January 31, 2017
Free from the constraints of decorum required of a mayor in a major American city, Michael Nutter has been enjoying the freedom to fully speak his mind about the state of U.S. politics. It helps to have a platform like CNN, where Nutter is starting to become a fixture.
On Monday, Nutter threw caution to the wind and absolutely skewered Donald Trump in an open letter that accuses the president of "gaslighting" the American public by browbeating them into questioning their own sanity.
We see all of these purposely hurtful, distracting and egomaniacal tactics for what they are -- publicly available literature would indicate that you may apparently be displaying signs of malignant narcissism and narcissistic leadership.
Nutter offers a series of examples of how Trump's behavior is "small," "petty," "insecure," "obsessed," "disrespectful," "deceptive" and "devoid of empathy."
The letter was published hours before Trump chose to fire Sally Yates, the acting attorney general, who ordered her staff not to defend the president's executive order on immigration because she felt the Justice Department was unable to guarantee its legality.
An already massive backlash marked by huge airport protests over the weekend swelled into Monday evening.
Commentators on both sides of the aisle have acknowledged Trump's right to dismiss Yates, but many have also questioned the president's decision to sign an executive order that key government officials say they had no opportunity to vet and evaluate.
Trump's supporters argue the travel bans, with the exception of indefinite restrictions against Syrian citizens, are temporary and will provide the U.S. a chance to examine its security needs. Critics believe the policy will alienate Muslim allies who are vital to American success in containing and defeating the Islamic State.
Nutter, still swinging, again weighed in during a CNN panel late Monday night, calling Trump's administration "FUBAR" and reiterating that the president's temperament, a central focus of the 2016 campaign, will bring about his own self-sabotage.
A week after Trump's electoral victory in November, Nutter wrote another letter to Trump advising him to focus on reality instead of rhetoric. At the time, Nutter attempted to explain to Trump why his campaign had been so harmful and that it could undermine his presidency absent a change in course.
"The reason that children, students, parents, senior citizens, immigrants in America and people around the world are distressed, demonstrating and expressing fear, anger and doubt about THEIR America is because you have stated out of your own mouth ideas, policies and comments that make it sound like so many of us have no place in YOUR America," Nutter wrote.
This time around, it might do the Trump administration well to at least heed Nutter's advice about how to deal with American cities, an area of expertise the former mayor has broadened into relationships with leaders in urban centers around the country.
The cities of America are what make America great, and having a partnership between the great cities of America and the federal government will be a key to the success of your administration. We should all be partners, not adversaries, in our mutual commitment to serve our constituents.
As a new person to public service, you would benefit greatly from listening to, watching and learning from these city leaders who are on the front lines of public safety, education, immigration, job creation, civil and human rights protection and government leadership.
The chances of Trump becoming Nutter's pen pal are very low. Photoshoppers have gone and taken away the president's pen.