I don’t usually write political posts on this blog, because 1) I don’t want to be castigated, 2) I don’t want to divert from writing about happier things, and 3) I don’t want to turn away from writing about books and the writing life. But, I have to write this letter to the President-Elect or I’ll explode. Fair warning: the opinions expressed in this letter are strictly mine. With apologies to Daisy the Curly Cat whose image graces this post.
Before I go any further, you should know I didn’t vote for you. I voted against you when I cast my vote for another name on the ballot. I liked little of what made up your platform. You can guess what I didn’t like, because I’m one of those awful over-educated women who actually follows politics, thinks about what she believes would be good for the nation, and votes accordingly. I don’t think what you ran on is good for the nation.
That said, you are the president-elect of the ENTIRE nation, not just your followers, or those who shouted hateful rhetoric at your campaign events. Now, as the president-elect, I implore you to put these hateful things and those angry people aside.
You don’t like the Affordable Care Act. A lot of people don’t, but for many it’s the only insurance they’ve ever had. It has major flaws, which I think you and your administration can fix without dumping the entire act and leaving a void for what could be years. There are 20,000,000 people with insurance under the act, many of whom will vote your party out if you allow it to be trashed without any replacement plan.
You don’t like any of the trade agreements that previous presidents worked so hard to create. If that’s truly your position, then stop buying cheap steel from China. Bring back your own manufacturing from Mexico and other countries where labor costs are so much lower. You can set a good example by putting actions behind rhetoric.
You don’t think global warming is real, that China made it up. Please, just once, listen to scientists who can tell you this is real. You may deny that greenhouse gases play a role, but denying the oceans are rising will turn your beloved Mar-a-Lago estate into beachfront property. You said you have a very good brain. Listening to experts in this field will show the rest of the voting public that you are willing to learn.
You won the Electoral College vote, but over 1,000,000 voters gave your opponent more of the popular vote than you got. What you have is not a mandate to govern; it’s a warning that if your initial choices prove unwise, the 2018 midterm elections could leave you in a very awkward place.
I may not approve of your cabinet choices. I may not approve of your advisers. I may not approve of how much attention you pay to members of your extended family who have no experience in governing. I may not approve of your rhetoric about draining the swamp in Washington. No, wait, I do approve of getting started with that last point. You have the right to assemble a cabinet you are comfortable with, but I don’t think every appointment is going to be rubber-stamped by Congress. Be wise with who you nominate.
You have a right to show the world that you can be a decent leader. I’ll be watching every appointment, every law you sign, every speech you make. As Harry Truman wisely said, “The buck stops here.” It does. Everything you put your name on will be part of your legacy of public service. I pray that it is a wise legacy.
Signed, a voter who is watching and waiting