Open Letter to Donald Trump (2016)

Open Letter to Donald Trump (2016)

As of Inauguration Day on January 20th, the ball will be in your court. Even now, since you’ve been declared the winner in this election cycle, the spotlight is already shining on you—not that it wasn’t before.

   All is just the way you like it.

   I know that no one is perfect; I am far from it myself. Despite our shortcomings as imperfect human, however, there is one thing that each one of us should be perfectly capable of doing:

   Knowing ourselves. 

   Do you know yourself, mister president-elect? 

   If you stand in the mirror—forgive me and forget the mirror. Consider instead your soul. Are you capable of introspection? If you are, you should be able to recognize that you have a problem.

   Have you ever stopped to consider that you could get everything you want in life without scamming others; without shortchanging those who work for you, and without defrauding the American people? To say nothing of your defrauding people in several third-world countries.

   America has already given you so much more than what it gives the other ninety-nine percent of her children, and now, you are about to ascend to the highest office in the land. You are set to become president in less than two months. 

   I did not vote for you—would not in a million years—but I cannot help but wish you well. I sincerely hope that your tenure as president is successful, if only for our nation’s sake.

I must admit, however, that I am afraid about the future, for I realize there is a chance that your “success” will come at the expense of other Americans.

   I wonder, Mr. Trump, whether you consider success incidental to the hoarding of wealth or the accumulation of power. Rest assured. By the former measure, you may already be successful; although the American people don’t know with certainty what you’re worth because you have chosen to be dishonest. And you are going to be the next POTUS, meaning that you are poised to become one of the, if not the most, powerful persons in the world. It is a done deal.

   Isn’t it funny how some people measure power? The world looks to the U.S. President—I’m sorry, but I think the title doesn’t fit you—as most powerful. Maybe it has something to do with the sheer might of our military, or the strength of our military alliances; or is it because of our demonstrated willingness to use lethal force against our foes? I submit to you that there’s power in restraint, too. 

   But let’s get back to our subject.

   Your becoming the American president completes the circle. What this means is that, by your definition, you can be deemed successful.

   Money and power: you’ll have both.

   But guess what.

   The accumulation of wealth will not bring you happiness, and neither will power. Character and self-respect have a better chance of bringing you happiness. No matter how rich or powerful you may become, you will not be truly happy if you cannot quiet the little voice inside your head; that little voice that creeps in when you least expect it; that little voice that has the habit of repeating to you exactly what you do not want to hear, and what you refuse to acknowledge to yourself: your deepest fears.

   To you, being dishonest is a way of life. It is how you operate. And I must give it to you: you are a pro at it. You fooled half the nation! Your problem, Mr. PEOTUS, is that you cannot fool all of us. What is more, you can’t yourself.

   If you cannot become a real man—I assure you, being born with an appendage between your legs does not make you a man—there will come a point at which you won’t be able to live with yourself.

   This may be all wishful thinking on my part. For all I know, you might have been born without a conscience.

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