Helsinki Moment

A few days ago, one of my friends brought me a small gift – a bumper sticker that she thought I would like, knowing my political compass. On a white, frugally used space you can see two rhyming words in dark caps – DUMP TRUMP. No exclamation point, just a straight message. I loved it and immediately thought that it should be distributed around. “Perhaps we should reproduce it in large numbers and pass them out in supermarkets and other public places?”

Later that evening I thought about that sticker again. “OK, it is cute, it is clever, and it feels good to have it, but in the reality of today’s political situation in our country, how could Trump be dumped?!  Impeachment comes to mind, but… it’s a very lengthy, complicated process and with today’s Republicans infected by the Trumpism disease and their self-interest… forget it!

I recall numerous slogans, propaganda statements, and political posters from the time of my growing up in post-war Poland controlled by Soviet style Communist apparatchiks. I developed a strong dislike of propaganda that stayed with me till today. After years of living in this country, I learned to accept the fact that propaganda is alive here as well, but it’s called “political advertising.” However, I like bumper stickers, and when I am touched by one, I put it on my car or on my studio’s wall like this one: DUMP TRUMP.

Like many, I have been very frustrated, stressed, and politically angry from the day Trump got elected and became the 45th President of this country! Trump’s domination by creating chaos and entering our lives every day with his bombastic personality, lies and endless tweets made me sick and evoked a form of political lethargy. This is similar to the response by many of us living in Tucson to its powerful sun generating almost unbearable heat in summer – it evokes physical lethargy with a desire to sleep and wait for cooler days. And they do come – with the monsoon’s rains! The lethargy disappears and new energy emerges! But that is the work of Nature. Political lethargy is much more complicated to deal with because is it caused by man-made politics and, in this particular case, Trump-made confusing politics. The cure has to come from us – society.

Then came the 16th of July 2018 which we Americans and the entire world will remember for a long time – the Helsinki Summit of Trump and Putin.

Helsinki Moment

In truth it was not a Summit, but a two and a half hour private chat of the two most powerful leaders of the world: President Trump and President Putin! Such a private chat should take place in a bar and focus on their wives, lovers, children, pets, or favorite sports, but NOT on matters concerning world politics! Such private chats are fine for us, the ordinary people. However, private chats of Trump and Putin are a totally different matter because they have great consequences.

You can imagine that I watched that Helsinki press conference glued to our TV – making notes, taking photos and recording words of Trump and Putin. Like many I was out-raged.

I will not repeat the epithets or statements the press and some political figures addressed towards Trump at that time. Those opinions are flying like small and large birds on the world’s political sky. However, I will share the one text I immediately sent to a close friend, “Trump’s ‘performance’ was a great embarrassment to this country!”

Let’s face it; Putin definitely won that “match”! With his characteristic calm confidence he presented Trump with a soccer ball from the World Cup, which Trump quickly tossed to Melania as a gift for their son Baron.

Tossing ball

World politics is not like a soccer game, a business deal, or a TV entertainment show – it is more like a very sophisticated chess game! In such a game Putin is a much better player than Trump, who most likely couldn’t beat Putin in a game of checkers!

I have been living here long enough to notice that this society does not like losers – the focus is always on the winner. So why not to DUMP TRUMP?!

Helsinki’s 16th July event will not be forgotten. It was proclaimed by many journalists, diplomats, and politicians as one of the darkest moments in American history.

The Helsinki sky on that memorable night did not get dark. There was a penetrating, gentle light diluting the sky’s darkness. One who does not live there might be surprise by that. But that is Finland – light is always present on summer nights! It might be hard to sleep on such nights, and that specific night was sleepless for many, especially journalists like Anderson Cooper and others.

Helsinki Moment 2

Poetically and politically speaking, I see that gentle light as a symbol of an awakening. Perhaps that Helsinki event will be an awaking moment for our society to see this divisive President in a new light. Perhaps we will unite and decide to DUMP TRUMP.


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Text and photos copyright © 2018 by Alicja Mann,

Explore posts in the same categories: Essays, Events, Feelings, Opinions, Photo essays, Photo stories, Places, Thoughts, Writing

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12 Comments on “Helsinki Moment”

  1. Ann Montague Says:

    Alicia, Hope you are doing well. It has been a long time since we were in Tucson at the same time.. I will be there in late November..December. Hope to see you then. And of course hope George recovers, also. Ann

    Sent from my iPad


    • Alicja Mann Says:

      Hello Ann,

      Thank you for responding! I hope to see you you in the late fall – in Tucson of course!
      Please, do keep in touch, so I can see you!
      With my very warm greetings from Tucson,

  2. Pam Says:


    I am relieved to finally be reading a post from you! Thanks for sending. We in this neighborhood are truly upset by Trump’s statements and behavior and are worried about the future of our republic.


    Sent from my iPad


    • Alicja Mann Says:

      Dear Pam,
      Thank you very much for your note!
      Yes, I will be writing – I am not sure how often, but I will!

      At this moment I am very much concerned about growing wave of “Trumpism” in our country! Any kind of ” isms” should be questioned and understood in order to deal with it wisely….

      With Love from Tucson,

  3. Marina G Says:

    Alicja, it’s good to see you writing here again. I always value your opinion and your exceptional insights, as well as your reflective writing style. I hope your symbol of awakening will come to fruition. That is the most positive comment I can muster about this dreadful situation.

  4. Brenda Says:

    Ditto to what Pam said!
    And miss you!

    • Alicja Mann Says:

      So good to hear from you, Brenda!

      I miss you you too… and my neighborhood… and my favorite Silver Beach!

      I might come for a short visit this fall (September), but I am not sure yet…. Will let you know.

      Please read my comment to Pam. I have not much more to say (on that subject) at this moment.

      Let’s keep in touch!

  5. Bill Breisky Says:

    Nice piece of work, Alicja, Thanks for sharing it with us. And by the way — we now live in a retirement community called Heatherwood. Phone: 508-744-7166. Address: 2111 Heatherwood, Yarmouth Port 02675. Com see us if the trade winds bring you back thisaway.

    — Bill


  6. Jennifer Marie Shriver Says:

    Hi, Alicja,

    Really enjoyed reading this and whole-heartedly concur. One of the traits of this sick, bizarre, and horrific administration is the refusal to openly engage with ideas, probably because, as you say, Trump doesn’t have ideas, he seems to exist on vanity and greed rather than any more significant traits.

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