Sunday, July 2, 2017

Fed Up

I know it's not about quilting, but in some ways it is.  In our community I've experienced and witnessed personal attacks and verbal violence targeted at folks who are different or who have different opinions or positions as well as folks who make accusations with no basis in fact in order to damage another person's reputation. I've watched folks jump to conclusions and attack and ridicule with no thought of asking questions or finding or sharing information to solve problems. I've been demoralized by those who attack without thought and who react without thoughtfulness.

It's time for me, for all of us to speak up.  I am starting at the top.  I believe that our current president has contributed to the atmosphere of violence and polarization that exists today in our country.  This week of twitter tirades is just one example, but it pushed me over the edge. I ask each of you to write your own letter, contact your elected representatives or work in your own way in your own community.  

I wrote this letter to the President and I have followed up with a letter to each of my senators and representatives.   At least it is a place to start.

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Sir,

Over the last week I have been increasingly disappointed in the messages you have sent from your twitter account.  I know after watching you over the first months of your presidency that you don't seem to desire or react well to feedback, but I hope you can receive this in the constructive, positive way in which it is intended.  While I understand that constant criticism must be difficult to receive, it is a part of the job of the President to listen to all sides whether they support you or not.  It is not the role of the press or the citizenry not to criticize. In fact, it is their responsibility.

I have heard all the criticism of your twitter messages, for example, that they are beneath the dignity of the office, immature and a distraction from the challenges that the country is facing, and while I agree, that is not my primary concern.  I was especially disappointed to see how you shared the WWF video with the inserted CNN logo and implied that beating up those with whom you disagree is an effective way to deal with a dissenting opinion.

 I'm not interested in debating whether CNN or Morning Joe is fake news.  I am a literate, well-read citizen who can make that determination for myself.  What is important to me is the message you are sending to Americans, both adults and most importantly children:  through your tweets you are advocating violence and name-calling as effective ways to solve problems.  I can't find the words to say how much your example cuts to the core of what I know is wrong.  Name calling from the President of the United States?  A video showing the President pummeling someone with whom he disagrees?  It's both disgusting and dangerous.  Our country as you know is already polarized and violence, both physical and verbal is pervasive in our daily lives. How can you in good conscience put out these messages to millions of people who look to you for leadership? 

Many Americans jump to violence as a solution to their problems and now you, the leader of this great country, are setting that same example and providing justification for those who choose to do the same.  You state that you want the violence in our cities to cease; yet you show a video showing the citizens of the United States that you choose to solve your problems with violence.  Is this the America you want to create?  Is this the way you want Americans to behave?  I hear you invoke God in your speeches.  Is this what your religion teaches you? Were you taught to insult, to strike back, and to use violence to hurt others?  Or, is religion only a ruse to develop a following?  I see a person's religious beliefs in their actions, not their words.  Your actions speak volumes.

I was heartened by the First Lady's commitment to the cause of anti-bullying and I fully support her work.  It is a passion of mine as well.  It is hard to understand how she can do this good work in the shadow of your behavior. 

I ask you to consider that multiple viewpoints are what make America great.  Listening is a skill that will bring you the information and perspectives that can create solutions to the problems we face.  Utilizing the language of argument, spirited debate, artful compromise and respect for those who disagree are the hallmarks of a great leader.  As you have learned, leading is a difficult task, but effective leaders can make a world of difference in the lives of many people.  It is time to turn your focus to others rather than yourself.  We face many challenges in America and we can't afford to waste time with the nonsense I am seeing from you. Listen, debate, compromise and most importantly, lead.  Set an example for us all.

Sincerely,

Jacquelyn D Gering
Kansas City, Missouri


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78 comments:

Karen M said...

Thank you for this timely and pertinent post. I try to never include any politics in my blog, but it is getting very hard to discuss creativity and art, while ignoring the disintegration of civility in our country. You have correctly identified the main culprit in this situation. I don't know how we will get through the next four years.

Kay said...

Thank you for that.

Barb said...

Thank you for this post, but I'm afraid he has shown that he is unfit for the Presidency. Encouraging and glorifying violence is only one of his many personality issues that make him a poor leader.

Sue said...

Thank you for taking this on. I intend to follow your fine example.

Laura said...

I concur!

Michele said...

well-said; thank you for posting this.

Leslie said...

I've waited long enough. I will be sending a letter. Thank you for bringing this forward.

Caro said...

Well said and spot on!

Judy said...

Excellent! Too bad he won't respond in any positive way. My Senator is a fighter, and I do intend to send a letter to her. Thanks for encouraging all of us to get involved.

knitnkwilt said...

Well said. Meanwhile, don't forget to look at what he is trying to distract us from seeing.

MyLittleBlueDog said...

Hi Jacquie, Thank you for doing something to help everyone in a calm and measured manner. I applaud you. I live in Australia so I don't think I should put my oar into this debate but I am heartened to see caring people who are committed to working together to make this world a better place. Hip Hip Hooray.

liz said...

Thank you, Jacquie!
Very well written.

Carol said...

Excellent words. Although I'm a Canadian, I believe that we are close enough to you to understand and fear what is happening to all of us. I hope your letter writing suggestions are heeded. Elected representatives, regardless of their political affiliation, will only listen if their constituents speak out.

Robin Klein said...

Thank you for stating the truth. No wonder every other country now hates us. He is not fit for the office he holds. It was a game for him to win and he did via the electoral college and if more Americans knew the history and basis for that it would be abolished! The role model he is showing children, student, and adults who do not know better is to be a bully is good. As you can tell this all infuriates me also. I am on your side. Replies:robinsbusiness@hotmail.com

GRANNYcanQUILT said...

Here is my two cents worth...while the specific example of Donald Trump's extremely odd behaviour in the office of President does not affect me directly because I'm a Canadian, it certainly does affect everyone in the world indirectly. I cannot and will not believe that violence, either verbal or physical is an acceptable way to solve conflict. My goodness, this is the first lesson that we teach our babies before they start kindergarten. (No biting, no fighting, no temper tantrums). From where I sit it looks like the USA is going backwards not forwards. The world is watching to see what you do now that you realize this is not the future you want, or could ever have imagined. Keep writing letters, walk in protest marches, call or visit your elected representatives, do something to say this is unacceptable. Your post is a great example.

einfach bunt said...

Thanks for doing that.

Marianne said...

Thank you, Jacquie. You are so earnest and optimistic. I'm afraid I don't see Trump changing his ways any time soon. But one can always hope. I do believe his behavior has unleashed a great deal of latent racism and incivility in our society. Very unfortunate and disturbing!

Debbie said...

My feelings exactly. Well said.

Suellen Franze said...

Your letter is wonderful. You say everything I am thinking, but you say it kindly and reasonably. I only wish he would read it.

O'Quilts said...

Well said sister..

Talulah Harper said...

I'm Canadian and I concur. Thanks.

writeandquilt said...

My daughter and I were just discussing the effect the President has on our society and the division that he is promoting.

Your letter is very well written and pertinent. I only hope that he will actually read it. Although I have doubt that his heart is open enough to receive and consider your thoughts and feelings.

Good work!

Rita K said...

Thank you for posting this! My feelings exactly.

Alicia Key said...

no other president has been or ever can be as divisive as obama.He engendered hate toward any differing opinion. He called those who disagreed "enemies". His wife even said she wasn't proud of our country *until* her hubby was nominated for pres.And Killary called conservatives "deplorables". Were all the attacks on even Trumps 11-yr old son what YOU wanted? I can't even read the rest of your one-sided post.If you were truly well-read and educated, you'd have started this campaign 8 yrs ago--at the very least, during last year's political game. Talk to your Media &all the hate-filled libs--the things posted to fb after the election by such people were disgusting. Had to stop following those people. I'm truly disappointed that such a creative (quilters) people can only see 1 side. Why aren't y'all upset about all the illegal things obama & Hilary have done? And how ugly they and democrats have been?Are all ya'll ok with that? Condone it, huh? But can't take it when the "other side" dares to be heard. Your one-sided-ness is EXACTly why America is in the shape it's in!

jacquie said...

Hi Alicia,
Thanks for commenting. I'm not OK with name-calling in any forum, but I am specifically speaking about the behavior of the President of the United States. You've made an assumption that I was not upset by Mrs. Clinton characterizing voters as deplorable and that I didn't speak out about the viciousness of the campaign on both sides. Politicians from both sides of the aisle have been guilty of uncivil behavior and lack of leadership. My letters also went to both Demoncrats and Republicans who represent me. As I said in the post I am starting at the top. You have jumped to many conclusions about me in your post. Where and when have I condoned illegal actions? I didn't call President Trump names as you did with Mrs. Clinton. I am well-read and educated. I have seen and read plenty of vitriol on both sides in the press, on facebook and on other social media outlets. It disgusts me as it does you. Those kinds of posts come from all political viewpoints. My opinion is my opinion and calling me one-sided only serves to divide us further. I am willing to hear your thoughts and work to encourage our president and those who represent us to develop and use civil dialogue to solve problems. All sides should be heard and listened to respectfully.

ImprovQuilter said...

So well expressed. I agree with you wholeheartedly and will take your suggested actions to heart. Thanks for NOT being silent and your activism.

Jackie said...

Well said!!!

Ariane Zurcher said...

What is happening in the world certainly informs our art, how could it be otherwise? Thank you for having the courage to post this.

jes1776 said...

Sorry, but this is not the forum to voice your political concerns, no matter how well founded you may think them to be. This is about quilting, so please keep it to that and leave your personal views and comments for some other more political blog. We have enough of politics bombarding us on TV and radio and from every other angle, so I really don't want my one hobby that is a source of relaxation and joy to be polluted with politics too! Keep your political views to yourself PLEASE!

Victoria Pariyar said...

Thank you for using your blog to be open and inclusive with your personal opinion and actions. I share your concerns and have been writing to my representatives, meeting locally and holding vigils in my community to encourage a open participatory citizenry! Thank you for exercising your rights to free speech!

Anita said...

Thank you!

jacquie said...

Jes1776, This blog belongs to me. It is my space to post whatever I believe. My quilts speak and so do I. As a citizen I will not keep my views to myself. It is my right and responsibility to speak.

Barb said...

Regardless of your political preference, can you honestly say that this president has been given a "fair, unbiased, insult free, intellectual, fighting chance"? If you can claim that he has been dealt with without insult, slander and malice, I would like to see how you have come to that conclusion. Does that excuse any kind of retaliation or paying back evil with evil? No. Just consider all aspects of this before you spout off to your readers because you feel you have like minded followers. I would love to read who your next letter is going to and what you will have to say.

jacquie said...

As I point out in the letter, President Trump has been under constant criticism and some of it all that you describe. That in my mind doesn't excuse what I have witnessed. He is my President and I have respectfully asked him to consider a new way of working. As I also said I have been subject to this kind of criticism and malice on my level and even though I have been hurt, maligned, and lied about I didn't lash out. I worked the problem, asked questions, listened even when it was hard to do. I admitted mistakes and worked hard to do better. Leadership is especially challenging in a divisive environment. He can do better. I want that for him and our country. My next letter is going to news organizations.

Cathy L said...

Thank you for speaking out on your blog. Your words are eloquently stated and depict how I feel. I have had differences of opinion with other presidents in the past but I have never had a visceral reaction the way I have with this president. I don't agree with his policies, but his juvenile behavior is what is so horrifying.

pajtr said...

Thank you, Jacquie, for speaking up, and writing SO eloquently!
I understand that the issue is far greater, much bigger, than "politics"... It concerns the very foundation of a society... the civility and respect that is *required* if a society is to be truly free and "great".
(A society that operates without civility, respect, and regard for each member of that society, including those who are most vulnerable, is a society that will degenerate, and devolve into a totalitarian state.)
Again... Thank you!!
Pat

Lori said...

Thank you for speaking out. It is worth saying and trying. I only wish I had more optimism. He has a lifetime of being rewarded by these behaviors, I'm afraid.

Desert Morning said...

Well done and well said, Jacquie. Especially in your responses to those who disagree with you among these comments. You walk the talk. And it is time to take a public stand on this sort of objectionable behavior from all political perspectives. The fabric of our society depends upon it.

jacquie said...

Desert Morning,
Well said. It takes all of us to tackle the problems we face. We can all contribute and learn from each other. I am that eternal optimist. I believe people can change given the right support and knowledge. I hear the frustration in the words of the folks who disagree with my post. I believe they want the best for this country too.

Kathy said...

Hear hear!!

Suzanne Reynolds said...

Thank you, Jacquie. Thank you for speaking out here on your space. I see that some think you are not entitled to do that. Well, they need to review the First Amendment and move on. The Occupier of the White House is the same person he was before his current job. Nothing new. Can we expect him to be and act like someone he isn't? It's too bad that Fox News, Breitbart and the like has poisoned-- and blinded -- a segment of our populace with hateful propaganda. Maybe I'm over-optimistic but still hold hope that the pendulum will swing back to reason, thoughtfulness, compassion, and integrity in our governance. It's just sad to see the state of things as they are; sad for our country. Hang in there. We are better than this.

SusieDW said...

After nearly two years watching his lack of restraint, raw impulsiveness, rude outbursts I've come to a place where I'm nearly speechless. Unable to plead that he just stop. Stop with the tweeting at the very least. I know a couple of parents who have found it necessary to find professional help for their kids to reject social media due to a true addiction. So. I'm thankful you and many others have stepped up with a rational request, written well, reasonable, with the premise that our great country deserves a wise leader who shows us respect. I do appreciate a lot of what President Trump has accomplished and I think I understand his strategy. I have to totally disagree with his personal flaws (in my view) I noted above. Thanks for articulating this, Jacquie and thanks for sharing and bringing a thoughtful discourse... as always.

jsells said...

Thank you for your eloquent letter!

Hope said...

I agree 100%. This man is a disrespectful bully. No surprise. He was a bully before his presidency, and he hasn't changed. Very sad for our country.

Bonnie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Smart said...

Thank you for this post. I have been so demoralized by the President's behavior, and I've called and written my representatives in Congress. I have to admit that it didn't occur to me to write the President. I'm sure he doesn't read his mail -- I don't know that he reads anything, from what they report about his habits -- but perhaps someone does read it all and tabulate or report it back to someone on his staff. For that reason, I applaud you for making your letter public. At least many of us who read your blog have now read it.

Sue Laufer said...

Mahalo Jacquie for your insight and willingness to put your thoughts out there. I could not agree more.

Jennifer said...

Thank you for having the courage to express your opinion, Jacquie. The age of social media enables all of us share our thoughts and opinions with a wider audience, but frequently at our own peril. Stand tall and stay strong.

Sherrill said...

Hmmm, I see it a little differently I guess. If you look back from even before he took office, he was villified, protested against, etc, etc. He's had a play glorifying his assassination, a 'comedian' holding his bloodied head, pretty much ALL of Hollywood railing against him daily, the press with NEVER a positive word to say, all sorts of stuff 'leaked' by whom? FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!! I absolutely detested Obama, all that he did, all that he stood for and yet love him or hate him, he was our president. Now he is gone, traipsing all over with world, hobnobbing with billionaires and bigwigs, living the life he told us all was not for the greater good. He created a far greater racial divide in this country yet all he received were praises and glowing reviews. There's a lot that Trump has done that I don't feel were necessary or becoming of the office but he's also, in a very short time, done a lot for the economy though he's never given credit for anything unless it's bad. Obama had 8 years--let's give Trump a little more time before condemning him completely.

Cherylz said...

Jacquie,
Thank you for wrriting your articulate, intelligent letter. I feel emboldened by your action and intend to follow suit. As for using this forum, your blog, to voice and share your concerns--well, It. Is. Your. Blog. It is your's to write as you please. Personally, I am glad you did.

cllcraft said...

I agree! But, I'm afraid that your letter will not make any difference - TRUMP DOESN'T CARE. Someone who has NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is not capable of sympathy, empathy, or can place any value on your plea of civility. Your letter made a big difference for me though. Thank you for the post.

Judy Forkner said...

Thanks for sharing your articulate letter with your readers Jacquie. I hope he reads it!

Pat said...

Jacquie,

Thanks for sharing this letter and thank you for your thoughful responses to those who disagreed with your opinion and/or your "right" to use your blog to voice your opinion. Not only am I appalled by what this president is doing, I am afraid for our country and the world in general.

Michele said...

Jacquie, thank you for sharing your letter. I am a democrat, a liberal or snowflake. Whatever phrase one chooses to use. I am a retired US Navy sailor. Today is the 4th of July, our Independence Day. The day we celebrate America. The America that was already GREAT when I served under several different presidents. I have difficulty feeling positive in today's current political climate in the wake of the hate spewing from both political parties. I do believe, as I was taught and trained in the Navy, that my leader is responsible for the ensuring that subordinates are informed of their orders through thoughtful, competent and intelligent decisions. The president is the leader of our country and should be doing the same for our citizenry. Leading by example. I do not see that from this president. I see name calling, vindictiveness and retatliation against others. I see sexism, racism and cronyism as qualifications for appointments. I see rash and bizarre social media comments that I believe crafted to inflame. This behavior gives license to our citizenry to act in the same manner. I have written several letters to my 2 republican US senators and republican US representative. My letters express the dismay in the direction the administration is heading, urging "no" votes on certain legislation or cabinet appointments and the potential loss of funding to programs I believe in whole heartedly. Lest anyone think I only write to my opposing party, I have written letters in the past to my own party legislators. We are the constituents of our legislators. It is our responsibility to let them know how we feel. Despite the canned form letters I get in response to my most recent letters, I will continue to write and express my opinion. There are many, many of us who are doing this and we can help change the direction of the country to good and hope and peace.

jacquie said...

Thank you Michele. Our leaders can't represent us unless they know our thoughts. Write on!!

elizabethdee said...

I agree with you, in a way it IS about quilting -- and every other activity that anyone engages in.
If the house across the street is on fire, a responsible person puts aside her quilting and calls 911, at the very least. (Maybe many will find that analogy melodramatic, and probably it is, but i myself think we face crisis now.)
Thank you, Jacque. You are a real leader.

jacquie said...

Sherrill,
I am not condemning President Trump. I am asking him to work differently and set a better example for all of us. I just finished reading the Federalist Papers and after reading Alexander Hamilton's words I understand better how the passion of beliefs and positions tempered with compromise brings about results. Part of being a politician in our country is being subject to ridicule, criticism, and satire. It is who we are as America. President Trump is not the only leader who has been the target of those kinds of actions. It is part of the job.

Quilteuse Forever said...

Jacquie, I carefully read your letter and all the comments. In France 2 months ago we could have had a friend of Mr. Trump becoming our new President; unfortunate things occur sometimes.
A selfish, violent, horizontal new society is arising and tends to lack of sympathy and empathy, respect and confidence, vision and optimism. Our Governments need to provide the people with a strategic course and exemplarity, that is why your letter meets my deeper convictions.

To answer Robin Klein, there is no hate from us of course, especially not from me - I have too many good American friends in the Quilt and creative world. We do not mix up a nation with their President's behavior.
Have a good Fourth of July, with the hope for a better leader in less than... 40 months.
Katell, France

Marcia Coffman Hicks said...

Jacquie,
Thanks you for sharing your letter to President Trump. This letter shows not only your passion for our country, but moreover your passion for the children of our country. The influence that our leaders have for the young and impressionable minds of our children are immeasurable and they are watching and listening. As the tides are shifting in this country, they are being carried away on the tidal wave of indifference, complacency and a myriad of other calamities that are wreaking havoc on our communities. My hope is that our leaders will wake up soon to the damage that is happening and stop it before it is too late and letters like this one will be the catalyst to that end. We The People will be the ones to make that happen. We need to be diligent and continue to let our leaders in Washington know our concerns and keep up the fight. Thanks again for your thoughts and inspiration!

jacquie said...

We the people, for sure!!

Havplenty said...

Yes it is unfortunate the political climate our country is in right now. There is a president in office that does not respect this country, its people or the office he holds.

Unfortunately the elected officials currently in office are supporting this behavior of the president and publicly show support for him. Did you see that awful cabinet meeting where everyone in attendance heaped praised on Trump? How sickening. The USA is headed down the darkest of holes.

I say to everyone start voting this current congress out of office when the opportunity presents itself. Why send these get along idiots back as our representatives?

The people who voted for Trump, though he did not win the popular vote in this country, but the people who did vote for him, what could they possibly be thinking now? Some ordinary "joe blow" citizens are still publicly supporting Trump in interviews even though he is showing that does not care about them. Trump is ready to pull they supportive rug from under all of them, with the help of congress.

I am sickened every day that I read the news regarding our president and the state of the USA across the globe. I will be showing my displeasure at the ballot box for sure.

Lisa said...

Jacquie,
I appreciate your measured, researched, and humane letter more than you know. Several dear friends of mine feel besieged by changes in the world (economic stagnation, gay rights, perceived loss of white privilege) and cling to their perception that this 'strong' leader will stop the tsunami of change for which they feel ill-prepared. You mentioned being well educated and I believe that a citizenry well educated by a well funded public education system is the lynch pin upon which the dialog and compromise you speak hinges. Brava for continuing in the same vein as your letter when you responded to those who disagreed and invited them to a civil discussion.
Lisa

dianneo said...

President Trump did not create the video replacing the WWF logo with the CNN logo. It was created by a Reddit user.

Sara said...

Yes. Thank you. Much appreciated!!

jacquie said...

Knitnkwilt,
Good point!

jacquie said...

Dianneo,
Yes, but he shared it on his feed thereby endorsing its content.

Becky said...

Thanks for your post Jacquie. I sent Mr. Trump a letter last week as well. Mine was not as articulate as yours but I was trying to say the same thing.

Mego said...

I love you Jacquelyn D Gering!!! Thanks for this. It is time for ALL of us to take responsibility for our mouths (and our fingers!) This is well said and much needed.

dianneo said...

Just wanted you to know your letter to him saying he made it was inaccurate, in case you hadn't heard. Most presidents read only a handful of letters they receive. They do get a report, as our representatives do, of what they are being written to about. If a letter contains a false statement, it's not likely it would reach his desk.

jacquie said...

Edited and sent. I'm glad it was the fourth with no mail! I realize presidents don't read most letters but they do receive feedback (usually) and I appreciate the correction. The fact that he posted it is what most disturbs me, not who created it.

jacquie said...

Good for you. Writing those who represent us is one way to be heard.

Bonnie Preslar said...

Thank you for sharing your letter with us. Bravo....well stated!

Life Art from Turkey Ridge said...

Well said.

Kristen Willard said...

Writing a letter will not solve anything. Do you think anyone changes behavior based on strangers' opinions? Change happens in democracies (and republics) by voting. You have every right to speak out and this is your venue. And like all free markets, I have the right to shop with my feet.

jacquie said...

Kristen,
Voting is so important for sure, but voting is only the beginning of my responsibility as a citizen. I believe strangers (people) can make an impact as one and as a collective. My representatives have public forums for a reason, to hear my opinion, my thoughts and my experiences so they can better represent me. There are many ways that I can make my voice heard and writing letters is one of them. I try to take advantage of as many of those opportunities as I can. Each of our voices is important and you never know if what you say, what you write, or what you do might move another person to question, think differently, or act to share their own voice. By posting my letter I hope others will choose to make their voice heard with whatever they believe. I also hope to share my passion for anti-violence and increase awareness of the problem. There are so many people that I don't know personally (strangers) that I read and listen to and think about their ideas and perspectives. Strangers have impact all the time. In fact, if more of us looked and experienced outside of our comfortable bubbles we might understand each other better. I'm not sure what the shopping with your feet reference is about, but sure shop where you want.

Becki @ the beach said...

Jacquie, thank you. I believe freedom of speech is extremely important and I appreciate hearing your viewpoint. Being a quilter is only part of who we are here. I find it very interesting that your post elicited so much negative emotion from your followers. Had I disagreed with you I might have unfollowed you but I wouldn't feel moved to criticize your opinions. Who thinks Obama was treated fairly, or cares. This isn't about that, it's about this president and how he is representing me, us, the USA, and the things he tweets & the disrespectful way he talks about women, people. I love your reply to Alicia. Thank you,
Becki

margaretk said...

Thank you for sharing your letter, and for setting an example of civility when replying to people who disagree with you. I agree with you completely, and am inspired to write more letters to my representatives.

Precille Boisvert said...

I admire you as a quilter (and teacher on Craftsy), and you have my full support in expressing your views opposing Pres. Trump's violent reactions to opposition. I am also disgusted by it. This is not how we show respect for our people and for our nation.