Patti Davis, the “rebellious First Daughter” who famously posed nude for Playboy at 42 then again at 58, says that her father, the late Ronald Reagan, would hate Trump’s America.
In honor of her father’s death, the anniversary of which is on June 5, Davis wrote a letter to The Washington Post, lamenting how her father would have condemned Trump’s rhetoric and “abuse of power.”
“He would be appalled and heartbroken at a Congress that refuses to stand up to a president who not only seems ignorant of the Constitution but who also attempts at every turn to dismantle and mock our system of checks and balances,” she wrote.
“He would plead with Americans to recognize that the caustic, destructive language emanating from our current president is sullying the dream that America once was,” she added. “And in a time of increased tensions in the world, playing verbal Russian roulette is not leadership, it’s madness.”
Though Reagan notably had a tumultuous relationship with the press, Davis says that her father would not have “relentlessly” attacked agenda-driven reporters as the “enemy.”
“He would point to one of the pillars of our freedom — a free press — which sets us apart from dictatorships and countries ruled by despots,” she said. “He didn’t always like the press — no president does — but the idea of relentlessly attacking the media as the enemy would never have occurred to him. And if someone else had done so, he wouldn’t have tolerated it.”
How Reagan would have felt about the media fawning over a president for eight years, downplaying his failures and scandals, excusing his abuse of power, and glossing over his divisive language, she did not address. Instead, she focused on Trump’s supposed “cruelty” toward immigrants.
“He would ask us to think about the Statue of Liberty and the light she holds for immigrants coming to America for a better life,” writes Davis. “Immigrants like his ancestors, who persevered despite prejudice and signs that read ‘No Irish or dogs allowed.’ There is a difference between immigration laws and cruelty. He believed in laws; he hated cruelty.”