Now she is eyeing the position of First Lady? Or are you eyeing her for it? Ugh. You are, as a friend of mine put it, "a child being groomed by Russia" so you can be Putin's puppet. As far as Russia goes, I just want you exiled to Siberia. You are NOT my president, Mr. President. The only way you can redeem yourself is to do a complete 180 on your position on global warming. Listen to Al Gore. Travel to the Artic and other parts of the world affected by it. See the damage and the chaos. If we have no planet to live on, we will all die. Even Trump Tower will have no place to stand. If you don't change your mind, I know you can't spell "unprecedented." But can you spell "impeach?"

Lois Mintah

Dear Uncle Donald,

I am writing to say we love you; and that as your nieces and nephews, we are very concerned about your health.  We all truly want you to recover and heal from your mental illnesses:  hatred, bigotry, greed, anger, and worst of all, misogyny (including disrespecting Mother Earth).  However, we clearly understand that the White House is not an appropriate place in which to recover from these things.  So although we love you and wish you a speedy recovery, we do not want you in the White House.  That is a home/office for persons who are wise, compassionate, and—at least—mentally stable. 

But we hope you don't feel too bad—for one thing, less than a quarter of the total U.S. population voted for you.  For another, though you will be out of a job, remember you have enough savings to stay afloat quite well without this getting this particular one (and, we recommend you put some of all that cash into seeing a psychotherapist). 

Oh, one last thing...keep your eyes open on your inauguaral day...there will be a lot of people there coming from all over the country including Native Americans who will be there to support you with their presence and their prayers to do the right thing, the compassionate thing for everyone: resign.  (No worries, I think Aunt Jill or Uncle Bernie or both are on standby).

Wishing you a speedy recovery...

With much love,

Danny August

Longtime resident of Tucson

Dear President Trump,

Please try to put hate and fear back in the bag, and we will all help you sit on the bag. Use the money we give you to protect your beautiful family, your wife and children and grandchildren. We care about them. Please use your resources to also protect all our families-our Hispanic families, our Muslim families, our LGBT families...Help us keep them safe. If people think you are sincere in this effort, they will step forward with you. Do what you can to stop the hateful language and hate crimes. It demoralizes all of us. Let this be your first heroic effort.

Thank you for this in advance,


Elaine Folland

From this day forward, the "Free World" is questionably in your tiny hands, which must match dimensions of the debate subject,  Vienna sausage.

Under your watch, the world will be observing the proximity of those digits to nuclear buttons and codes.

Counting my blessings, our prior leaders had temperament for restraint, do you?

Knowledge is questionable; you really know more than the generals?

Your reputation is equal to Putin's, (initiator of a KGB-plant from Slovenia,visa-less #3??).

Oh faint is sincerity in your endless Tweets, unless it's an "enemy", such as Rosie.

Upon arrival, your newly appointed swamp-dwellers are a reflection of yourself;a Greedy, self-centered "Snake Oil Salesman", that duped the ignorant voters; those who never popped the hood or test drove you, just kicked the tires!!

Jonathan T. Schultz, Faithful Reader

Hello, donnie. (That is my deliberately uncapitalized pet name for you.)

I am many things you hate: a woman of intelligence, liberal in thoughts and action­s, 66 years old, overweight, retired, on Medicare, and collecting Social Security. I'm not handicapped, Mexican, gay, or Muslim.

Now on to common ground ...

Citizenship: We were born in the USA, but my ancestors were immigrants like yours.

Age: You're older, but we're both still breathing.

Weight: We probably have comparable BMIs.

Intelligence: I don't know your IQ other than what you've claimed, so I claim that mine is very high, too.

Race: We are both members of the human race.

This sums up our similarities.

Our differences are numerous, but instead, I'll focus on my concerns with your presidency.  

I do not accept your values. I do not trust you. I have no faith that your up and down experiences in the business world qualify you to lead this country. I fear impulsive decisions with planet-wide consequences based on your history. I fear the decimation of advancements that have been made toward equal rights for women, minorities, mentally- and physically-challenged persons, LGBTQ persons, and others. I fear devastating impact on natural resources because of decisions based on greed and the denial of scientific facts. I fear unsuitable relationships with other world powers. I fear unsafe, inappropriate, even horrifying decisions you may make because of the advisors you have chosen.

Hatred has been living for centuries among the US citizenry as a seething underbelly. But now, a tsunami of hatred is mounting relentlessly. You have legitimized and encouraged it to emerge.

Hatred will be the end of us all. I do not think our country will survive. I have no hope with you in office.

Inconsolably not yours,

Lotta Troubles (My capitalized pet name for me.)

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