An Open Letter to Donald J. Trump

I know you think you’ve won. But you are not my president.

Most Americans (and world citizens) know you’re a shameless egomaniac and you’re probably feeling pretty good about yourself right now. You think your message of hate and exclusion somehow represents our country, but I am here to tell you it does not.

Democracy did not elect you. The American people did not elect you. If you take office in January, it will be because of an antiquated fail-safe put into place to protect the populace from, well, you.

You see, here’s the thing about the electoral college: it was created because the Founding Fathers so many of your followers blindly worship were pretty terrified of actual democracy. It was new — and they’d witnessed many of the human failures that we’re all too familiar with on this planet. They didn’t trust the masses to always vote in the best interest of the country. James Madison, in the Federalist Papers, warned against “factions”— groups who might “violate the rights of other citizens” or “harm the nation as a whole” by exercising their vote. Madison’s factions fear (which was later coined “the tyranny of the majority” by Alexis de Tocqueville) was that radicals might one day encompass the majority of the population, and I quote, “sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest, both the public good and the rights of other citizens.”

Around the same time, Alexander Hamilton defended the electoral college: “The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications, ” he wrote in Federalist No. 68. Are you, Mr. Trump, endowed with the requisite qualifications? The problem with a direct democracy, Hamilton said, is that “talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man” to high office -- whereas the electoral college is bound to preserve “the sense of the people,” while at the same time ensuring that a president is chosen by an informed and analytical body with the country’s best interest in mind. When Tocqueville talked about the tyranny of the majority nearly 50 years later, grave danger, he warned, was that public opinion might one day become an omnipotent force, tyrannizing unpopular minorities and marginalized groups or individuals.

Ironically this vehicle that was supposed to protect us from a hypothetical despotic majority, is exactly what’s theoretically handing the presidency to you — elected by a tyrannical minority. Assuming you occasionally have rational thoughts, perhaps now is the time to heed those in the darkest place of your mind warning that this might be one ego trip you’ve taken too far.

On Thursday you tweeted that “professional protesters, incited by the media” were “very unfair” to exercise their first amendment rights. This statement belied your delusion and your inability to govern a democratic nation that affords its citizens the right to free speech and assembly. Hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. and Canada reject you as a leader. Let me promise you this: none of us are on a pay roll. If by some otherworldly force I am mistaken and there’s a secret blackmarket where objecting to your specific brand of bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia, and ignorance is, in fact, a paid position — somebody please sign me up.

Because I fear that standing against you by fighting for the environment, fellow women, friends of color, immigrants, people of all sexual orientations, and all religions, will be a full-time job should you take the Office that you have not earned. Your ties to the Keystone and Dakota pipelines remind us that plutocracy is alive and well. Your attitude towards women and your cavalier boasting about sexual assaults sets off a never-ending cycle of Post Traumatic Stress for survivors like myself. Thanks to you, Jewish-Americans are not only reminded of the entire generation of their ancestors who were wiped from this earth by people frighteningly reminiscent of your supporters, they’re now faced with the sheer terror that comes with your appointment of Steve Bannon: an anti-semitic, homophobic, sexist, racist white supremacist. And what for African Americans, women, and other minority citizens? Do you think they feel safe in a Trump America with a chief strategist who called progressivism a philosophy of victimhood?

You stood up and told the country last week that you would be a “President for all Americans.” Well we see you. And your actions speak louder than words. From where most of us are standing, it looks like the best way for you to serve the American people is to step down.

But assuming that you won’t, now is the time to put your money where your mouth is. You want to represent all Americans? Appoint officials who hold our values and will protect our rights and interests -- whether or not we look like you and your band of cronies. You say you respect women? Stop threatening reproductive rights and hiring men who have been sued for sexual assault. You’re “fine with” gay marriage? Prove it. Educate yourself on climate change and world religions. Denounce xenophobes and for the love of God, don’t put them in the White House on our dime. Release your tax returns. Stop pushing off your racketeering and fraud trials. You say you want to make America “great again,” but right now, the biggest threat to American greatness is you.

Sincerely,

A Real Patriot

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