Congratulations. You now hold the highest office in the land, arguably in the whole world. You will lead the United States for the next four years, barring unforeseen circumstances.
I didn’t vote for you, Mr. President. I wasn’t a fan of your opponent, either, by the way. I didn’t really want either of you in the Oval Office. Both of you ran dishonest campaigns, and both of you are deeply flawed humans. But what is done is done, and here we are.
I have some things I’d like to say to you, Mr. President.
First, I am not your enemy. You are the president of all the citizens of the United States, not just the ones who voted for you. It’s in the job description that you represent ALL of us.
Second, I’m really concerned about your attitude toward women. That tape on the bus is really nasty. If you weren’t President, I would just consider you a dirty old man and not give you another thought. But here’s the thing: you ARE the President, and the boys and men of this country will think that whatever is OK for you to do is also OK for them to do. I was teaching ten-year-olds when Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress was all over the news. Part of President Clinton’s legacy is that young children, even your son’s age, learned things they didn’t need to know, and oral sex became the hottest thing among middle schoolers. I fear that some boys and men will take your words and behaviors as permission to assault girls and women. And it is assault, Mr. President. It is illegal and it is predatory. I think it would be a good thing if you could make a video in which you state that your behavior was wrong and apologize to women everywhere for trying to normalize that. Otherwise, we’re going to have little second-grade boys grabbing little girls by your favorite body part, and little girls thinking they’re not supposed to object. We don’t want that.
Third, please stop lying. It’s okay if your inaugural crowd wasn’t the biggest ever. When you lie about something like that, it makes me disbelieve everything you say. Or do you even know you’re lying? Have you surrounded yourself all your life by people on your own payroll who’ve been afraid to call you on it when you lied, so that now you think it’s true just because it came out of your mouth? I’m sure you don’t lie all the time, but you lie enough that I – and millions of others – can’t believe you. We need a President who is straight with us. Can you do that, please?
Fourth, please populate your Cabinet with people who are qualified to do the job you’re asking of them. I realize that most of your acquaintances are business people, and that’s okay. But business experience doesn’t mean competence in a government setting. It’s okay to consult with people and find someone who already knows a lot about their area. They don’t need to learn on the job; it’s much too big a task for that. We need someone who is up to speed on Day One.
Last, I’d like to ask a question. Did you ever want it? In your seventy years, you’ve never run for office before. You’ve been a business tycoon and made a lot of money; there’s nothing wrong with that. But you haven’t lived a life of service in government at any level. It makes me wonder if the Presidency was just the next thing to conquer, like a huge corporate takeover. I suspect your opponent decided when she was 13 that she was going to be the first woman president, and she devoted her whole life to that goal. That doesn’t mean she should have won, but it does make me wonder if it was ever on your radar at all.
Well, whether you ever wanted it or not, you’ve got it. It’s a huge responsibility, Mr. President, and we – all of us – need you to do it right.