Dear Gary

I have known for some time now that I am waiting for an apology. Initially, I felt I was being petty – unreasonable, perhaps. But lately I recognize that just because my expectation will not be met, it is not necessarily unreasonable. Perhaps the offender(s) just need some assistance. So, in the spirit of healing, I offer this sample apology from the Trump voters in my life.

Dear Gary,


I know things have not been good with us for some time. It has been easy for me to focus on your expressions of disappointment and anger with the Republican administration and with me rather than on my own big underlying failings that have caused this rift between us. I am sorry for my distracted, defensive, and completely inadequate response to your legitimate concerns about my behavior.
I voted for Trump. You know it and I know it. My action was ignorant and wrong.
Back in 2016, I got caught up in my feelings about (select one or more from this list:
  • the results of my own failed financial decisions
  • the ongoing impact of rabid capitalism on my life and those around me
  • the breakthrough of my racism and my family’s
  • Russian bots
  • my chronic sense of being put upon
  • my family’s historic need to assimilate at all costs
  • my inability to learn a second language
  • my challenges in taking responsibility for my kid’s failed marriages [drug use, academic performance, repeated job challenges]
  • my adherence to religious prescriptions that I now see as immoral
  • others________________)
and used these feelings as the basis for a decision to reject a more qualified candidate for office than Donald Trump.
Since then, I have been using my (select one or more from this list:
  • clean house
  • tidy yard
  • birthday cards
  • social media “likes”
  • holiday parties
  • good credit rating
  • kindness to animals
  • history of nonprofit contributions
  • family plaque on a church pew
  • platitudes about justice
  • others_______________)
to show that I am a good person while ignoring the consequences of my behavior on the lives of millions of people in North America and around the world. On my best days, when I have merely challenged the suboptimal performance of past Democratic administrations, using them as a sort of moral equivalent to the despicable and deplorable behaviors of the current administration, I was wrong and, at some fundamental level, I knew it.
Even lately, when your confusion about how to proceed as (select one or more from this list:
  • family
  • friend
  • colleague
  • co-worker
  • neighbor
  • fellow passenger
  • others____________________)
has become painful for you to experience and for me to watch, I have personally criticized you as irrational, too sensitive, unreasonable, deluded, and a snowflake. I have acted confused and hurt instead of acknowledging your legitimate concerns. I have asked you to seek counseling. I have suggested that we have a clearing of the air without prefacing that suggestion with this apology.
Please take some time to mull over accepting my apology for voting for Donald Trump and for defending that action for over two years. Every natural disaster, the suffering of people at our national borders, the ongoing corruption in our financial institutions, the demeaning of black and brown people, and the misogynistic behaviors toward women of all ages point to my bad decision. The erosion of voting rights for millions, increased limits to educational access, degradation of our natural environment, the terror of black men and boys, hostility towards Puerto Rico, and the dangerous examples of ignorance of international diplomacy point to the severity and depth of my poor behavior.
I cannot undo my action or take back my vote. However, in coming weeks and months, I will (select several from this list:
  • protest outside one Trump rally
  • give 10% of my earnings to support Democratic candidates
  • tell others who have shared my distorted views that I was wrong and so are they
  • volunteer to do voter registration
  • volunteer to do Democratic polling
  • learn about climate change
  • request that the clergy of my religion address human rights and human dignity from the pulpit
  • participate in anti-racism learning opportunities
  • support organizations that defend and protect people seeking asylum and other immigrants
  • clarify what kind of person I want to be and hold up my decisions to that standard
  • apologize to others whom I have hurt like I have hurt you
  • others_______________________).
I invite you to check in with me on my progress on these actions. Please accept my apology and help me find a way to move forward together. I understand that your response may not be immediate and acknowledge that initially you may still show disappointment in me.


I again want you at my side and I want to be at yours.


With regrets and love,

One thought on “Dear Gary

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