Dear Mr. Trump,
You are an embarrassment to Americans living outside the States.
I’m a New Yorker but have worked in London for almost four years. I love my country and consider myself a proud American. But since your election, I feel nothing but excruciating embarrassment the moment anyone brings up your name. Because of you, I temper my accent in public. I don’t want the inevitable uncomfortable conversations or the conflict. I don’t want to badmouth my fellow Americans. I don’t want any of it on my shoulders. But it’s there, all the time.
Every week I meet new British, European, or international business or social acquaintances who ask my opinion of you. And they’re not just making polite conversation. It’s clearly a litmus test on whether I’m worth knowing. I never could have imagined needing a ready-made script to excuse my national identity.
“Don’t look at me, I didn’t vote for the guy.”
“Hopefully he’ll be gone soon.”
“I promise, not all Americans are like that.”
“Yes, they know he’s lying, but they just don’t care.”
I don’t blame people for asking. They don’t like seeing America reduced to your ugly version of nationalism.
This is also the first time I’ve felt like I’ve been pitied. “This is Anthony. No, it’s okay, he’s one of the ‘good’ Americans.” I am a middle-aged professional businessman being excused. And frankly, it’s utterly fucking humiliating and mortifying.
You may say, “Hey, Britain has its own problems. Look at Brexit!” And that’s true. But theirs is a singular embarrassment. You, on the other hand, are a perpetual and constant source of shame. Just when I think there’s a bottom to your unworthiness to be President, you prove me wrong. Just when I think, “This is it! Surely this will end his presidency,” I’m let down because craven Republican sycophants turn a blind eye.
I know your advisors and your Fox News fan club hailed your recent visit to England as a triumph. And you keep retweeting comments from xenophobic lunatic Katie Hopkins, as though her British accent speaks for the people here. But please let me offer you an unvarnished view of what England really thinks of you. You are loathed. Everything you stand for is loathed. Don’t mistake the Queen’s civility and politeness for affection. You are abhorrent to everything the English hold dear (and that Americans used to). Even if Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage fawn over you in public, you really should know that they laugh at you in private. We all do — or we would, if it wasn’t so soul crushing to see the ruin you’ve made of a once great and respected office.
With each new despicable policy or comment from you or your administration, my non-American colleagues ask if I understand exactly how much damage you’ve inflicted on the reputation of the States — as if it’s something that hadn’t occurred to me — so I can somehow stop it. But what the hell can I do?
As a nation, we as Americans did the worst thing possible. We made a narcissist the focus of the world. Ever since the day of your inauguration, with or without the greatest audience in history, you’ve been trying to top that high, like a junkie mainlining attention into your veins. But it’s never enough. It’s clear when you’re jonesing because you start playing “how-far-can-I-push-the-boundaries-before-I-finally-cross-the-line?” You want the world’s reaction, whatever it may be, to make your mark. And that makes you dangerous.
You’ve said and done some truly despicable things in the past three years. But watching you bask in the racist chants this week turned my stomach. And rather than own the fact that you’re a racist, you and your sycophants lie. You tried to back pedal and say you didn’t support the audience, but the video clearly shows how smugly you soaked it in. Worse still, you sent out the women you hired (transparently just to “prove” you’re not the blatant, unrepentant, unreformed, unmitigated misogynist you really are) to lie for you.
So just do us all a favor and resign and get out of the way while we rebuild our reputation. I know you won’t, but someone has to say it and say it often. Just so you know.
This letter was submitted to the ‘Open Letters’ series. If you would like to contribute by writing a letter of your own, please contact Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org