I submitted this piece some days ago to run in my local paper, The Brookings (SD) Register. But it’s likely to be obsolete before it’s run, since Mr. Trump is so quickly squandering my good will.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at his election night rally.
Let’s get down to brass tacks, Mr. Trump. I didn’t vote for you, and I’m shell-shocked that so many of my fellow citizens did. Frankly, by the look on your face on election night, I think you’re rather shocked as well.
As the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for.
Since you will be my next President, I’m going to make you these promises, just so you know what you can count on me for.
- Not to further paralyze the country by having obstruction as my chief goal, just to make you a one-term President.
- Never to ask you to produce your birth certificate to prove your citizenship.
- Never to accuse you of hiding your true religious identity.
- Never to call you a criminal and demand you be locked up unless you’re first convicted by a jury of your peers and sentenced to prison.
- Never to make veiled threats to your personal safety by insinuating that “Second Amendment people” should take matters into their own hands.
- Not to hold your looks against you in the performance of your job.
- Not to make fun of your disabilities.
- Not to build a wall to confine you to the White House, or to round up your family and deport you all, to keep you from running loose in my country.
- Not to tweet nasty remarks about you at 3 a.m.
- Not to judge you by the size of your hands.
I also promise:
- To affirm you as my President because you were duly elected under the Constitution, and not to delegitimize your Presidency because I’m a sore loser.
- To fervently hope that you’re capable of much greater good than you demonstrated during the campaign.
- To try to forgive you for the fear and distress that your rhetoric has planted in the heart and mind of my child and countless others.
- To help you keep your promise to “bind the wounds of division across this nation” and to “do right by the people”–all the people, whether or not they voted for you.
- To acquaint myself more fully with the concerns of those who did vote for you, that we might thoughtfully consider and address those concerns together.
- To treat you and those who voted for you with the same dignity and respect with which I myself wish to be treated.
- To listen carefully to your positions without exhibiting rancor or disrespect.
- To support any of your efforts that promote the common good, benefiting us all and not just a chosen few.
- To fulfill my responsibilities as a citizen, which include opposing without violence any of your policies or actions that would inflict harm, especially on those among us who have the least power and means to defend themselves.
- To work endlessly with stout, inspired souls, right here where I live, to create a society whose members are well informed, curious about the world, and respectful of the rights and lives of others, not because it’s politically correct but because it’s the decent thing to do.
With good will for you and our country,