CONTRIBUTOR

An Open Letter To Donald Trump, My Former Boss Of 18 Years

I know you can be a good president. Good luck.

11/12/2016 02:27 pm ET
JIM WATSON via Getty Images

Dear Donald,

Congratulations on your win. I wish you the very best for a successful presidency.

As you know, I supported Clinton. I do not believe in your stated policies, especially your anti-choice stance and your positions on regulation of environmental impacts and healthcare. I think that the Mexicans that are here have improved our society and they should be given a path to citizenship. I do agree that we need stronger borders, but I don’t think this can be accomplished with a wall that is unnecessary now and prohibitively costly. But even if you had policies that I could agree with, you do not have the breadth of experience of Clinton; the kind of governing and political experience I think is necessary for the job. Finally, you have changed so much over the time I worked for you and since then that I hardly recognize you from the days we did Trump Tower. You do not have anything like “the best” people working for you and you do not take criticism or listen to advice, two qualities essential to the president. That is me being honest, and you always told me I was “too honest.”

But we are where we are, and I am writing you as someone who knew you when. I supported the idea of you becoming president in the 1980s when everyone thought you and I were crazy. At that time, you did have the best people and you followed our advice. Nobody called you Mr. Trump then, we all called you Donald, and you were 100% accessible to us and open to anything we had to say. Your office door was always open and your speakerphone was always on. We paid you deference and treated you with respect, but we were not afraid to be earnest and critical. We did not fear you. You and I know that is not the case with you anymore. You seem to need or want to be adored. Well, you have nothing to prove anymore and you can go back to being a listener willing to change your mind and be corrected. I think fame went to your head and you really started believing you know everything – you don’t.

Now you are my president too. Act like it.

You have a bunch of losers following you around. The ones in your organization can’t do any damage to the country but I can see why you have had so many failures in your business. Now you will be selecting a cabinet and you MUST choose the right people. Show the world that you will only settle for the absolute best.  You should have Republicans and Democrats on your staff and women and people of color. Don’t do what the pundits are all predicting. Giuliani and Gingrich who hang on to you like leeches are out of touch hacks whose time has come and gone. Donald, they are just not worthy of you. Neither is Christie who is despised by the entire state of New Jersey and has zero credibility. The likes of Palin and Carson are also far beneath you. They are cartoon characters, and they are out of touch with most of America. You more than anyone need people who really know governing and politics. You major concern was always could you trust people. And you put people into positions they didn’t deserve because you could trust them, but you must realize that people who would do anything for you are often just holding on to the jobs they know they wouldn’t otherwise have. You will find trust worthy people outside your inner circle. 

Remember Hillary won the popular vote. More people voted for her than you. These people have priorities that you need to address. You got elected mostly by real people who want their jobs back. True, there are a lot of racists and xenophobes who supported you, but I know you do not really wish to serve their interests. You have your own tendencies which you need to work on. You must be there for the working people of all stripes, and we are not down with the nonsense spewed by most of the people who are pulling at you for appointments. These hacks will only continue the hatred, fear and distrust that were the hallmarks of your campaign. Get rid of them. You need to shed the image of the Trump supporter who wears a shirt saying Hillary is a cunt, vote for Trump, and replace it with one of the hardworking American, black or white, Christian or Muslim, native or immigrant etc. who is the backbone of the country. Now you are my president too. Act like it.

When I worked for you, you were a democrat. You believed in choice. You supported strong women like me, Susan and Louise. Imagine you glorifying Phyllis Schafley! What must Melania, Ivanka and Rhona think of a woman who said women should not work outside the home? And you want to overturn Roe v. Wade? Why? The country doesn’t want this. This will not make you great. Forget it. Remember how you admired, liked and respected Mel Fante, Peter Lobello and Jerry Floyd? You would never tell them they could not get married to the person they love. Forget about overturning gay marriage. You are not like this. Sure Pence would put them all in jail, but that’s not you. I suspect he wasn’t your first or even close choice for running mate anyway. You say you want to eliminate all regulations, but you don’t want to be known as the president that destroyed the environment. You have the opportunity to save the planet because you are the leader of the free world and you have the Congress with you. Protect the earth, the air and the water. You want to repeal Obamacare, but you said yourself that people should have health care. Surprise everyone by coming up with a plan that’s better, where people aren’t disqualified for pre-existing conditions. It doesn’t have to be a plan that business loves. Wall Street expects you to cave to Big Pharma. Astound them by demanding a negotiation on all drug prices. Donald, there is nothing that can stop you.

You can be a president for everyone if you put the country first and let your ego take a back seat.

It’s hard to respect you after what you have said about women. I have always said you never treated me with discrimination or disrespect, although you did like to leer at pretty women. I wrote that behavior off because of the times, but your conduct on Howard Stern and the Access Hollywood tape is outrageous and cannot be excused. Call it what you want, but it’s right there for the world to see. “No one respects women more than I do.” What a ridiculous line! But you can be redeemed and you can even win my respect back which I know is very important to you.

First you have to disabuse yourself of the notion that if a woman is harassed she should leave her job. If I did that I would never have gotten to work for you. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t have worked anywhere without that treatment in those years. It might help if you admitted that you harassed yourself, and you are ashamed of it. Another thing, don’t be flippant about equal pay. This is an important thing and you can have a positive effect. What you need to do is set up a presidential commission on women in industry and have it head up by a real progressive woman who will really study the reasons for pay disparity. You should make it a commitment of your presidency to get women equal pay, get them into non traditional roles like engineering and construction and, as best as you can, eliminate harassment against them in the workplace. You control all the agencies and can decree changes with an executive order. Oh the great changes you could make for women.

In this crazy world, you are poised to be either a total disaster, or one of the greats. Once you are president, you can do what you want. Forget what it took to get you here. Maybe you will lose some evangelicals and the racists will stay home next time but you will pick up lots of Democrats. You can be a president for everyone if you put the country first and let your ego take a back seat. Reform the prisons, rebuild our infrastructure, make healthcare affordable, fix immigration humanely. Forget about reducing taxes for the rich, reduce them for the middle class. You know jobs were lost to technology, not to closing factories due to trade agreements. Bring the technology jobs back to the US. Do something about student debt. Help poor young people get college or training for the good jobs you are promising. 

I am praying you do some of the things I suggested. I would love to vote for you in 4 years, although I have never voted for a Republican in my life, but I would for you if you changed. I remember the day you bought me a used mink coat when you saw me prancing around the office in it. I remember when you treated me like an equal and we joked around all the time and you called me B. Res and honeybunch. I remember when you consoled me over the fact that the California project got condemned. Even though you totally trashed me I remember the Trump Tower days fondly. I would like to see you go back to the brash, confident and mostly fair person you were then.

When I was on my local school board, I was a real radical. Then they made me president. I rose to the office. I realized that I represented all interests not just my own narrow ones, and I was a better person for it. I know you can be a good president. 

Good luck. 

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