An ocean of parents published letters to their children yesterday as an apology for the results of the 2015 presidential election. Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing and The Newsroom, published one in Vanity Fair addressing his wife Julia and his daughter, Roxy (P.S.: Congratulations to the Sorkins on their awesome taste in names.)
In the letter, Sorkin doesn’t sugarcoat the doom with which he views a Trump presidency: “Hate was given hope. Abject dumbness was glamorized as being ‘the fresh voice of an outsider’ who’s going to ‘shake things up.’”
Sorkin also provides a warning on the implicit approval the election gives to those with racist and xenophobic beliefs. What gives the letter some extra cred is its self-awareness, warning against too much liberal hand-wringing and wallowing.
“The Trumpsters want to see people like us (Jewish, “coastal elites,” educated, socially progressive, Hollywood…) sobbing and wailing and talking about moving to Canada. I won’t give them that and neither will you. Here’s what we’ll do…”
Finally, Sorkin provides a call to action worthy of a climactic scene in a television drama:
“…we’ll fucking fight.”
Because he’s still a dad, Sorkin then added, “Roxy, there’s a time for this kind of language and it’s now.”
If you’re like me, yesterday was a day of walking in a daze, reaching out to friends as if an earthquake had just happened. Sorkin’s letter provides a necessary reminder that a day of mourning was appropriate — and then we face today and the next day and move forward. What happens next starts now.