Dear President Trump,
A couple of weeks ago I told you I would stop reacting to the mean, destructive things you say and do on a near daily basis because I think getting hooked by you is playing into a sick game that keeps us distracted. I am standing by that decision but want to call out a reaction to you and your presidency I think is a truly hopeful sign for our future; more women running for office at all levels. To be sure many more women are involved in politics now than when you or I were children but you helped us see that tiny numbers of women in office just don’t cut it. When we elect someone president who boasts about assaulting women and when he then supports a Senate panel of 13 men and 0 women to create healthcare legislation for the country, it’s finally abundantly clear we can’t wait for white men to be nice and willing to share the pie with everyone. And when someone like you who is boorish, lies constantly, and has no relevant experience wins over an extremely qualified woman, we have to accept that things need to change.
But this is much, much more than women simply wanting to wield power for power’s sake or to put another notch in the equality belt. I think this movement of women stepping up and deciding to run for public office is a collective cry and shout that enough is enough — you all have painted yourselves into polarized partisan corners where even the idea of cooperative negotiation is anathema and we are stuck. We can’t get anything important done because you all can’t even get into the same room to start working things out. Women aren’t saints but we do tend to cut through the crap and find ways to get things done. We don’t get so wrapped up in the ego of being right all the time and we know how to listen and can see when someone else has a good point or a better approach. We have to harness this as a country and women are going to have to continue trying to teach men there are better ways to deal with gnarly, challenging issues than grandstanding or ignoring them. It’s becoming clear that equality and fairness in representation aren’t just nice extras we should tag on if we can, they are fundamental to charting a healthy course that addresses the real needs of people and the planet.
May women and men be safe to lead and to follow.
May women and men be happy to cooperate.
May women and men be healthy enough to negotiate.
May women and men work together for children and the planet.