Thursday, February 1, 2018


February 1, 2018

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Protection

Must we all be protected all of the time? I heard Trump say in his speech the other night that it was his “sacred duty”—and that of every politician—to protect the American people from every contingency. When it comes to nuclear attack, well, I can see his point. But I personally don’t need to be protected to every one of life’s unpredictable misfortunes. This sounds like the “nanny state” that Libertarians are so fond of decrying.

This is related, as I see it, both to the way we educate our children and the whole problematic #metoo movement. I read an interesting article about bullying by a woman educated in Switzerland, I think, who had learned the hard way how to defend herself and was concerned about our need to overprotect our children, depriving them of the skills they will certainly need as they grow up into a not-always friendly world. Now I deplore bullies, of course, like everyone else. It’s one reason I deplore our “president.” But the woman has a point. We coddle our children and wrap them in layer of protection at their eventual cost. There must be, somewhere, a middle path.

The #metoo issue is no less problematic. It is vital for those who have been victimized to speak out. That’s the first step in the path to healing. And it’s a sad truth that there are many men out there (women, too, though far fewer, it seems) who are willing to abuse their power and physical dominance to satisfy twisted or misplaced sexual needs. But there’s a shifting, nebulous line somewhere that we have not yet been able to discover, between the most shameful of abuses and the innocent or minor transgression. We need work, empathy, thoughtful analysis, discernment, not Trump's dubious protection.

In any event, I feel a shiver in my spine when Trump sees it to be his sacred duty to protect me. And I find it more than reprehensible that he exploits fear as a political weapon, to deployed—in the context of his speech—against mostly entirely innocent and hard-working immigrants.


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

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