My friend Tym wants to send him a note, but doesn’t have his address:
Dear Mr. Scaramucci,
My name is Artyom Matusov, and I attended the SplinterNews viewing of your documentary Monday night in Manhattan, where you appeared afterward for a discussion with Hamilton Nolan (I was sitting near the front, wearing a black leather jacket and red sweatpants, across the aisle from the older gentleman who asked you the last question about whether you believe Trump is a fascist).
Firstly, I would like to thank you for participating in the documentary and for being willing to come and be interviewed about it with someone who very clearly doesn’t like you very much, in front of a small, hostile audience. That takes strength, intelligence, charm and courage, all qualities which you clearly possess.
Speaking for myself, I decided to attend your viewing primarily out of curiosity, to get a better sense of a person who helped put Trump into office and keep him there. I am a gay, Jewish immigrant from Moscow, Russia. I came to America, legally, with my parents in 1988 when I was four. Both of my parents were only 28 years old when they started their new life in the United States, possessing little else than their wits, and left the Soviet Union because of its rampant antisemitism, and because they were political dissidents (in 1987 my father, who came from a prominent Soviet family, was arrested in front of the Soviet Defense Ministry and interrogated by the KGB for publicly protesting the Soviet war in Afghanistan; you can imagine our current state of déjà vu).
I do not exaggerate at all when I say that as a Russian-American Jew, I have been hearing my entire life about the various horrors of fascism, communism and totalitarianism (this is almost all my parents and grandparents talk about when we are all together). Their stories and warnings always seemed distant and irrelevant to my life here, but I listened out of respect, and because I had no choice, even though the thoughts these stories evoke are not always very pleasant, and I don’t particularly enjoy having them.
Unfortunately, I do not believe they are irrelevant anymore. A few weeks ago, a large band of neo-Nazis called the Proud Boys collected as a mob not far from where I live in Manhattan, engaged in mob violence where they physically assaulted multiple people, were caught on camera yelling things like “faggot” and “I think I just punched a foreigner,” and most shockingly of all, the NYPD was fully aware and present during the entire incident, and instead of stopping it, or arresting any of the neo-Nazi Proud Boys, instead chose to arrest three people who the Proud Boys had beaten up.
Not long after, another ardent Trump-supporting neo-Nazi in Florida sent pipe bombs from his Trump-plastered van to a large number of Democratic leaders, while yet another murdered 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, in the neighborhood where my own family members had lived several years earlier. The inspiration for his mass murder came from Trump, who claimed that the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society was somehow responsible for the fact that Latin American refugees seek asylum in the United States. Although I cannot speak for HIAS’ activities in Latin America, it did most definitely help me and my family escape from the totalitarian Soviet Union and relocate safely to the United States, where we have all prospered and contributed to our adopted homeland.
So with all of that said, here is my reaction to your performance:
On a personal level, I liked you a lot, despite your many flaws and contradictions, and despite not wanting to like you at all. I think that is primarily a testament to your charm, intelligence, and candor, though I also think you are dishonest in many ways, as we all are in our own special ways, both with others, and with ourselves. Having thus been charmed by you, against my will, I am now disappointed in you.
I am disappointed by the fact that you acknowledge Trump’s words and actions hurt and harm many different kinds of people, and that Brett Kavanaugh is at best, most probably a horrible pig and liar, yet you then choose to deny that these things are significant, central in fact to the Trump Presidency, and that they are significantly hurting the country, and specifically people like me (and women, and African Americans, and Hispanics, and Muslims). That despite this, you still choose to support Trump, because you think it is in your financial or political interest, which I can assure you it is not. My purpose in saying this is not to insult you, but just look at how your association with him has damaged your life already. It blew-up your businesses, almost blew-up your marriage, and put a major dent in your political ambitions, whatever those might now be. And your story is not unique. Most people who associate closely with the Trump family end up badly burned. These are facts, not my opinions.
Here is another fact. I am part of the majority now, the majority in this country that is being attacked by a vicious, vengeful and bitter minority of mostly outrageous white straight Christian nativist men. I do not think this is who you are. But as a white straight rich Christian man born here, and as a Harvard trained lawyer, I think you know better than to think that you can tell someone like me that Trump is not a xenophobe or an anti-Semite, or a homophobe (or a racist). As someone who is not directly affected by these words, you do not get to participate in their definition. You do not get to tell people that Trump is not a racist. Nor do you get to use Van Jones’ support for criminal justice reform as proof of anything other than the need for criminal justice reform.
My plea to you is to please reconsider what you are doing. Stop selling your book, which says that Trump is some blue-collar hero, when he is actually he a vicious scam artist, who has hurt you many times already. Reflect on your attempt to re-ingratiate yourself with Republicans. It will fail. Step back, breathe, be grateful that you still have all the things that you have, and imagine how you can make a genuine positive impact in the world that has nothing to do with ego, money or power. Please.
Tym’s letter got me thinking about my few Trump supporter friends.
They floor me.
If I called one of them a liar, I think he’d flush very red — and lash back. It’s a terrible thing to be branded a liar.
Okay that — with months to pick Sessions’ replacement — Trump chose Whitaker to head the Justice Department.
Maybe if the Roberts seat ever opens up, Trump will appoint Whitaker Chief Justice!
He has a law degree, after all. (I’d say, “what more do you need?” but in truth, you didn’t even need that.) And he may not be indicted for his role in the World Patent Marketing fraud.
“Oh, now you’re being ridiculous,” I can hear my Trump-supporting friends say. But am I? If it’s ridiculous to think Whitaker could be Chief Justice, why is it not ridiculous that he’s Attorney General?
Anyway . . .
UPDATE! THE MOOCH GOT TYM’S LETTER!
Before I append his reply, just a little housekeeping on the “sociopath” thing.
There are lots of “Trump sociopath” Google hits to choose from, and over the last few months I’ve linked to several.
Brooks Hilliard: “Calling Trump a sociopath is exactly what Cong. Crenshaw, whom you extolled, suggested (sensibly) that we not do. I think we should be stating (provably) that Trump is a liar and a cheat (also provable: Trump U, stiffing subs, etc.). His opinions and policies are misguided and dangerous. But we should all stay away from name-calling, which runs the risk of diminishing us more than him (Michelle Obama may have said this best).”
Paul deLespinasse: “The ’10 characteristics of a psychopath’ you linked to is truly frightening. However, I discovered that Mike Adams, the author, is a far-out inoculation-opposing conspiracy-theorist who was a birther and supported Trump’s election.”
☞ Well, okay. Then how about this link? ” . . . [sociopaths are] characterized by a disregard for the feelings of others, a lack of remorse or shame, manipulative behavior, unchecked egocentricity, and the ability to lie in order to achieve one’s goals . . .”
Or this one? Anything there that strikes you as Trumpian?
The Mooch responds:
From: Scaramucci, Anthony
Date: Wed, Nov 21, 2018 at 8:58 PM
Subject: Re: Feedback on Monday’s Hamilton Nolan interview
To: Artyom Matusov
Very well written and I appreciate the time that you took to write it. Thank you for your honest appraisal. It is hard to know the truth through the distortion of the media and it’s self forming narratives. All things trump are bad. I got that. However it just isn’t true. He has governed pretty to very moderately.
As for me I have absolutely no political ambition. I was trying to help the country and made a mistake on the phone with a reporter. Nothing more or less. John Kelly took advantage of it. It has come back to hurt him now.
I am focused on my family and my business. I thought the other night was odd. I came to answer questions about the film not to be attacked. I thought the crowd was very close minded and just wanted a punching bag rather than meet in the middle.
I appreciate you coming and making the decision to hear me out. The fact that you may not like me now, my opinions or philosophy has at least been confirmed by your own due diligence and not media biases.
As for the book I encourage you to read it. It too may not be what you think.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family,
Whatever you think of Scaramucci — and however delusional his claim that Trump has governed moderately — it’s hard not to enjoy the trailer.
Quote of the Day
Everyman is guilty of all the good he didn't do.~Voltaire
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