Dear Mr. President-Elect,
Congratulations on your recent victory. I know it was a hard-fought campaign; and I know that both you and Secretary Clinton worked very hard. In the interest of full disclosure, you need to understand that despite being a lifelong Republican (voting in my first Presidential election in 1984 for Ronald Reagan), I didn’t vote for you. In fact, I opposed you vociferously at every turn; from your initial campaign announcement, through the primary season, and through the general election. I voted for your Democratic opponent. The Republican party of today bears not even a passing resemblance to the proudly steadfast and gracious party I joined in 1984. But, that’s not what this letter is about. This letter is about the future.
Despite my crossing party lines to vote for Secretary Clinton; I recognize and accept that the election belonged to you. I understand that on January 20th, 2017, you will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. Again, congratulations. This letter is to demonstrate my respect for the office of the President, and to express to you my hopes for your presidency.
I hope that you will serve your country, and all of us, with dignity and forbearance. I hope that you will exercise restraint and discipline in office. I would imagine that the yoke of the Presidency is like nothing you’ve ever experienced. I daresay it is precisely unlike running your many businesses. Governing is about the governed; serving their needs and interests. I hope that you always keep your constituency at the forefront of your mind when making important decisions - not just the ones that voted for you - but all of us. As you said in your acceptance speech; binding the wounds of division and coming together as a united people and unified country should be your primary goal. Neither the vitriol of the campaign nor a culture of divisiveness have any place in the White House.
I hope you will remember that a very large percentage of the population are people that are "different". From minorities, to women, to the LGBTQA community, to the practitioners of many religions; a lot of people are very concerned for their welfare right now. They fear that they will not be treated in accordance with your stated plans for a unified country and a united people. They fear that decades of social progress will disappear instantly under the stewardship of your administration. I hope that you are able to always locate your humanity. I hope that you will indeed respect those who have felt marginalized or threatened, and I hope you will lead an administration of optimism, an instrument of unification. I hope that you will lift up the downtrodden, and bring the entire country to the palatial state it could be.
I hope that you surround yourself with a staff and Cabinet made up of people who are intelligent, wise, and compassionate. I hope that all three branches of government can come together so that each will keep the others from any rash or unjust actions.
I hope that when you appoint Supreme Court justices; you find ones that will serve the best interests of the court, the law, and the people. I hope that you appoint justices that are non-partisan and hold the wisdom needed to interpret the laws fairly and without prejudice.
I hope that you find as many ways to be fiscally responsible as possible, and I hope that you and your staff can balance the often-conflicting needs of the people - the needs for a balanced budget, reduced debt, manageable taxes, manageable healthcare costs, a secure retirement future for our elderly, a robust and effective defense, and an education system that should be the envy of the world.
I hope that you find ways for our government to treat our military (both active and veteran alike), our police, our firefighters, our first-responders, our nurses, and our teachers with more respect than they have been shown in decades past. These folks are the true backbone of the country, and deserve much more than they get.
Most of all, Mr. President-Elect; I truly wish for your success. I hope that you confound the expectations of your detractors; and prove that someone from “outside the system” can be an effective leader, both domestically and on the world stage. I hope that both the possible pressures and the tedium of the Presidency do not sway you from the diligent and honorable execution of this precious duty, this incredible responsibility with which you have been entrusted. May you lead us with gravitas, a kind spirit, and the best interests of your people in your mind and in your heart. We are in your hands, Mr. President-Elect.
Philip G. Traynor