Proving once and for all the elected officials on television are far more desirable than the ones we’re stuck with in reality ― Jed Bartlet, please save us ― Leslie Knope of “Parks and Recreation” has written a letter to America in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton on Tuesday.
After a preamble encouraging readers to donate to the ACLU, the International Rescue Committee, or the charity of his or her choice, Knope recalls the moment she came to terms with the imperfections of democracy in the letter written in the beloved character’s distinctive voice.
Knope, played by Amy Poehler for seven seasons on the NBC sitcom, was a relentless optimist who kept a framed photo of Clinton in her office, as she fought for justice, parks for all and the right to consume an inordinate amount of waffles in her small town of Pawnee, Indiana.
To help us all cope with the results of election, she recounts a fourth grade social studies class when her fellow classmates voted for a T-Rex named Dr. Farts over a far more qualified cartoon tortoise named Greenie in a mock election. Sound familiar?
After the lesson, the teacher consoled Knope by explaining that the point of the exercise wasn’t to demonstrate that the tortoise should have won, it was reveal that “people are unpredictable, and democracy is insane.”
Winston Churchill once said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except all those other forms that have been tried.” That is perhaps a pithier and better way to get my point across, than that long anecdote about Mrs. Kolphner. Should I just erase all of that and start with this? Whatever. I’m pot-committed now, and is there extra caffeine in that hot chocolate? Because my head feels like a spaceship. The point is: people making their own decisions is, on balance, better than an autocrat making decisions for them. It’s just that sometimes those decisions are bad, or self-defeating, or maddening, and a day where you get dressed up in your best victory pantsuit and spend an ungodly amount of money decorating your house with American flags and custom-made cardboard-cutouts of suffragettes in anticipation of a glass-ceiling-shattering historical milestone ends with you getting (metaphorically) eaten by a giant farting T-Rex.
Read the full letter over on Yahoo.