Dear Mr. Trump,
I guess I should call you “President-Elect”. You’ll probably never read this letter – and even if you do – I’m sure you won’t care, but that’s never stopped me from writing before. So here goes.
There was once upon a time when I thought you may be a brilliant business person. I can remember watching those early seasons of The Apprentice, when you would tell people so bluntly like it was. You were a truth-teller. There weren’t many times when I didn’t agree with most of what you said. And at times, I thought you were funny. But, like anything, after so many seasons I had had enough. And to be honest … you kind of fell off my radar.
Then you entered the presidential race. At first I thought it was a big fat joke. I never dreamed it was something you would really want to do. I mean, come on – there’s no money in that job. The President doesn’t have a lot of friends. There’s nothing but the accumulation of grey hairs. There’s never been a President that everyone liked, and hell – the last several elections we’ve seen the country completely divided in half.
And then you continued to win. You insulted person after person … and people in America continued to vote for you. You incited – encouraged even – violence among people all over the country. Hate crimes began to rise because of your words. Racism, sexism, bigotry … that’s what you represented throughout your campaign. And you weren’t even apologetic. When it became apparent that you would be the Republican candidate, I felt sure that equality and the goodness of humankind would prevail over your hateful insults and terrible character.
But here we are … three days after Election Day … and you have won. Only because of an outdated system that you yourself once called a disaster. If it’s such a disaster Mr. Trump, why don’t you concede yourself? It’s not too late, you know. I think it’s a disgrace that the American people voted for the other candidate, and yet you will be the one taking office.
But this letter isn’t about that.
No – this letter is about what’s happened since you’ve been elected. It’s about the violence that’s happened in the streets. It’s about the stories I’m hearing from the people I love all over the country. Stories of hate. Stories of insults. Stories of swastikas on buildings, and busted out windows. Stories of nasty names being written on cars, and of women being cat-called and grabbed. Stories of minorities being taunted and yelled at.
Is this what you had in mind when you said, “Let’s make America great again??”
And if it’s not – because surely it’s not, right? Surely you, Mr. President-Elect, don’t believe that we should go back in time to a land where only the white male was counted a citizen. Surely you, the soon-to-be leader of this great country that was founded on religious freedom, equality, and human rights, don’t really believe this is the right way to treat people … do you??
I want to give you the benefit of the doubt. I want to believe that now that you’ve been elected you will stand up for the things that matter. I want to believe that you played the game well – however nasty you were – and that now you’re ready to do the hard work of bringing people together. I want to believe in the goodness of humankind … and that deep down, you have a big heart and you want to take care of America as best you can.
So, Mr. Trump, I’m calling on you to stand up for what’s right. Stand up and speak out against the things we see happening. Stand up against the violence. Stand up against the hate. Speak out against racism, and sexism, and inequality. Reassure us, the American people, that the next four years won’t look like the last few days have. I’m longing to hear a word from you, our next President, about how we can move forward together in a peaceful way.
Stand up Mr. Trump. It’s time for you to begin the work you’ve been called to do. It’s time to bring us together. Speak out against hate. Speak out against violence. Speak out.
That’s what a President-Elect would do.