No, Mr. Trump, Let’s Make America Better

It occurs to me that Mr. Trump might actually make America better.

For the last many months, has given us no choice but to face our very real problems around discrimination, fear, hatred, xenophobia, and injustice. Now it’s on us.

If we want to take advantage of this opportunity, we must respond with understanding, not indignation. We must reach out to the people who are hurt, angry, and marginalized. We must find common ground and a way to weave ourselves into a Nation undivided.

If we want a better America, we don’t all have to be the same. Our differences are what make us strong. We do, however, have to learn to respect one another. The way that happens is to show everyone that they have a voice.

The first step is to make sure that everyone DOES have a voice. That means breaking down racial, gender, religious, financial, and other forms of discrimination — not through guilt and shame, but through a collective understanding that we’ll do better together. It means treating each other with respect. It means agreeing that our media create our society and refusing to support attempts to monetize our basest instincts. I’m not talking about top-down change, I’m talking about each of us making a commitment to change ourselves and to hold the people in our lives to higher standards.

The second step is to make it a voice worth having: one shaped by respect, compassion, and empathy. It may not happen for everyone or within one generation. It may be that we don’t live to see the results of our good work, but if we don’t start, it’s another generation lost.

The third step is to agree that we are best served when we remember that We the People come first, not our affiliations or ideologies. It means realizing that all viewpoints come from a place of wanting to make the world better and learning how to determine which beliefs belong in the public sphere. Yes, there are fundamental differences in the way people see the world. As long as we don’t create a morality around our beliefs, we can be content to live in a world that doesn’t completely conform to our opinions.

I get it, this is a lot, but here’s the thing: We can do it.

It’s okay if you try and make mistakes, keep trying. If enough of us change, we can make America better. That’s a campaign promise you can trust.

Will you join me?

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