I went to the Donald’s new website today to check things out. There is a “Share your ideas” button that allows you to give suggestions or to “Tell us your story” so I did. It is probably not what he was looking for, but I wrote the following. I hope he gets it.
I spent my formative years in a rural community in northwest Louisiana. The South. I had nearly every opportunity to become a racist as many of my childhood schoolmates were. I had nearly every opportunity to become a sexist as many of our neighbors were. I was surrounded day to day by closed minded, small thinking, terrible people and a few good ones, many of whom I am still blessed to know. The “salt of the earth” influences in this small town were probably not the best. The good thing was my rather conservative but progressive parents have always been a shinning beacon of acceptance and charity. My extended family, aunts and uncles, and cousins, are incredibly accepting and loving people who impacted me greatly. Some of the best and most dedicated educators I had at a young age were brilliant African American women who would later become dear family friends. All of the peer presented social training with which I was being indoctrinated as I developed my opinions and ideas about right and wrong simply washed over me and I came out relatively clean on the other side. I became the man I wanted to be with traits I think all men should aspire to have. I am by no means perfect as I am human and I still judge people. I judge, but not by the color of skin or the nature of one’s sex. I judge, but not biased by religious difference or social prejudice. I judge people on each encounter I have with each individual. I count my close friends on one hand and I defend them with warm words, heated ones, and God forbid, violence when needed. I am not perfect. I’m not even a good example but I do feel that this country could use more like me, like my Father, and like the men I call friend. The slogan is ‘Make America Great Again’, but I believe it was always great. Sure, America like any nation could use some polish, but the fact remains, we are great. I say “we” because America is its people. You, me, family, friends, and loved ones of every race, sex, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation. We are America. We were forged by revolution. We were tempered by internal war and struggle, we have clawed our way from stupidity and hatred into the breaking dawn and there’s more digging to do. I beseech you now, don’t dig us deeper. America is not perfect but it is already great. We have might and through right choose not to use it and that makes us mightier. Don’t use it blindly now. We are a beacon of acceptance and hope, the only hope some in this world have. Don’t extinguish it. We are the American dream. We are the hope and guiding light. We are America and we are Great. Greatness comes from unity, compromise, hard work, and kindness. It can not be measured by bank account, list of enemies, or how many people you have crushed under your heel. There is no greater statement of this, no more potent affirmation than the the preamble of the greatest document ever written, “We the people…” Read it. Know it. Live it. Defend it. Remember the quality of the people with whom you surround yourself should not be judged by whether or not they agree with you. Allow yourself to be challenged, defer to those with more experience and don’t let pride tell you to do otherwise. Listen to your people, all of your people, and hear them not just the parts you want to hear. “We the people…” means Greatness. “We the people…” means hope. “We the people…” look to our president for even handed and knowledgeable guidance and we pray you will do the right thing as we’ve prayed all those before you would.