An Open Letter to Donald J. Trump

First, as a moderate Democrat who like most of the rest of the country, thought Hillary Clinton had this race sewn up; let me congratulate you on your victory last night in the 2016 Presidential Election. That surprising win will go down as one of the greatest political upsets in modern history.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in life is to underestimate someone. It appears many of us vastly underestimated you.

You know, Mr. Trump, before the brouhaha of the campaign we have all just experienced, I was an admirer of yours. I watched with interest, as did so many others, the entertaining Celebrity Apprentice shows. I even enjoyed visiting Trump Tower when visiting New York City from time to time, and have always followed your career with interest.

Some of your ideas are not so bad. It is true we have got to get a handle on government spending, or we will be mortgaging our future for generations to come. Many things that are accepted as the status quo, such as the high premiums of Obamacare, are simply unacceptable when looked at from face value.

However, what frightens me and so many others and, I am sure, many in your own party, are your extreme, unpopular, and likely unenforceable policies. Ideas such as building that damn wall. Making Mexico pay for it. Deporting hundreds of thousands of immigrants. Abandoning scores of Environmental Protection regulations at a time when Global Warming has never been more of an urgent concern, and on and on.

We are a nation of immigrants. Your own lovely wife was an immigrant. You simply have to ask her how she feels about some of your more extreme immigration policies.

My college-aged daughter came home from class today in tears, upset and fearful about what your Presidency might bring. Some of her college friends were frightened that they might be deported along with their parents, even though many of the students are already citizens.

I would strongly encourage you and your party to work with moderate Republicans and forward thinking politicians and policy makers of all stripes to carefully think about what steps you are going to take now that you have won the election.

I am particularly impressed with your Vice President, Mike Pence. Although I vehemently disagree with many of his policies as well, he has always been a dignified statesman. One could learn much from how he conducts himself in the political arena.

I think, with God’s help, and a bit of luck, we could all get through this and even come out better than before. If you, Mr. Trump, would learn to temper your more extreme notions, work with others effectively, and for heaven’s sake watch your more volatile comments about women, minorities, the differently-abled, etc., that would be a tremendous step forward.

Mr. Trump, this is a momentous occasion for our country, for you personally, and for your family. I would encourage you to also reach out to members of your own family for guidance on how to conduct yourself. Your children in particular have impressed me with their intelligence and grace in the public spotlight. President Obama has already spoken of his desire for a smooth and successful Presidential transition of power. He is an excellent model of grace and decorum, whether or not you agree one whit with his policies.

One good thing that is coming out of this upset, people are getting involved. And in a democracy, that is always a good thing.

A copy of this letter will be forwarded to you, your Vice President Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, John McCain, President Obama and Vice President Biden. It comes with my very best wishes and heartfelt thanks for all of their collective years of devoted public service.

Mr. Trump, may God bless you and our country going forward with the courage and wisdom to do not only do what is right, but what is kind and ethical in leading our great nation forward. This is your moment to continue to surprise us all.

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