Dear daughter: I won't sugarcoat a Trump presidency for you
I'm sorry that this country has let you down and failed to elect a female president in any of it's 56 elections. We finally had a woman on the ballot this year and it seemed as though she might have won it. She was flawed, but she was qualified and level-headed and a very good choice if you share her beliefs. I wish I could tell you that she was not elected because there was another candidate who was better qualified and will do just fine at leading our country because he is a good man with good morals. There are so many other Republican politicians we could have said that about. But America didn't choose to put any of them on their ballot. I wish I could tell you that Mr. Trump won because he also has good ideas and that they are based on good values. Many people in America questioned Secretary Clinton's character because as a public servant for thirty years she sometimes failed, and those failures were public and difficult. I wish I could tell you that the playing field was fair and that Mr. Trump was judged equally for his failures.
Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Instead, what I have to somehow try to explain to you is that America picked Mr. Trump despite the fact that he has displayed immoral, racist, misogynistic behavior publicly and without any apologies. I wish I could tell you that perhaps his behavior was misinterpreted or that these were youthful indiscretions or that he had temporary insanity, and so we can forgive him and keep an open mind and move forward as we have been asked to do. But, none of those things are true. There is no way to misinterpret the things that he said on that bus. Please know that although many men and women have said that those filthy and illegal things he spoke of on that bus were "locker room" talk, it does not mean that your daddy speaks like that. Ever. Those words Mr. Trump spoke are not OK, and they should never be brushed aside as something men brag about when women aren't around. Not all men talk like that and not all men think it is OK to talk like that. I promise your daddy is better than that.
You're going to hear a lot of people saying things like, "Put our differences aside" and "Come together and support the new president." Every other year, every other candidate, I have agreed with this. This year I won't (and I won't ask you to) support a person of such low character and with no moral code. I can't look you or your brother in the eye and say, "We will support him even if we don't agree with him."
I cannot ask you to look the other way for someone who has bragged about assaulting women or made fun of handicapped people. I can't tell you I will support someone who believes in banning people from entering the country based on their religion, because I know you haven't forgotten that religious freedom was the reason this country was started. I won't ask you to support any of those things because none of them are about politics. They are about morals and strength of character, and there is no difference of opinion when it comes to those two things. You either are or are not a moral person, and you either do or do not have character. These are the issues where there is no gray area. There's no seeing the other person's point. If you are going to brag about assaulting another human, make fun of a handicapped person, or judge someone based on their religion, then you are not a good person. Period.
Which brings me to the hardest part of this letter. How to deal with the people we know and love who have voted for Donald Trump (along with millions of other Americans). I want to tell you why so many people have ignored the horrible things this man has done. Many of them will say that they disliked Hillary so much that they felt they had no other choice. But that's not true. There were as many as ten Republican candidates vying to be on the ballot this year, but Trump beat them all.
Many will say they were looking for change. I heard an interesting opinion from an immigrant this morning who, at first glance, was the last person in the world I thought would be a Trump supporter. He said he thinks people voted for Trump because he held out promises to people. He would say things like, "It's going to be so great, you won't believe it. You'll see" and "I know Isis better than the generals, believe me." Those words are enticing, but they don't actually mean anything or have any basis in reality. But, maybe it was those glorious promises that got so many people to vote for Mr. Trump. Because it can't be that there are millions of people in this country who agree with his morals. Please don't let it be that.
So dear daughter, I want to close by saying that sometimes in life the wrong person wins. Sometimes in life you will question the moral fabric of your country. My advice to you is don't get your news from Facebook. Listen to NPR or watch the BBC news and when you are a little older watch John Oliver and know the actual facts about the things that are going on in the world around you, and then make choices based on facts. That's how you make good decisions. Look at what is real and then look into your heart and decide what is right. Because I'd rather you be questioning the moral fabric of the country than questioning your own.
This post was originally published on BlogHer.