Dear Trump loving friends and family,

Your head in a cloud, messianic fervor over this miserly race-baiter is glum and ridiculous. For law and order, we need plans. Trump speaks like a Shamwow salesman at the New York State Fair, saying a whole lot of nothing, blowing wind for your sale. We don’t need rousing 2-hour monologues. We need serious, precise efforts to make our lives better.

Consider your man’s policies: he would let Putin’s Russia take the keys to the Middle East, aligning with the Assad regime (which gas-bombed Aleppo, encouraging mass migration from Syria); torture suspected Jihadis and kill their families; build a wall.

Walls, remember, were Troy’s primary asset. Trump warns of a Trojan Horse (and yes Jihadis might get wily in their effort to goad the U.S. into an apocalyptic showdown), but if terrorists pretend to be refugees they will fly over in 747s. A wall is no solution. It’s symbolic, a rally cry. Everyone on this continent descended from immigrants, even Indians, and the freedom to migrate makes our country great.

Torture (even on a guilty bomber) muddies the truth. Anything a terrorist says is suspect. Parsing truth from lies takes a lot of effort, and torture wastes precious time on punishment. Also viciousness can turn a villain into a martyr (like KSM), because truth is not the purpose of torture. Torture is a tool of imperial subjugation. Did torture do anything but empower Jesus and his followers? The defense of innocents, dignity and due process makes America great.

Diplomacy involves finesse more than deal making. Adjusting our alliances in favor of two dangerous powers (China by tearing up the TPP, and Russia by supporting Assad) weakens American business. It’s idealistic, short sighted, and it will give Russian and Chinese businesses logistical control of major trade routes. We’re talking about free movement of cargo ships and how to divide taxes or tariffs. Our diplomats and military outposts (at the Suez Canal, on the Arabian peninsula, in the Philippians and so forth) protect the interests of American trade. For as long as we remain aware that we live on a globe, society will be global. If we do not play, we lose. Diplomacy and military presence makes America great.

Now Clinton has haters, none more than you. I hear your anger. I know about Bengazi, and submit for your consideration the 13 other embassies attacked on Bush’s watch. When terrible things happen, we need calculated responses.

We need substantial policy discussions, not “very great” words. Truth matters, and Clinton trips over herself in knowledge of the truth. She lies with calculation. Trump lies with abandon. Like a magician, he’s only interested in what appears true for a moment (like how he claims clairvoyance on the Iraq war, when the record shows that his opinion on the invasion wavered drastically). He’s not dumb, and he’s not boring, but he’s also never been well read or thoughtful.

Trump’s plan for America is lazy, and self serving. He wants the Oval Office for the accolades, and lazy lawmakers can hurt you. He is charismatic and charming, but he couldn’t even face the Mexican president on his wall. He would respond to a diss from the Chinese government by taking off in a huff. He would give Putin control of the oil pipelines to Europe (through Syria, Turkey and Ukraine). He would make America lose.

America is great now. We have been great, and we will be great. This Republic is strong. Trump’s coded language recalls the (once politically correct) separate-but-equal ugliness of Jim Crow. It is mean and meaningful. Jokes just veil his opinions: Obama did not cuckold America; his Muslim name never mattered; and he is not the Antichrist or the founder of ISIL. We do not live in a cartoon world where Trump calls the Middle East and tells them to “lower the damn oil prices.” Foreign affairs is about solving conflicts between societies, where leaders work together to define social problems and act. It’s not about insults or ego. We do not need Trump to win.

We’re not playing cards. Life offers a lot of win-win opportunities, so we do not need to play his zero-sum game. We’re trying to figure out how to grow our society to make everyone’s life better. Often that means helping each other and ourselves, like by investing in health insurance long before we need open heart surgery.

I know you have a big heart. But sometimes it seems like you’d rather give $5 tips to beggars and hucksters on street corners, who may use the money to self-medicate, than pay your own health premiums, which could be distributed rationally to get beggars healthy and working.

Why are you so mad? Did you lose your primary care physician under Obama? Did buying healthcare bite into your bottom line? You think Clinton should go to prison over a few confidential emails exchanged through her private server. What does that imply? Do you want Washington to start looking like Cairo or the Kremlin?

Emails are an insane new development in communication. We’re only beginning to discuss ethics for digital media. But private communications are not new to public office. I bet George Washington got classified mail at his private addresses. Communications will always be vulnerable to being intercepted (or hacked). The he said she said of Clinton’s inbox is tremendous and juicy. It certainly solidifies the FBI’s access to every government related communication. But our President (one powerful government post) needs good policy, and Trump’s policy cucks.

Trump wants to game his way into the White House on the strength of his (assumed) wealth and animal magnetism. His objections to Clinton are superficial. They draw on her husband’s philandering reputation and Alex Jones’ conspiracy theories. Clinton worked her entire life to be president. She has specific, meaningful and achievable policies.

Clinton would raise the minimum wage, focusing corporate money on people who actually work and spend money in America (reviving the capitalist sensibility of Henry Ford’s work force, where employees could afford to buy their handiwork). She would take a global perspective on migration, encouraging people to move in and out of this country at will. She would try to expand access to college education and trade schools. She would work to improve public health and our environment. Rather than tear down the health care system out of some odd ideological grievance, she would wisely use the tools of government (like tax incentives) to give as many people as possible longer and healthier lives.

Your vote matters, and it’s your play. You have power. If you elect Trump, and his brand of Law and Order turns to Shock and Awe, broken families and terror, you will be responsible.

Ryan Pitts, awarded the Medal of Honor for actions Afghanistan, knows about fear. He told a story about his friend Spc. Hovater, who died facing Jihadi fire. “’I’m scared,’ he’d say” Pitts remembered how honestly his friend spoke about battle. “‘I don’t want to die.’ . . . but every time we’d go out there and every time we’d get shot at he’d be right there doing his job.” Hovator was shot through the helmet, standing up, firing on insurgents. It matters how we react in tremendous and terrible circumstances. Do we fight in the face of terror, or do we let ourselves get carried away in our emotions? There will be new terrorist attacks, horrible attacks, and we need stable leaders who can execute meaningful long term policy.

Trump is a sick salesman, and sometimes assholes are fun to watch. But we don’t need a brash ape leader to take America back in time. What’s great about internment camps, nuclear bombs, war or recession?

Please, let’s not talk about Trump this Thanksgiving.

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