Dear President-elect Trump, 11/13/16: You Can Stop the Assaults and Police Abuse of Deadly Force

Dear President-elect Trump,

I am not ready to write you off as a power-tripping capitalist control freak, but in order to avoid such a conclusion I need to hear from you soon about the increasing number of reports of your supporters assaulting, bullying, or harassing females, LGBT people, Muslims, people with disabilities, and other non-whites.

Many believe that your election marks the entry of the United States into a “banana republic” phase in which your silence indicates tacit approval for assaults on and killings of members of marginalized groups as “punishments” and “making examples” in order to intimidate and thereby control the population.

You cannot deny your responsibility for these incidents, especially in light of the facts that the perpetrators have been chanting or otherwise invoking your name and that you verbally encouraged such behavior during your campaign.

Many of us fear that you are stuck in what practitioners of Transactional Analysis call the “I’m okay; you’re not okay” position, a frame of mind that justifies your pursuit of getting “the upper hand” in the “deals” you make and that rationalizes your obsession with power and control in relationships.  Such a point of view is common among capitalists since it may provide superficial, short-term success in the world of business, but it is the point of view of the sociopath, the criminal, who is incapable of seeing people as worthy of respect and who instead sees people as objects to be manipulated (deceived, intimidated, coerced, or violently eliminated) for one’s own purposes.

Many of us fear further that you are not capable of outgrowing these behaviors which you’ve displayed and which might be expected from an insecure adolescent but not from a seventy-year-old man who proposes to govern the United States of America.

There is abundant evidence that you have convinced a significant portion of the population of the United States that—based on your projection of a “larger-than-life” character who refuses restraint—you will be a “no-holds-barred,” “strong man” defender and negotiator for the United States.  Such posturing may be reassuring to some, you may choose to employ it as background for the negotiations of serious diplomats with foreign officials, but it has no place in your dealings with your fellow inhabitants of the United States.

You have moved to another level of reality, and “growing into the job” now requires you to restrain and refine the character you present to us, the people.  If you fail to do so, you may be surprised at the virulence of the backlash against you.  The wise leader finds balance between opposing forces and does not knowingly  create provocation, fear, and a climate of opposition.

This is why I am appealing to you to issue a statement explaining that circumstances have dictated that you play a character, that the real person inside you understands that a character who encourages assaulting or bullying other people is not admirable, and that you are calling on your supporters to cease and desist from such behaviors and begin to practice respect for all others instead.

If you persist in remaining silent about this issue, I predict that you will be confronted with an ungovernable citizenry, regardless of how many militarized police you put on the street.  Law enforcement officers’ families include females, LGBT people, Muslims, people with disabilities, and other non-whites, too.  Unless you show real leadership and stop this now, I predict that entire police departments will refuse your direction.

We have already seen the withdrawal of law enforcement agencies from the land of the Standing Rock Lakota Sioux people whose water has been threatened by a pipeline company.  You should know that people will fight when confronted with threats to their survival and that others, including law enforcement and military, will side with those whose survival is threatened by the arbitrary decisions of people in power.

A cease-and-desist message from you now would show you that you are capable of feeling empathy for the most vulnerable.  Another way for you to reassure the country about your leadership capability would be to propose an end to federal funding for law enforcement agencies who make inadequate progress toward complying with national standards for the use of deadly force, standards which should include guidelines for addressing consequences of police shootings.  Guidelines and incentives also should be put in place for the formation of civilian review boards to make recommendations concerning all police shootings in the United States.

To the extent that you fail to take action to stop police killings of unarmed African-Americans and others, you will serve as a recruiter for Black Lives Matter and a catalyst for intensified media scrutiny of and activism against both you and against law enforcement agencies that are irresponsible concerning the use of deadly force.  The voting out of office of Joe Arpaio represents the consequences of willful failure to embrace humane practices.

You, like all humans, have the potential for both great good and great harm.  I intend to remain vigilant concerning your vulnerability to acting out of a paranoid and authoritarian psychological state.  My hope and prayer is that you will realize that such a state will cause unnecessary conflicts and complications in your life and that you have entered the Great Test.  You’re being tested now as to whether you can find love in your heart for all human beings and thereby can become fully human.  The alternative is to choose to remain unchanged, which would be to remain stuck in the darkness of paranoia and authoritarian control and to invite unnecessary conflict and complication into your life on a scale you have never experienced.

I would welcome hearing a message of humanity from you now.  Such a message would bring a great wave of approval in your direction from those who are fearful about your capacity to lead.  Your supporters would hear a message from their leader and would return to a healthy awareness of the need to restrain themselves.

Just as I would welcome such a message of humane restraint from you now, I would also welcome good policy decisions if your administration managed to produce them.  I don’t intend to hold my breath waiting for either eventuality, since you still have issued no statement concerning your supporter who killed the two police officers in Des Moines, Iowa, on November 1 (  I will, instead, begin preparing my next communication to you.

With love, sincerity, and hope that you will show signs soon of making a good adjustment to your new responsibilities, I remain,
Louis “Buddy” Hale
for The Raincrow Report


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