Wednesday, November 23, 2016

An Open Letter to Donald Trump by a Guest Writer

This guest writer is my son Jeremy. I hope his letter resonates with you as it did with me.

Letter to Donald Trump, President Elect of the United States
Mr. Trump,
Congratulations on your victory. In two short months you will be taking on the greatest responsibility in the world. You will be responsible for the lives and futures not only of the nearly 60 million residents of the U.S. that voted for you, but also the 260 million that did not vote for you.  What that means is that you have to put the election rhetoric aside and try to govern.  If you are to successfully govern this country, it means you must lead and not just command the people whom you are trying to govern. The job you are about to take over is not one of power, it is one of responsibility. 

This country is a blend of different races, creeds, sexual orientations, and it is also composed of more women than men. You cannot govern it as if it were a collection of white heterosexual Christian males of European descent. The rhetoric you used to win the election has intensified the already widening divide in our nation and it will only get worse if you don’t stand up and do something about it. 

Millions of Americans are afraid of you and that is why you have seen protests across the country. They are afraid that you will take away their families just because some of them are undocumented. They are afraid you will take away their right to marry whom they want. They are afraid you will take away their health care. They are afraid you will allow big companies to pollute their water and air and destroy the climate. They are afraid you will mortgage their children’s futures by giving away huge tax breaks to the wealthy and businesses and increasing the national debt to the point where it cannot be paid back. They are afraid you will destroy the diplomatic relations with countries that are our allies and our trading partners by breaking the promises we made as a country to them in treaties that they rely on.  They are afraid you will ignore military leaders, policy experts, and law enforcement officials and that you will make decisions without first learning the potential consequences of your actions.  

This is not a game show. It is not a real estate transaction. Bankruptcy is not an option. There are no re-takes or editing. The consequences of your actions are real, permanent, and the results of your decisions will affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people, not just some contestants, celebrities, or investors.  Your demeanor and civility are no longer yours alone. You represent 250 years of struggle, sacrifice, patriotism, courage, and unbelievable heroism that built this country and made it what it is today.  You need to consider what has gone into making this country great. 

You need to leave your election slogan behind with the election, and come to the realization that this country is already great, and your responsibility is to try to make it better.  

Your first and most important priority is not to those who supported you in your election. Your most important priority is to those that opposed you. You must unite this country again before you can start to make things better. You can’t do that through executive order, legislation, or appointments. It will take humility, dignity, and respect for all your constituents especially those that opposed you.  You will need to recognize their point of view and really try to see their side. 

It is easy to lead those that support you, but it takes tremendous leadership to lead those who oppose you. If you want to lead the entire country, you will need to embrace your opponents and try to help them.  You may not agree with them, but they are mostly good, kind, and decent people that want the freedom to pursue happiness, raise their families, practice their own religion, and strive for a better life for themselves and a better future for their children.  

I wish you tremendous success and I will pray for you. You have the hardest job in the world. Before you move into the White House, take a look at pictures of the men who lived there before you. Look into their faces and compare them to the faces that emerged 4 or 8 years later. Time didn’t change those faces. The tremendous responsibility that you are facing is what aged those men. 

Good luck and may God guide you.  Make America better, and try to make all of America proud of you.

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