Dear Mr. President,
Good morning. I hope you’re doing well. I hope you and your family are having a good time preparing for Christmas.
I’m nobody special, but I thought I’d drop you a line and offer what I hope is a good idea. I think it might help things, but you’ll be the judge of that.
First, let me say I’m a fan of some of the things you’re doing. Judge Gorsuch seems okay. The stock market is up, and unemployment is down. Jobs are being created. You said this would be a focus of your presidency, and you’re making it happen. Nice. And there’s no denying that Washington was getting a little swampy. You’re certainly shaking up people back there, and I suspect some of them needed shaking. So thanks for that.
Back in September you invited the Golden State Warriors to the White House after they won the NBA championship. One of their star players, Stephen Curry, declined your offer, so you disinvited the team. You tweeted that “going to the White House is a great honor for a championship team.” Another NBA player, Lebron James, tweeted “going to the White House was a great honor until you showed up.”
I’m sure you were disappointed in Mr. James’ lack of respect for the office of President of the United States. My point in writing is to respectfully suggest that those who receive respect are most often the ones who show it to others.
I’m not criticizing. You are the president, and I can’t really imagine what that’s like, or the pressures you are under.
But I think it’s fair to say that sometimes your comments don’t come across as very respectful, unless you’re speaking to Vladimir Putin or Xi Ping. I’m thinking of your fondness for colorful nicknames like Crooked Hillary, Little Rocket Man, Pocahontas, Crazy Bernie, Cryin’ Chuck and Al Frankenstein. Of course these people are your political opponents, so maybe they’re fair game. But there’s also Jeff Flakey, Liddle Bob Corker, Lyin’ Ted, Lil Marco, and Low Energy Jeb. Theoretically they’re on the same side as you. On the media side there’s Psycho Joe, Dumb as a Rock Mika, and Crazy Megyn.
For a lot of people, all the name calling was great fun at the beginning. You could insult anyone you liked because you were rich and apparently powerful. A lot of people still like it when you trash someone who has less power than you just for the fun of it.
But there may be some people, like me, who thought that once you became president you’d become more…respectful. My bad. But I’ve noticed that people are now starting to say things about you that aren’t very respectful either.
Maybe you saw this coming, or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you don’t care, but I’m hoping you do. Because I want—I really want—to continue to respect the office of President of the United States. That’s what we’ve all been taught to do since grade school.
But it’s my experience that at some point you have to earn the respect of others, even those with whom you disagree, no matter what job you happen to hold. And so I’d like to suggest with all the respect I can muster that you may have a bit of work to do in that regard.
Mr. President, we’d love to be impressed by the power of your ideas and your accomplishments without all the dumb attacks on people with whom you disagree. Some say that bullies are people who beat up on those smaller than them. I’m not saying you’re a bully, unless maybe you want to be one. If so, then I guess I’d have to say mission accomplished.
Aretha Franklin put out a song once. You and I are old enough to know it by heart. “R-e-s-p-e-c-t. Find out what it means to me.” Mr. President, if you were just a little more respectful towards all of us down here in your dust from politicians to minorities to women, you might be surprised at what it would mean to us, and to our own respect for the office you now hold.
Wishing you every success,