Aspen Princess: America has become its own reality show

Alison Berkley Margo
The Aspen Princess

Dear Trump supporters,

I know we’ve had some words before, but now I really, really need to talk to you.

I don’t want to be that person who is unwilling to have dialogue with the other side, to share ideas, to debate and to try to understand my opposition. I have relatives who are staunch conservatives and I have sat at the dinner table with them and patted them on the back for their informed and passionate views. This is not the Civil War. I would never turn my back on family under any circumstances.

I also can’t pretend to be well versed in politics or interested in serious discussion and debate. Let’s face it: I am a navel-gazer. I live in a fantasy world. I’m a lot more interested in celebrity gossip than headline news. I prefer Us Weekly to The New Yorker. I lay in bed at night and peruse my E! Entertainment app, and mostly I look at the pictures so I can see what people are wearing. I watch the Kardashians and think Scott and Kourtney have been together all along — they just play up the drama for the cameras, but it’s all fake.

But that’s starting to change.

It feels very much like we are on a ship in the night with a captain who is totally off course and heading straight for that iceberg. I could run with this analogy and add that this is a captain who was hired to man this massive ship even though he has no experience whatsoever at sea, no previous knowledge about how to run this huge vessel with millions of souls on board whose lives depend on him.

Trumpians, please explain to me why or how this man was ever elected in the first place, though I guess it’s too late for that now. Just tell me why you voted for him. Or better yet, tell me how you feel about him now.

You gotta admit this latest James Comey thing seems a little fishy. It’s insulting to the American public that our own president would stoop this low in terms of his assumptions about how stupid he thinks we are.

I could go on and on about my grievances with the current administration, but instead, I’d like to share with you, dear Trumpaloons, what it is that I’m worried about. I would love it if you could reassure me and give me a reason not to be deeply concerned about our future.

The day Trump was elected, shortly after Ryan announced he “had to take a Trump,” he said, “What, you don’t think the sun isn’t going to continue to shine on the Roaring Fork Valley?”

And while I love my husband dearly for his eternal and unshakable optimism, I’m afraid he might be wrong on this one.

That’s exactly what got the Democrats into trouble in the first place. We live in a bubble of privilege and are more worried about gluten and body fat than we are about what’s going on in the world. When we do decide to freak out about what’s going on the world, I have to ask myself, what are we really doing about it? What am I doing about it? Other than my own pathetic breed of armchair activism via online donations to this or that, I have done nothing. I literally haven’t gotten up off my ass and out of my desk chair to do a damn thing.

Sure, I’ve been talking about volunteering with local nonprofits that work with the immigrant communities in the valley, because I do think that’s one concrete way I can address some of the crises we are faced with as a nation. But despite my intentions to volunteer for English in Action or to call to see if I can help with the Valley Settlement Project, I spend what little free time I do have going to yoga and getting my toenails done.

I am starting to worry about whether the sun will continue to shine here in our idyllic little valley. Or rather, I’m worried the sun might continue to shine for a little too long, and a little too strong.

Here are my concerns, Trumpettes, in broad strokes:

It troubles me deeply that we as humankind have created nuclear weapons that are capable of destroying civilization as we know it, and they are just sitting there. How long can the red button exist before someone pushes it?

I am concerned about the capacity for unfathomable cruelty that has been demonstrated by humanity over and over throughout history. Genocide, slavery, and the atrocities of war are evidence that we as a species are somehow innately self-destructive.

I am perplexed by the lack of concern for our environment, or perhaps our tendency to be entirely driven by greed so that short term gain trumps (I am really starting to hate that word) devastating loss in the long term.

I also think it’s naive to believe that just because we’ve never seen real warfare on American soil in our lifetime that it can’t happen. I’m not discounting 9/11 by any means, but still.

I recently heard someone say “democracy and capitalism inherently contradict one another,” and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always believed we live in a capitalist economy and not a democracy. At the end of the day, lobbyists and corporate interests control Congress.

So now we’ve elected a CEO and a reality-TV star to run, or perhaps to destroy, our country. I just hope we can find our way back to a democracy that is powerful enough to stop it.

The Princess is trying to write about something besides her kid. Let her know how she’s doing at