Hundreds of writers, from the relatively obscure to the best-selling, have signed an open letter condemning the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
On May 24, authors Andrew Altschul and Mark Slouka posted a scathing letter on Literary Hub counting all the reasons they view Trump as an unacceptable candidate for the presidency. Uploaded as a petition, the letter has the participation of over 450 writers.
The letter was also posted as an online petition, welcoming the signatures of any willing participant who agrees with its take on the business mogul. As of May 25, the letter accrued over 17,500 signatures.
The angry takedown of Trump’s campaign rhetoric begins by stating that writers "are particularly aware of the many ways that language can be abused in the name of power. … [W]e believe that any democracy worthy of the name rests on pluralism, welcomes principled disagreement, and achieves consensus through reasoned debate."
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The hundreds of writers who have attached their names to the letter agree that American history, "despite periods of nativism and bigotry, has from the first been a grand experiment in bringing people of different backgrounds together, not pitting them against each other."
The letter asserts that a U.S. presidency requires qualities such as "knowledge, experience, flexibility, and historical awareness. … [N]either wealth nor celebrity qualifies anyone to speak for the United States, to lead its military, to maintain its alliances, or to represent its people."
With all of that said, the authors slam Trump as a “political candidate who deliberately appeals to the basest and most violent elements in society, who encourages aggression among his followers, shouts down opponents, intimidates dissenters, and denigrates women and minorities.”
Among the signatures are prominent authors such as Stephen King, Cheryl Strayed, Junot Diaz, Dave Eggers and Michael Chabon.
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King is likely the most well-known writer on the list, often dubbed a master of the horror genre. An outspoken critic of Republican politicians, King has made a habit of slamming Trump on social media throughout the 2016 presidential election, according to Salon.
“How’s this for a Trump campaign slogan: If You’re White, You’re All Right!” King tweeted out in August 2015. “Any Other Hue, I Don’t Trust You.”
King’s distaste for Trump runs so deep that he now avoids writing his name, instead calling him He Who Must Not Be Named. He has compared the business mogul’s campaign to “House of Cards meets Sharknado.”
Trump himself has professed to not being an avid reader, saying he never has the time, the New Republic reported. The business mogul has, on separate occasions, stated that his favorite books are "All Quiet on the Western Front," The Bible and his own business book, “The Art of the Deal.”