What we are thankful for, Mr. President …

Dear Mr. Trump,

As Thanksgiving approaches, I wanted to tell you what we Americans have to be thankful for.

We are thankful that we live in a democracy where you can be voted out of office after one term.

We are thankful that we live in a democracy where, in midterm elections, we can elect a House of Representatives led by Democrats who will not be apologizers for your misdeeds.

We are thankful that a responsible, deliberate, and committed Republican such as Mr. Mueller has been put in charge of an investigation of Russian meddling in our 2016 presidential election, regardless of the result of investigation. We are thankful that, in due course, we will read Mr. Mueller’s report and know the truth.

We are thankful that one of the judges you appointed recognizes that your White House abused due process in taking away Mr. Acosta’s press pass and respects the constitution enough to write an opinion telling you so. We are thankful that other judges whom you appointed will likewise respect the constitution and rule of law, even though you put them in office.

We are thankful that Democrats in Congress and elsewhere will pass laws ensuring the rights of everyone to vote, despite your friend’s efforts to suppress voting rights of people they don’t like. We are thankful that responsible Republicans will join with Democrats to improve our election system.

We are thankful for the many ways you’ve shown us how democracy must be improved, such that the likes of you never again occupy the White House.

Very truly yours,

Bruce J. Berger

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You won’t succeed in stopping the Mueller investigation …

Dear Mr. Trump:

It’s clear to everyone that you plan to shut down the Mueller investigation. It’s also clear why. You fear that Mueller will implicate you and your family in multiple crimes, including election law violations, tax evasion, and money laundering. And don’t forget obstruction of justice.

If you were innocent, you’d be happy to let the investigation take its course. But you’re not innocent, are you?

Appointing Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General – in addition to having no constitutional basis – is the first step in your plan. When you spoke to Fox News, you said that Whitaker was a great guy and that you knew him. However, after appointing him, you claimed not to know him. Except that your counselor, Kelly Anne Conway, says now that you do in fact know him well.

It beggars the imagination that you’d appoint someone you did not know well. Whom do you think you’re fooling with your ridiculous lies? (I know your rabid followers enjoy your lies, because your lying makes them feel they can lie with impunity too.) Really, Mr. Trump, your motives are transparent.

Whitaker said long ago, echoing your mantra, that the Mueller investigation was a witch hunt. He’s probably been at the White House to visit you a dozen times recently. You’ve no doubt cooked up together a way for him to try to stop Mueller, a way certain to be based on more lies, obstruction, disregard of the Constitution, and disdain for the rule of law.

But we’re onto you, Mr. Trump. You will not succeed.

Very truly yours,

Bruce J. Berger

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Not such a great victory for you after all, Mr. Trump …

Dear Mr. Trump,

How like you to claim victory – and to claim responsibility for the victory – when by any objective measure the country turned against you and Republicans generally on Election Day.

Your party lost four of the Senate seats up for election in the so-called Rust Belt states that went your way in 2016. That’s a victory?

Your Senate candidates in Montana and West Virginia lost, even though you campaigned for them, even though you held rallies for them days before the election. That’s a victory?

Think of all the Republican incumbents who lost their races for the House. You call that success?

According to the New York Times – not failing, by the way – there was a swing of 30 Representatives to the Democratic side of the aisle. You call that success?

As many as 16% of all voters were first-time voters. They broke for the Democratic candidate 61% to 36%, according to MSNBC. They will be back and bring with them millions of additional first-time voters in 2020. That’s a victory?

Finally, consider all the very strong showings by potential Democratic candidates for president in 2020, well-liked politicians such as Sherrod Brown, Amy Klobuchar, and Kirsten Gillibrand, to mention just a few.

Keep dreaming of your supposed success, Mr. Trump. We’re not stopping here. We will build upon what we’ve already accomplished.

Very truly yours,

Bruce J. Berger

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To the man who would be Hitler …

Dear Mr. Trump,

It was inevitable that your divisive rhetoric would lead to mass murder. I don’t blame officials in Pittsburgh one bit for not wanting you go there in the wake of the deadly synagogue shooting.

Let’s be specific here: You have posted anti-Semitic tropes. You have called yourself a [white] Nationalist, clearly a beckoning to the alt-right that embraces anti-Semitism. You have called the American Nazis who marched in Charlottesville chanting anti-Semitic slogans “some very fine people.” You have stoked fears of foreigners in our population, referring to “globalists” as a threat to our American way of life, and everyone knows that this is an anti-Semitic slur since before The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

It’s the same purported “globalist” conspiracy that Hitler railed against. Listen to your faithful chanting “lock her up,” and then listen to the Hitler faithful chanting “Sieg Heil!” There’s truly no difference.

And you pretend your words had no effect and that you’re not responsible? The Pittsburgh shooter sure understood your message, but just felt you weren’t violent enough against Jews.

The Republicans are afraid to call you what you are: a fomenter of hatred. The Republicans are afraid to state the obvious: that when the head of the fish stinks, so does the rest of it, i.e., the Republican-controlled Congress.

Very truly yours,

Bruce J. Berger

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To the man in the White House who encourages political violence …

Dear Mr. Trump,

Give the fake Trump a rest, the Trump who reads from a Teleprompter words that someone more mature has written. Give the fake Trump a rest, the Trump who pretends to want civility. It’s a lie, just like everything else that comes out of your mouth.

What you really believe is what you say immediately after you stop reading from the Teleprompter. The real Trump is the one who urges violence against the news media, who leads cheers of “lock her up” when it comes to Hillary, Diane Feinstein, or any other progressive woman politician. The real Trump is the one who brags about being a [White] Nationalist” and calls African nations “sh*thole countries.”

I’ve checked the websites of some Republicans running for Congress. Guess what? None of them takes issue with your taunts against the media, with your name-calling, with your lying. None of them excoriate your blatant sexism, your comments about “grabbing p***y,” your trashing of Dr. Christine Blakey Ford. None of them point to the obvious violence that your rhetoric encourages and promotes.

It’s only through the grace of God that no one has been assassinated yet by the people whom you inspire. But we can’t be lucky forever. Given that you have immediately gone back to attacking the press as the enemy and that you refuse to accept any responsibility yourself for the ominous likelihood of violence from your supporters — in fact, that you plan to step up your rhetoric — I can only surmise that you would have been happy had the bombs gone off and took the lives of their intended victims.

Step one in protecting our country from political violence: Get your Republican supporters out of Congress.

Very truly yours,

Bruce J. Berger

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This is our vow …

Dear Mr. Trump,

Your politics of lies and fear knows no bottom-of-the-barrel, does it?

Now you spread a lie, as usual, about the horrible things about to happen to our country if a group of people, mostly women and children, present themselves at the border and seek asylum.

You should know that our laws — which you are sworn to enforce – allow for people to seek asylum in this country. People, no matter where they are from, may seek this country’s protection when they are forced to flee their homes because, otherwise, they might be killed for “their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” Congress incorporated this definition into U.S. immigration law in the Refugee Act of 1980. The law may be found at 8 U.S. Code Section 1158. Have someone read it to you, Mr. Trump,

Yes, even those who are NON-WHITE and who DON’T COME FROM NORWAY may seek asylum! Can you get that through your racist head?

You don’t like the laws? You’ve had a Republican majority in Congress since your inauguration, and your Republicans did nothing to revise the law. Now it’s time for the Democrats to take over and show that, if the law needs fixing, they can do it.

And your lie that are Middle Eastern terrorists hide among the group walking thousands of miles to get here is patently anti-Muslim.

And your lie that Democrats support open borders and criminals coming into our country is a shameless attempt to scare people and further divide us.

For every potential voter you scare into voting for your spineless Republican supporters in Congress, we will bring two voters to knock them out of office and bring in responsible Democrats. This is our solemn vow.

Very truly yours,

Bruce J. Berger

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At the bottom of the list of decency … a new letter

Dear Mr. Trump,

It’s no surprise to me that you refuse to point the finger at the government of Saudi Arabia for the gruesome murder and dismemberment of a contributor to the Washington Post.

Your kindness to murderers will be one of the things that historians will underscore about your presidency. They will talk of your sucking up to Putin, how you approved of Philippines President Duterte’s extra-judicial killings of people he claims were dealing drugs, how you say that  Kim Jong-un is a great leader, how you encouraged violence against reporters at your political rallies. Children will read textbooks that try to explain – but fail to explain — how Americans elected, not only a liar, not only a fraud, not only a racist, not only a tax cheat, not only a conniver with Russia, but someone who cozies up to murderers. When the historians rank presidents on any scale of decency, you will always be at the bottom, far, far, far from whichever president is above you.

So let me be clear. Your Republican colleagues in Congress, although they might talk a good game, have done nothing to challenge you. What good is Congress then? Little good, in my opinion, unless it acts as a check against the president who is determined to destroy the First Amendment’s Freedom of the Press.

Very truly yours,

Bruce J. Berger

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