Dear President-Elect Trump

Following is a letter I wrote to President-Elect Trump on behalf of neighbors and myself in the first week after the election last year:

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Congratulations on your Presidential election victory. I did not vote for you but you will be my President. I and all Americans need you to be successful regardless of our political perspectives. I want to help you succeed. This letter is my first attempt at helping.

The campaign has left deep scars that must be healed before we can hope to unite as a nation in common purpose. You are uniquely positioned as the only one who can achieve that.

Demonstrations, and especially violent demonstrations, against an election that was fairly won are Un-American under any normal circumstance. But we must face the fact that this election cycle was anything but normal. The intentional exploitation of already existing political polarity with incendiary rhetoric fanned the flames of hate on both sides. The personal hateful attacks on individuals and entire classes of people was uniquely caustic in my adult political life experience.

The very aggressive rhetoric that won the election for you also alienated the other half of the electorate and filled them with burning frustration and a yearning to get even. You must be able to empathize with that feeling.

The demonstrations across the country are symptoms of the fear and suspicion with which your Presidency is viewed by many, maybe even most Americans. And anytime there are large numbers of people demonstrating you can expect some level of violence. We don’t condone any of that but it is the reality of human nature. There are always a few extremists and/or agitators in every large group.

I think now that the election is over only you can calm nerves and bring people together. Until you start that process I don’t think we can quell the unrest or make any progress on a serious agenda to fix what is broken in America. We would love to help bring mutual political respect and harmony but you personally must actively lead that effort.

I suggest you consider the following initial efforts:

Call a public news conference to be held in an evening when the most people can see it; announce and advertise it well in advance. Make it exclusively focused on healing and bringing people together. Don’t add any other issues or subjects for presentation.  At the press conference:

ACKNOWLEDGE that your entire professional life has been focused on winning and that you realize in addition to others you personally contributed substantially to the hateful and inflammatory rhetoric in your effort to win;

APOLOGIZE for your behavior that helped widen the political divisions that exist. Your apology needs to be seen as sincere and must not include qualifiers as your previous efforts have;

HUMBLY declare you want to be a good President for all Americans and will listen to and consider all ideas for progress without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, or national heritage;

ADMIT that you can’t do everything yourself but that you need all the American people to participate in making the future of our country bright;

PUBLICLY appeal to citizens and legislators to find compromise solutions on our critical national issues;

TREAT the press with respect, COMMEND their contribution to our freedom and democracy, PLEDGE transparent governance, and ANSWER lots of press questions.

If you take these steps and then follow through during the transition and the start of your Presidency I am confident the American people will respond positively. If you don’t you will be endlessly frustrated by obstructionism as President Obama has been.

You don’t need to compromise your eagerness to get on with fixing what is wrong with government, but after your inflammatory rhetoric during the campaign you do need to demonstrate that you can be trusted to lead participative governance and that you will not be the demagogue that half of the American population fears you already are.

Sincerely,

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Residents of Ohio

Citizens of the United States of America

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