Martin Luther King taught us to dream beyond the cruelties of this world, to reach past the limitations invented by small-minded people. He taught us to keep our eyes on the mountain-top and believe we could get there. In honor of his teachings, I am borrowing his memorable phrase and saying, I have a dream.

It’s a very specific dream, with very specific characters. It consists of our five living ex-presidents. My dream is that Presidents Obama, both Bushes, Clinton and Carter will stand together in front of America — in front of the world — and remind us what America is supposed to be. My dream is that they will talk to us — in unison, as men who may not have agreed with each other, but who each honored and respected our democracy and still do — and tell us in clear tones the danger we are facing if Donald Trump and his band of destroyers keeps pulling us down the dark road we are on. I want them to tell us that our democracy is not infallible, and it is at risk. It is precious, it can be resilient, but it’s only as resilient as those who vow to preserve it.

We are witnessing the chipping away of basic principles that the Constitution laid out in great detail so that America could be strong, healthy, and free. From the moment Donald Trump descended the escalator and announced his candidacy, he has basically given his middle finger to the Constitution, our democracy, and our standing in the world. From calling Mexicans rapists and murderers, from isolating us globally by offending pretty much everyone, from taking us backward environmentally, to laughingly refusing to come clean about his finances, and installing his family members in his administration, to — most grievously — waging war on the Free Press, he has shown himself to be an ambitious wanna-be autocrat who has no intention of letting a Constitution stand in his way. And sadly, we have a Congress who has no intention of stopping him.

I want these ex-presidents to remind us what the presidency is supposed to be about — dignity, respect, and loyalty to the principles of our democracy. I want them to tell us that our system of checks and balances, created so brilliantly by the Founding Fathers, only works if it’s enforced. I want them to be stern teachers and tell us we can’t be complacent, we can’t assume we’ll be okay. Countries are destroyed because of complacency.

I want them to tell us that we are better than this, that an infantile egomaniac who has no idea what he’s doing, but who thinks he should rule this country all by himself, cannot be allowed to define and destroy us. I want them to tell us that the dream our Founding Fathers had of a democratic government is worth fighting for, and that now is the moment to do that. If we wait longer, it might be too late.

These five men served our country and vowed to preserve our democracy. We need them now. I have a dream that they will help save us from the nightmare that’s waiting for us if Donald Trump’s dreams come true.


7 Responses to I HAVE A DREAM

  1. Paul says:

    Very powerful piece, Patti. Thank you.

  2. Sue says:

    Yes! Thank you,Patty!

    “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream”

  3. Chet Rhodes says:

    Amen, Patti! Thank you for your insight.

  4. Juliana Fiore says:

    Yes, that would be nice if they did that, but we need the Republicans who are currently in power and enabling Trump to DO SOMETHING NOW. because they are allowing this to happen; they are complicit and they have the power to stop him.

  5. Rodney Wilson says:

    Your dream is my dream, too.

  6. Ciaran Ryan says:

    Less than one month after President Clinton’s inauguration, President Ronald Reagan worte an op/ed in the New York Times attacking the new President’s tax hike. He wrote another one in August about his deficit reduction program. The former President didn’t hold back, writing, “Over the years, I have been known as an optimist — always believing that better days will lie ahead. But, right now, I have serious concerns about the future of America… I fear for the loss of opportunities that Americans have always had to make better lives for themselves and their families. And I worry about America’s place in the world…” Ronald Reagan was unafraid to have his voice heard when he felt that one of his successors was out of line. And it wasn’t only when the President was of an opposing party–he spoke out against the Bush Administration’s failure to support the Brady Bill, and he spoke out against NATO’s failure to act to halt the genocide in former Yugoslavia. So why is it that Presidents Carter, Clinton and the two Bushes are mute? I agree Patti. They need to speak out against Trump’s unacceptable behavior. The stakes have never been higher.

  7. Ken W. Brown says:

    Clarity and insight!

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