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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

AN OPEN LETTER to Me and Trump: Dear You...

In the end, that's what this election is about. 
Do we participate in a politics of cynicism
 or a politics of hope?  
Barack Obama

Dear Jerry,

All your life you have been an optimist... a Pollyanna kind of person, and you are happy about that. (What else would an optimist say?) But I have noticed Jerry, that a playful touch of cynicism has grown to an unhealthy frequency so that it sometimes colors your outlook. You even use it as a tease in your Bio beside this blog. (I'll change that after this post.)

This election and it's mere 600 day run-up is a splash of cold water in your face, Jerry. Optimism and cynicism don't belong in the same sentence (Oops.)

You chose hope, which was forced upon you in this everlasting political exercise that didn't go well, but hope, nonetheless. It's more than politics though... it's a sane, brighter, richer lifestyle. There is nothing positive about cynicism. It is a pervasive and dangerous way to think.

Optimism is hope and hope is healthy. One can't live as a cynic but one can certainly die as one.

Though you, Jerry, voted for Hillary because you thought she was THE person and better choice in a world so filled with strife and uncertainty, You now pray to be proven wrong. (FYI: Jerry, you call yourself an independent with strong democratic leanings--you voted for 12 candidates on the ballot, 9 democrats and 3 republicans, and only saw one of each elected.)

Being a lifelong Cub fan, you are very used to being disappointed, but even Cub fans have their day, right? However, you don't have another 108 years.

So GO big Donald! (You just can't say huuuge, can you Jerry?) You are my President-elect and while you are not in my "like" category yet... or perhaps ever, I know you will do all you can to be a good president for all the people. You said so yourself... and I do believe that.

I respect your office, but you still must earn my respect. I want that to happen. Our perspectives may always differ but if your intent is fair for all as our Constitution inalienably requires, and your actions promote equality, human dignity and  God-given rights, perhaps I can applaud more.

There's a 'thing' about us that the world admires. It's the way we care for ourselves and others. We are magnanimous and open to ideas and people. The Statue of Liberty still shines it's light and those who used it as a beacon have made us even richer. We are the third largest country in the world in land mass and third in population with 340 million people (China has 2.2 billion, India 1.1 billion). We are blessed with natural resources and opportunity for all. We are a democracy, which is not always easy, but always free. We are stylin'! 

The United States never stopped being great, so we don't have to be great again. We have to be greater and more inclusive for those that felt--and often were--left out of the mix.

You have an enormous responsibility to be everyone's President, but  given a republican President, a republican House and republican Senate, the temptation to govern for only half the people is big. Strange to say, Congress needs your serious effort to keep in check the 'balance of power' equation our government demands. And we need the 'third leg' to complete the balance that gives us our greatness, a Supreme Court that equally respects those values.

You actually lost the popular vote Mr. President-Elect. More than half the people voted for Hillary but you won by states, as is our system. Your mandate was thin but decisive. There are as many people today who see your victory as a loss. I'm one. So us owe us, Mr. President-elect as sure as 'the other half of us' that put you in because of that very perception.

For now and forever, may we put the divisiveness in politics--especially during election times--away? IT'S KILLING US! And please God, never again 600 days! If we did all of this in 12 weeks as some more sane countries mandate we would be seen as smarter. Some countries even automatically register voters. What a concept.

If done shorter and more civilly, hatred, threats, violence, name-calling, cynicism and disdain may not have been on our televisions, in our newspapers and social media til death or elections, do us part. It is absurd, and so are we.

You, President-Elect Trump, will become the most powerful, influential man in the world leading our great nation... the most blessed of all nations. As the world looked on for these 600 days, what did they see? WHAT A RESPONSIBILITY.

Your victory speech was good, but so were those in defeat and acceptance by Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama. All class acts. We must keep that up.

My brilliant daughter once told me, "Dad, you should never feel bad about getting lost. It could be the start of your next great journey." So we begin: 

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963

 Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

BACK STORY: In one week, my beloved Cubs won the World Series, my wife's heart stopped (momentarily, thank God) while being transported for a surgical heart procedure and I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Then the election. Talk about a week!

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