An Open Letter to President-Elect Trump From Ron Garan, Col. USAF, (Ret)
Congratulations on your election victory. Thank you for your words of conciliation in the early morning hours following the election, and your “pledge to every citizen of our land that (you) will be president to all Americans.”
You also reached out to people who did not support you to ask for guidance and help, “so that we can work together and unify our great country.” I am one of those people.
As a citizen of this great nation, I respectfully offer guidance on immediate steps that can help start the process to bring everyone “together as one united people.”
First, reconsider your promise to cancel President Obama’s executive orders and many of his programs on your first day in office. As a businessman, and now as president-elect, you know orderly transitions matter.
Canceling the health insurance of millions of Americans without a fully functioning system to replace it will disrupt if not destroy the lives of those who depend on it.
Consult the science community as you plan. As a NASA astronaut who lived and worked in space, I know Earth is not flat, that we live in a highly interrelated and interdependent biosphere, that climate change is real. People so often speculate that if world leaders could see Earth from space like astronauts and cosmonauts do, everything would be different. I believe this is true. Please consider these thoughts from men and women who are among the few who have seen our planet from space.
Unilaterally pulling out of the agreements the United States made with other nations during the COP-21 Paris Climate Conference, puts America on a dangerous path threatening the future of the world. In the short-term, we will alienate the other signatories, and demonstrate that our words and promises mean nothing.
You said during your victory speech, “I want to tell the world community that while we’ll always put America’s interests first we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone, all people and all other nations. We will seek common ground not hostility, partnership not conflict.” I assure you that canceling America’s commitment to the 2015 Paris Climate Conference will be seen by the world as an act of hostility and conflict.
I share with so many Americans a frustration with the present state of our government. I look forward to meaningful and real reform to our political system. In the meantime, I respectfully ask that you consider the views and needs of all Americans before following through on your promised immediate actions. Without a carefully considered plan that takes into account the long-term effects to our nation, and to the world, I am unable to see any path that brings us “together as one united people.”