Open Apology Letter to G7 Nations

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, President Macron, Prime Minister Philippe, Chancellor Markel, Prime Minister Conte, Prime Minister Abe and Prime Minister May,

It is with great humility, despondency and regret that I write this open letter to you. My name is Justin Mirigliani. I am an American and as an American, I humbly request your pardon for the appalling way, our President, Donald J. Trump, conducted himself at the G7 Summit. More importantly, I want to apologize for the way this individual has comported himself since he became a candidate for the President of the United States and through this point of his administration.

Dear leaders, you have every right to feel anger, outrage, frustration and dissonance towards the United States. The people of your magnificent countries surely harbor the same feelings as you do towards my country. With the treatment you are receiving at the hands of Mr. Trump, it is completely justifiable for you to retaliate in the area of trade. Mr. Trump is rapidly isolating the US from the rest of the world and it will not be he who will pay a price for that. It is the American people who will bear that burden. Again, I am sure you are seriously considering diplomatic retaliation against the US. However, instead of responding in anger, I implore you to respond with compassion and even pity. Sadly, at the present time, the United States is ill. The leader of our country has caused many in power, under him, to lose sight of their moral compass. Many private citizens have also fallen victim to Mr. Trump’s pernicious influence. But I want to assure you that even though there is a large segment of our county’s population who support this current regime, the larger demographic of our country oppose Mr. Trump and those close to his administration.

I ask you to be above Mr. Trump and be able to see beyond his rhetoric and bluster. Mr. Trump uses fear and anger to drive people towards his agenda. An example of this would be his calling immigrants names like, “animals” or “criminals” or “rapists.” By dehumanizing others and making them “the monster under the bed,” he is able to easily foster hatred and thus fear. But just like how the vast majority of immigrants are good hardworking people seeking a better life, most Americans do not think like Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton did tremendous damage to herself when she said, “To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.” Trump supporters railed against that statement as if she had said that about all Trump supporters. They conveniently ignore the words “half of Trump supporters.” In all actuality, Ms. Clinton was right. The KKK, white supremacists (see David Duke), anti-Semites and Homophobes overwhelmingly voted for Mr. Trump. I submit that anyone in this group is, in fact, deplorable.

At the same time, to be fair, there is another half of Trump supporters. I personally know, love and respect several people who, in my judgement, imprudently back Trump. While these are good people who I do not doubt love their country and want what is best for it, I am astounded at how they are unable to see how this individual is grossly ill-equipped to lead a country.

At first my reaction to them was anger. It is painful to know that I have lost numerous family members and friends due to my own inability to suppress my outrage at, what I perceive, as them supporting evil. Upon reflection, I have tried to soften my reactions as the anger is not achieving anything. It has been a strenuous challenge trying to reconcile my feelings for these people against their unfettered allegiance to Mr. Trump. I have been able to identify some traits that many, not all, Trump supporters exhibit. He has, almost without fail, garnered the votes of those who believe that success can only be achieved by force. I find most of his supporters see diplomacy as weakness. Most of his supporters are focused on “America first.” Like the countries you lead, the United States should do what is best for its own people, but that does not have to be independent from being a good global partner. Many of his supporters are acting out on their aforementioned fear. He has convinced a significant segment of the country that they should fear Muslims, making anyone political candidate who does not support a ban on Muslims a pariah, in their eyes. At the same time, he has been mostly silent on domestic terrorism as children are being massacred in schools around the country and concert goers are being gunned down with 422 people shot in 10 short minutes.

Too many of his supporters are so focused on superficial displays of “patriotism” including who wears a flag pin in their lapel, who stands and who kneels for the national anthem, who blindly follows anything Trump tweets, no matter how ridiculous it is and who puts their hands over their hearts during the national anthem, that they are blind to the fact that the US is perilously close to a permanent and, perhaps, catastrophic loss of our core values. Patriotism is so much more than rituals, it is standing up for the common good of its country’s people. It is having pride in what your country is contributing to the world now, not just what it has contributed in the past.

Unfortunately, dear Allies, our country is a body with no head. For the first time in the industrial age, the US is incapable of being a world leader. We are incapable of being a world leader because the leadership of our country has abandoned our core principles. Donald Trump’s style of governance is no different than the way he conducts himself as a human being. I genuinely believe that Mr. Trump is simply unable to think beyond his own desires. He is a narcissist who sees the world in black and white, winning and losing. In his convoluted mind, in order for the US to prosper, we have to win, and all others have to lose. There is absolutely no reason why we cannot all mutually prosper.

Our President has proven that his maturity level has progressed exceedingly little from his pubescent years. While supporters of this man may disagree, one only needs to look at his penchant for name calling, his clear misogynistic views, his bragging about acting on those misogynistic views, his in ability to accept one iota of criticism and his habitual lying and distorting facts. He has demonized our judicial system and our media, which has assuredly substantially weakened our democracy. Friends have asked me if I would be embarrassed if Trump read this letter. My answer is, that will not be an issue. I have no doubt that he will be unable to understand it, considering that his vocabulary is on a grade 4 level.

Additionally, Mr. Trump has no knowledge of American history, let alone world history. He knows little about your respective countries. His “War of 1812” comment to Mr. Trudeau is proof positive of his complete ignorance in this area. He has embarrassed himself by suggesting that Fredrick Douglas is still alive and by suggesting that Andrew Jackson, who had been dead for 16 years, was angry about the US Civil War.

I want to be clear that in no way do I believe that all of the problems in the United States fall at the feet of Mr. Trump. However, the sad reality is that none of these problems will be addressed as long as this man is at the helm of the country. In fact, they will increase in severity.

As an American, I feel that I can say that as a country we have an arrogance that our way is always the correct way. Quite frankly, your respective countries are superior to us in many ways. All of your countries have health care systems that take care of all of your citizens. While President Obama’s Affordable Care Act was not perfect, it was a step in the right direction. Mr. Trump has all but destroyed that progress. We have let the world down in regard to climate change by pulling out of the Paris agreement. Mr. Trump’s continual reversals of previously negotiated agreements has reduced the word of the US to naught. To have other countries regain trust in us will take years, if not decades.

We have become a country that wants to “protect” itself with a wall. We put little value on family time, but excessive value on the accumulation of wealth. In the US it has become virtuous to work 80 hour weeks and vacation is looked on as laziness. I know your counties understand the importance of life the work/life balance. That balance is nonexistent here. I believe it is that imbalance that has led to our more corrosive society. Again, this is not Trumps doing, but he reinforces these shortcomings.

More than ever, the entire world is in dire need of your wisdom, compassion and leadership. You all are the “adults in the room.” As stated earlier, our leader has not and will never evolve to your level. Many times in history the United States has been a steadying force, but under the current administration not only are we unable to play that role, it is us who are causing the chaos that may lead to a crippling and dangerous decent in the global community. Your countries and the rest of the world deserve better than what you are getting from us. It makes my physically ill to admit that, but that fact in undeniable.

On the night Mr. Trump won the election, I walked into the rooms of my two young daughters. They had long since fallen asleep. As I approached each one of them tears filled my eyes as I kissed their heads. As I turned to leave, I whispered in their ears, “Daddy is so sorry that this is the country you have to live in now!” That feeling of despair has not left me. This administration is as heinous as I believed it would be. I am one man, with a very small voice. You, on the other hand, are powerful men and women who quite literally have the ability to shape the world. This is an awesome responsibility, made more arduous, by the condition that the United States is in. With that said, I believe in each and every one of you.

I firmly believe that many of our leaders and members of the media believe what I have presented here. Of course I wish these people would be more forthcoming with their outrage towards this administration, but at the same time, I understand that they walk a very fine line between holding this man and his administration accountable for its immoralities and maintaining a certain decorum in the positions that they hold. It is very difficult for someone in political office to come out and say that the President of the United States is evil, but that is what he is. Anyone who condones snatching a crying baby out of the arms of its mother is evil. And let me be clear, I am not just saying that that is an evil act, anyone supports this is in fact an evil individual.

I thank you for taking the time to read this heartfelt letter. I felt it necessary to share my feelings with you, as I can no longer sit back helplessly watching the foundation of the country I have called home for 43 years crumble before my eyes. For the sake of my kids, American kids, and all children of the entire world, I ask you to please overlook the fact that we are miserably failing you and save us.

I hope you see this letter as not an angry rant against a president or against an opposing political party. I firmly believe that differences in political ideology are normal and can be a positive. What is happening in the United States has nothing to do with politics. It has everything to do with human rights, common decency and a lack of humanity.

My prayer is that we look to your countries as an example of what we can be with compassionate leadership. May this remorseful episode in world history cause as little damage as possible. I am hopeful and confident that you will make sure of that.

Sincerely,

Justin Mirigliani

Jamirig@gmail.com

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