Dear President Trump,
Eating my lunch yesterday I had a chance to peek at NPR and saw the article describing the open meeting you had with congressional leaders on immigration and for a few minutes I entertained the fantasy that maybe I’m getting through to you. It was so surprising and really quite wonderful that you introduced the idea of love into working out a bill to allow Dreamers to stay in the US. I realize there were a lot of other things tagged in that weren’t wonderful, but still, it potentially seems like a step forward.
Then when I looked at gmail last night I saw I had a different sort of email from the White House than the usual “We have received your message” form letter. This was still almost certainly a form letter, but the message header was “Response to your message” and the message itself started with “Dear Tracy,” which makes me glad I’ve insisted on typing in my first name even though it’s not a required field on the contact page. It went on to thank me for taking the time to write to you and how even though we don’t agree on everything, you are pledging to work with Congress to find common ground to solve the United States’ problems and how we have tremendous opportunity to work together for the benefit of the country. The message closes with appreciation for my thoughts and knowing we share the same pride in our country and passion for improving it. Although I don’t think we have pride in our country for the same reasons, I do think your closing sentence is quite nice: “If we unite, we will make America stronger, freer, and greater than ever before.” We would almost certainly aspire to different versions of “stronger,” “freer,” and “greater” but I actually agree with you that people coming together across divides of all sorts is what is going to make our country and the whole world stronger, freer, and greater. This has really been the whole point of writing to you every day. I also thought it was a nice touch that the note was signed “Sincerely, Donald Trump.” I know it’s the standard closing of letters, but because it’s how I’ve signed my letters to you every day, it’s kind of touching. So thank you. It’s nice to feel heard even if it’s unlikely it was actually you hearing me.
May we be safe to call out from our echo chambers.
May we be happy to listen across whatever is separating us.
May we find healthy ways to work together for the common good.
May we our hearts be grounded in peace and love as navigate toward common ground.