Dear President-Elect Trump:
Whoa, does your new title sound as weird to you as it does to us? Well, we’ll all get used to it quickly.
On Tuesday, across this country we watched in living rooms and bars and bedrooms as we saw unfold a collective statement and a choice from our country—as you were elected to our nation’s highest office. Congratulations.
And while we recognize that this is the outcome that many wanted, this is also an outcome that leaves half of our country feeling sadness and shock. We want to honor all of our nation’s experience.
Let’s be honest.
We disagree on some—okay, many—things. But this we understand: you defied the political pundits and polls and racked up a big win by tapping into something important that much of the rest of the political establishment has ignored. You understood that our political system has become detached from the everyday needs of ordinary Americans. You spoke to those who’ve seen their American Dream wither away.
This was a rough campaign that many of us found a little hard to watch. But instead of sitting this one out, Americans all over the country came out—many standing in long lines—to cast their ballots and participate in our democracy.
There are those who claim that our country is deeply polarized and divided. But we know—and here’s another thing we can definitely agree on—that there is far more that unites us than divides us. You had it right in your victory speech: “To all Republicans and Democrats and Independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.” We say amen to that.
Because America is a beautiful place.
Yes, there are some drawn to hate, bigotry, misogyny, cruelty and more. But there are so many more Americans fighting for justice, for equality, fighting for the America we believe in, the America we dream of: the America that embraces difference, collaboration, understanding and peace.
President-Elect Trump, we are unwavering in our values.
We stand ready to defend the progress our country has made on climate change. We will continue to be strong advocates for racial and social justice, LGBTQ rights, gender equality, respect for religious differences, and opportunity for all. We stand with women, people of color, Muslims, migrants, refugees, the LGBTQ community, the poor, and others whose lives may be further compromised by the policies and rhetoric you espoused during your campaign. And we commit to stand with you if your work is toward building a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.
During your campaign, you gave voice to many Americans who feel left out and marginalized, and today we challenge you to hear the voices of all Americans—regardless of race or gender or religion or sexual orientation or economic status—who are fighting for a country built on justice and equity. These are things we all want. And so, we hope these are the things you also want.
President Lyndon Johnson once said, "If we succeed, it will not be because of what we have, but it will be because of what we are; not because of what we own, but, rather because of what we believe.” We encourage you to see this country for what it is: stronger for its many disagreements, more beautiful for its many flaws, filled with communities bound by love of family and hope for the future. Bound now perhaps most of all by a fervent wish that you rise to the occasion, rise to this moment, and restore our faith in the idea that we are stronger when we stand together.