Stephen King Letter: Donald Trump Should Not Be President — Author Signs With 400 Other Writers

Stephen King and 400 other notable writers, including Cheryl Strayed and Amy Tan, penned “an open letter to the American people” about why they are opposed to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The letter is posted at Literary Hub, a website that describes itself as “a site readers can rely on for smart, engaged, entertaining writing about all things books” that partners with several book publishers, literary groups, authors, and literary journals.

The letter by King and his colleagues begins with veiled references to Trump and includes reasons why the writers believe he should not be president.

  • “language can be abused in the name of power”
  • “any democracy worthy of the name rests on pluralism, welcomes principled disagreement, and achieves consensus through reasoned debate”
  • “Because 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 one another”

The letter also referenced the need for a leader to have “knowledge, experience, flexibility, and historical awareness,” and not one “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.”

Instead, King and the other authors say that such a potential leader “demands, from each of us, an immediate and forceful response.”

The letter then concludes that all 400-plus attributed authors (as well as the 8,000 additional petition signers) “as a matter of conscience, oppose, unequivocally, the candidacy of Donald J. Trump for the Presidency of the United States.”

Besides Stephen King, other authors signing on to the letter include Richard Russo, Phillip Lopate, Ann Packer, and Ed McClanahan.

The byline of the letter, dated May 24, was attributed to Andrew Altschul and Mark Slouka.

Stephen King, a Democrat who described himself in his memoir, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, as someone who does not adhere to organized religion, has often been critical of Donald Trump.

On May 23, he tweeted, “Say, here’s an idea! Let’s turn America’s nukes over to a bad-tempered a***ole with no knowledge of foreign policy. What could go wrong?”

The tweet had over 10,000 “likes” and was retweeted over 6,000 times.

In a December 8 tweet, King called Trump a “rabid coyote” and said the fact that anyone could even “CONSIDER” voting for him “leaves me speechless.”

This tweet has over 37,000 “likes” and was retweeted 27,000 times.

In a February interview with the Daily Beast, King gave his thoughts on Trump and Senator Ted Cruz. But on Trump, King seemed non-plussed. He described Trump’s announcement as “a way of basically renewing his brand” and said he expected the former reality TV start to eventually drop out after running for a few months.

Stephen King speaking to fans
Stephen King speaking to fans at a book signing. [Photo by Larry French/Getty Images]

King seemed astounded that Trump had said and done so many “outrageous” things that would have harmed other candidates but did nothing to his standing with Republican primary voters.

He referenced Marco Rubio in the February primary and how he “got his clock cleaned by [New Jersey governor Chris] Christie,” and that hurt Rubio’s campaign.

“But if it would’ve been Trump, it wouldn’t have mattered,” King said.

King also stated his dislike for Cruz, explaining that as much as he hates Trump, the real estate tycoon “would be more electable than” the Texas Senator.

Last August, Time Magazine wrote that King had a campaign slogan for Trump: “If you’re white, you’re all right!”

Stephen King is the author of many bestselling books, including Misery, The Stand, and 11.22.63, a time-travel story about the Kennedy assassination that has become the basis for a miniseries on Hulu. King is an executive producer on the show.

What do you think? Do you agree with Stephen King that Donald Trump should not be elected president?

[Photo by Larry French/Getty Images]