Dear Future President,
I’m concerned for our country and world, and I bet you are too.
The issues are astounding: people are fleeing rape, war, and other violence. Voter identification laws. Terrorism. Gun violence. Police violence. Bathroom bills. Prison populations. The cost of college. Decreases in pay for teachers. Unequal pay for equal work. Healthcare and specialty medication costs. The creation and sourcing of energy. What women can and cannot do with their bodies. Minimum wage. Budget. Military spending. War.
We also live in a culture of fear.
The news media help us – encourage us – to see the world as a dangerous place. We are rarely shown stories of heroism or positive change; and when we are the highlights are quickly lost in a blur of unsettling news. We are encouraged to expect the worst and protect ourselves against anyone we don’t know.
We need a leader to give us hope in the face of so much fear.
We need a president who facilitates with trust, responsibility, mutual respect, and appropriate transparency. Someone who empowers, collaborates, and leads with people. This job is not for someone with a hero or ego complex, rather, it’s for someone who understands that the job of President is an immense honor and a sobering duty. We need a president whose selfishness will not impede his or her ability to help all Americans succeed. I need a president who understands this.
Future president, I want to see that you are human, that you make mistakes, and that you take responsibility for problems you did not cause. I want you to make difficult decisions under pressure. I need to see that you are willing to learn and even laugh at yourself. I expect you to believe the American dream is for all people, not just those you hand-pick or who agree with you. I want to see emotion on your face as you make decisions that impact the most vulnerable. I want to see your humanity.
You’ll be in the limelight – but that isn’t where your most significant accomplishments will take place. The show does not end when the cameras go away.
The Oval Office will not be a room staged for photo opportunities, it will be your worst nightmare when you face tragedy and tough diplomatic decisions. It will be your respite away from press conferences, your quiet when you need space to think. It will be where you hold taxing meetings with world leaders, heroes, and hopeful change-makers. It will be where children will visit and say, “I can be President, too.” It will be where you work, where you cry, where you celebrate, where you think, where you scream, where you ask yourself why you wanted this job. Remember this as you ask for votes.
Remember this is what winning will look like.
I expect you to empower me, not disenfranchise me. I expect to want to hear what you have to say, even if I disagree; as president, even your difficult speeches should be well-thought out and intentionally delivered in a way that honors the humanity of all people you’ve been hired to serve. Yes, serve, because even though you occupy one of the most important offices of the world, you are still a public servant by definition.
Politicians are expected to decide legislation that will benefit the people they were elected to serve. Future president, you will be elected to serve the United States of America, and I expect you to do your job. The USA is comprised of millions of people striving to reach the American dream – not some, but all. Your job is to take into consideration all of us, even those who didn’t vote for you.
The USA has always been a world leader, and now, more than ever, we need a calm, reasoned, and logical facilitator to help reduce violence and mortality, increase bi-, tri-, and quad-partisanship, and provide aid during disasters and times of need. I want to hire a president who can be calm in the face of calamity, whose power won’t go to his or her head, who will collaborate with other world leaders but also maintain a grassroots presence at home, and who will inspire people to work together to make America greater. I’m looking for a leader for this country I call home.
Future president, this is how I will decide to vote.
A Concerned Citizen