Trump’s Assault on Beauty Stops Now

Laura Vasilion
3 min readJul 23, 2020

How Mary Trump’s book, a song, and a walk is giving me hope

A Sign in a Yard on My Morning Walk

The heat near Chicago broke today. Embracing the change, I grabbed my phone and ear buds, and headed out on a long walk. Hitting play on my Spotify app, a song popped up on my playlist that I didn’t recognize: “This Will Be Our Year,” by the the 1960s English band The Zombies. It’s a sweet song about love and hope.

I took it as a sign.

As I listened to the simple words, I felt spontaneous joy. A joy that followed me down familiar streets, past people and places that I saw clearly for the first time in a long time. At the first intersection I crossed, two little boys with hay-colored hair sat in the grass and waved to every person and car that passed. On a sunlit front porch, a disabled veteran sat in a folding chair, tinkering with something mechanical. Walking further, I came across a mother and daughter, both wearing long dresses, huddled by a playhouse. A handmade sign near the little home’s gable read, “Stay Awhile.” I almost did.

Heading home, I drew in the scent of flower-laden gardens and freshly mowed grass. A smiling jogger passed and tipped his hat at me. The sight of a sanitation worker kneeling on the ground, his head halfway down a manhole, made me laugh. At every turn, the lyrics from the Zombie’s song made more startling sense to me:

The warmth of your love

Is like the warmth of the sun

And this will be our year

Took a long time to come

Last night, I finished reading Mary Trump’s new book. The revelations about the man in the White House were shocking but not unexpected. It only confirmed — and validated — what I had thought all along. He is damaged. He is dangerous. He does not care about the people. He does not belong in the White House. Thanks to the courage of Trump’s niece, now the whole world knows. And for some reason, that calmed me.

But as I took in the sights and sounds on my familiar route, I remembered perhaps the most insidious thing Mary Trump’s uncle has done in less than four years. He has unleashed an ugly, divisive fog across this country that I love. Given a minority of people with hate in their hearts permission to demean, dismiss, and…

Laura Vasilion

Editor of Present Tense and Talking to the World. Author, blogger, novelist. Would rather be living in Iceland.