Dear Mr. Trump,
Last night your dream came true.
Congratulations on your victory.
Now it’s time to prove you’re worthy of being called the leader of the free world.
You have no excuses. You don’t face an opposing congress who will stymie your every move. If you want to get something done, it’s going to happen.
You have four years. So what are you going to do?
The people of the rust belt, the corn belt, the bible belt…these people voted for you in droves because they believe that you’ll make their lives better. Time to show us how you’ll do that.
Time to show us that you really do respect women like you say you do.
Time to show that you’re the president for all of America, not just the white people.
Time to release your tax returns so the American people know to whom their president is financially beholden.
Time to show our children that although you ran on a platform of fear and resentment, you can harness those energies toward a positive change for all Americans.
My father always says that “conservative” used to stand for “conservation.” Republicans were once the champions of our national parks and environmental protections. Somehow over the course of his generation that concept was lost. Are you the president to bring it back?
And when you repeal the Affordable Care Act, which will surely be on your Day One agenda, what will you replace it with? I am a cancer survivor who is two decades away from Medicare coverage. How will you reassure me that if my cancer comes back, I won’t lose everything I’ve worked my whole life saving in order to pay for my treatment? Will you revoke the protection I’ve had from medical discrimination through no fault of my own, or will you find a way to give all Americans access to decent health care?
America was built on the concept of religious freedom. This doesn’t just mean your religion. Or mine. Or any one person’s beliefs. Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion. Church and state are separate. Are you strong enough to stand by that concept and not cave to the zealots who would pretend that all Americans are Christians? If not, then how are you any better than those who would impose Sharia Law on their own countries?
You have said you want to increase our military force to combat the terrorist threats against western countries. Do you really think that will make us safer? Can you bomb a people into not hating us anymore?
Generations of politicians have lied to us. They say what they need to say to get elected, then they spend their political tenure using their positions to line their own pockets. Are you any different? Does your wealth make you less likely to sell yourself or does it make you even greedier than those who have gone before you? Can a man who was born a millionaire ever truly represent the working people who elected him?
I don’t expect you to answer all these questions right away, Mr. Trump.
But the whole world is watching. You have four years.
Four years to show that you’re not a racist.
Four years to show that you’re not a misogynist.
Four years to show that immigrants like your wife can have a safe life in America, unmolested by the fear-mongers who terrorize anyone in a head covering.
Four years to prove to the watching world that you’re not just a reality television star, but a president, a deserving leader of the land of the free.
Your dream has come true.
But for the first time in your life, it’s not about you anymore.
You will have to become more than you have ever been. More than you have ever dreamed.
In service to our great nation, become better.
And in four years we will look back on your term of office and see if this frightening experiment, this challenge to the establishment, has been a triumph of the working class or the destruction of freedom’s shining hope.
The stakes are high and we are afraid.
Good luck, Mr. Trump. I did not vote for you, but you will be the president of my country. You will represent me, Wendy Vogel: veterinarian, author, cancer survivor, wife and daughter.
Do not embarrass me.
Do not endanger my life or my health.
Do not make your presidency a horrible, humiliating mistake.
You have four years.
2 thoughts on “A letter to the president-elect.”
This is so appropriate and so well said.
I don’t know if President Trump is really a man of prayer but I hope he has or will in the near future recite the Shepard’s Prayer.
Astronaut Alan Shepard said these words right before he was launched off the rocket pad to become the first American in space. “Oh Lord, please don’t let me F–K this up.”
Thanks for your kind words. I’m not sure he has the humility to recite such a prayer, though.