The president of the United States defended one of his staff members from allegations of abuse in a recent twitter post.  Let that sink into the morass of thoughts that you have to manage on a daily basis during this astonishing administration.  Now read the actual tweet:

Well, we wish him well. He worked very hard. I found out about it recently, and I was surprised by it. But we certainly wish him well.It’s obviously a tough time for him.
“He did a very good job when he was in the White House, and we hope he has a wonderful career, and hopefully he will have a great career ahead of him, but it was very sad when we heard about it, and certainly he’s also very sad now.


“Very sad. ” . . . “Mr. Porter is very sad now.”


No expression of concern for the survivors of Mr. Porter’s alleged actions.    No instant condemnation of physical assaults, on women or anyone.  The automatic response of the president of the United States to a serious allegation of violence by a member of his staff:  Sympathy and good wishes for the alleged perpetrator.


My mother, siblings and I experienced family violence before an industry arose around such chaos.  In the 1960s, we endured beatings, knife-throwings, screaming, and worse.  We also bore the stamp of sorrow which comes from living in hell.    No one prosecuted my father nor were we removed from the situation.   Society had not yet decided that the abuser should be punished for family violence.

But we know better now.  We know that beating people should not be tolerated.  We know that anger needs to be controlled.  We know that survivors deserve our help, our support, and our compassion.  Research tells us that trauma impacts neuro-biology; that patterns of domestic violence repeat in generational cycles; and that those who do violence will not stop unless they face censure.  We take these allegations seriously.

Yet our president wishes Mr. Porter well.


He does not say, “I await an investigation; but in the meantime, I support the survivors of these alleged assaults, and I will insure that my administration does not hire anyone with a history of domestic violence.”


He says:  “We wish him well.”


I’ve got a few wishes of my own.  I wish Mr. Porter due process.    I wish justice for his apparent victims.  As for the nation, my wish remains the same:  That those who govern due so honorably, wisely, and conscientiously.

I began writing this article before the St. Valentine’s Day massacre of seventeen people at a Florida school by a former student armed with an AR-15.  I tried to compose this entry with a conscious regard for even-handed and noninflammatory commentary.  But now I am angry.  I’m angry that this nation seems to hold its citizens in so little regard that we elected a president who brags about being able to sexually assault women and expresses best wishes for a departing staff member accused by two former spouses of assault.  I’m furious that the NRA can make massive donations to elected officials and block gun control.  I’m livid that Trump suspended Obama-era regulations regarding gun purchases by people with mental health histories.    I am outraged that this nation seems to take abuse, gun violence, the senseless injury of family members and the murder of children, with an equal lack of seriousness.

 I survived a terrible childhood besieged by family violence.  I escaped injury in a senseless stranger shooting incident.  These maladies are hardly new, but they worsen rather than abate.  I’ve blended my anger over these conditions into one post because I see similar attitudes to each being displayed by the current administration.  The same officials who send thoughts and prayers to the families of shooting victims, send good wishes to abusers and dismiss the disgusting comments of the president as “locker room talk”.


I’m sick of it.  I feel helpless, and hopeless, and appalled.  And I did not even lose anyone to gun violence this week.  Imagine what the parents of those children feel.  In fact, you don’t have to imagine.  I’ve got no punchy closing  this time.  Just this — a message from the parent of a fourteen-year-old to the president of the United States of America.


 Click on her picture, listen to her anguish; and then tell me what you’re going to do about the senseless scourge of violence in America: