Many people I came across after the Presidential election — students, coworkers, friends and family — expressed concern about returning to their hometowns for the holidays, knowing that their grandparents and relatives had such wildly different political views than they did. I am lucky in that I do not have this problem and my grandmother, my father’s mother, is pretty radical, in her own way, and we share many of the same feelings in the wake of this election: fear, doubt, sadness, concern, even denial. During my visit for Christmas, my grandmother shared this letter with me, one that she wrote and sent to Republican senators (as well as her hero, Senator Elizabeth Warren) after Trump’s victory, and I felt compelled to share it with everyone else.
Where are we now as a democracy? Before us, we have a “loophole” President-elect who has lied even to his own followers. This President-elect knows how to get elected. It is to charge the opposition with every attribute of himself. He has sold the country with his lies. Lying Hillary? No, lying Trump.
Should we follow his example and stop paying taxes? Is it okay to lie to gain power and wealth? Should we turn people against each other out of fear? What happened to the democracy that is supposed to be “for the people, by the people?”
This imposter doesn’t want to govern a people. He wants to run a business from a place of power- the Oval Office.
Dear Republicans, your poster child is a monster. If democracy has no way to rid itself of this imposter, we must say that democracy has not protected itself well enough. At some point you will realize who this president-elect is: a user of loopholes to further his own real interest: himself. At some point, this bully will have to be corrected and stopped.
Can our democracy survive? Not if you think you can control this person who only wants to be president in order to further his businesses and himself. He cares for no-one else. Step up, Republicans, and do what is right for your country.
The election was not democratic. The President-elect’s victory was built on lies. He is unfit for this office. He has no right to be President-elect. He cheated. He should not win the prize.
If we as a nation do not fix this before he is given the keys to the White House, our country as a democracy is doomed. No one will like the results. Please, Republicans, do the right thing. This is the final hour. You and all Americans have been scammed by a brilliant con-artist.
A citizen of this democracy,
Of course, I was impressed by the simplicity, the honesty and the courage of my grandmother’s words, and how she shared those words with not only her friends and family, but the politicians on the Hill that seem so far away from so many. But on the next page of my grandmother’s letter was another shorter letter that, somehow, brought it all home.
Dear Fellow Americans,
I am an eighty year old woman living in a beautiful retirement home, and I am sickened by the results of this election. I am terrified for my beloved country and for the world at large. I write from my heart, driven by the hope that one citizen could still make a difference.
My grandmother has family all over the county- heck, she has family all over the world, a family she created through her boundless acceptance, generosity, and genuine care. Many of them now have varying political stances, and still, she loves them all madly. She loves her country. She is not unpatriotic for questioning the processes which produced these outcomes. She does not hate, and she does not judge. But she does question, as we all should, and the questions she poses to Republicans today, politicians and citizens alike, are not only fair, but vital.
Many Republicans say that they voted for Trump holding their nose, knowing that he didn’t stand for everything that they do, and he did stand for many things that they didn’t. What I am asking these Republicans to do now, as I believe my grandmother is as well, is to show that they are different from the Trump supporter that vandalizes mosques, the one that harasses protesters of color, and the one that says they’re going to grab women in all the places that Trump does, too. They say not to paint Trump supporters as a monolith? Fine. Show me why I shouldn’t.
If you don’t agree with Donald Trump, speak out, as Republicans, who now hold the majority of the House and the Senate. My grandmother is right- our democracy depends on it. She’s right about another thing, too- one citizen can still make a difference, and there is always, always hope to drive them to do so.