Photograph by wackystuff
Dear Mr. President,
I did not vote for you, but you are my president, and I am an optimist. So when you were elected and inaugurated as our 45th president, I hoped you would approach the presidency with the respect and grace that office demands. (I believe you have done your best.)
You have not. (Your staff has let you down.)
I obsessively check the news every day, just like I did when my spouse was serving in Iraq. This week across the nation, there are hundreds of town hall meetings where thousands of citizens are voicing their concerns to their congressional representatives. Today, during the White House briefing, Mr. Spicer again made references to “paid protesters” and “manufactured anger.” To date, no one but your staff alleges the presence of paid protestors. No persons or organization has the ability to coordinate an effort like that. Such an assertion is pure nonsense as any reasonable person can see. Comments like Mr. Spicer’s damage your administration’s credibility and erode your ability to champion truly progressive changes that really would make this country great (though I think it’s pretty great already, and I’ve noticed it’s been pretty good to you). I must admit it’s been entertaining. Not since 2008 have I been so addicted to the news to see “what will the administration say and do next?” This is not good, Mr. President.
There is good news, though. I believe in do-overs. It’s not too late for a Trump administration do-over, and you really need one. Badly.
This is totally feasible. Because you’re an experienced business man, my steps should sound familiar as they are simple axioms found throughout current business literature. And I know you like simple (I’ve read a couple of your books by the way).
Steps for a Do Over.
- Recognize that what got you here won’t get you there. Stop campaigning and start governing. Stop holding rallies where you are the rock star. It’s self-indulgent and a waste of time. You got elected. Good. You are still campaigning instead of governing. That is bad. “Make America Great Again” was a great campaign slogan. But now that you’ve been elected, no one knows what this means, except you apparently have a real negative vibe about immigrants and refugees. Expand your tool box.
- Establish a vision. And no, you don’t have one. You need a vision we can all understand and can get behind. If you had that, you would have won the popular vote. I really don’t know what your goals are for our country. Napoleon, too, didn’t have a deep-rooted philosophical belief; he only aspired to elevate himself and relentlessly win wars that many times resulted in thousands of unnecessary deaths, bankrupted France, and seriously inflicted domestic injury on their people. His end game was merely to win glory for himself. I see this in you, and it’s scary. (Napoleon also liked to put his initials on buildings, loved all things gold, had a thing for beautiful women, bestowed riches on his family, objectified women, etc. Sound familiar? No, being like Napoleon is not a good thing. We can talk about that later).
- Align your actions to the vision. Sounds easy, but you may have to eat some humble pie. Or in other terms, exercise diplomacy. You are now getting spanked by some pretty hard hitting Republicans. Only yesterday, many bedrock Republicans to include McCain, Graham, and O’Connell, reminded you that Congress has significant power. They will serve as obstacles to you until you show a willingness to work with them. You need to work with them. You have to work with the judicial branch, too. You must recognize that you are not a king but rather an elected official representing the third branch of government.
- Get the right people on the bus. No one, not even you, can be good at everything but everyone can be good at something. Bannon is not your guy. Move him on out of government and to his future, whatever that may be. There are some pretty smart people out there who would dedicate themselves to serving America and serving you. Stop appointing white billionaires. There are so many more qualified people that can help you retain your rock star status while tackling the real issues facing our country. Put the pen down. Stop signing thoughtless executive orders like a kid with a new toy. Get new advisors. It’s not too late. This do-over needs to happen fast.
I’m still an optimist. I believe in the beauty and kindness of people. All people. Today, it was announced that Muslim Americans raised $75K for a vandalized Jewish cemetery. Now, you tell me that isn’t a beautiful thing.
You have a do-over. Use it.