Photo taken by Lili Kibel

Dear President Trump

For me, January 20 was a day of hope. Finally, we had a chance to get something done in our country. Washington was united. For the first time in many years, conservative policies had the green light. But it is painful to see you throwing away this huge opportunity. Although I do not know the intricacies of what happens in Washington, I do know what I hear around me, and how what you say hurts people in my community. Bombastic and controversial messages served you well during the campaign, but the campaign is over. You must step up and fulfill the office of the president with dignity and respect.

I genuinely hope that you could get what you promised done. But, if you keep getting in your own way, there is no hope for an effective presidency. The ranting, boisterous rhetoric helped you in the past because it was all about what you would do once you got into office. But now, we want to see you do what you promised. And if an obstacle gets in your way, you should work hard to get around it — not flee to Twitter to rant. You may think voicing your thoughts directly through social media is a smart strategy, but an NPR study showed 49 percent of your voters want you to shut down your @realdonaldtrump account. So, why do you insist on engaging in childish back and forths when you know that they are hurting you? You have a tough job ahead of you, and the abundance of controversial thoughts that you put out every day isn’t exactly making it any easier.

Now that you are president, every word you say carries exponentially more weight. With every rally, late-night tweet and angry Facebook post, you are representing our country. According to a poll taken by the Economist, more people believe that you have done something improper in your dealings with Russians officials than not (39% — 35%). And why is that? There is still no evidence of any wrongdoing from your administration, but your history of lies have come back to bite you, and are making it difficult for Americans to believe what you say. After the Comey hearing, it was his word against yours, and let’s be honest. After all the falsehoods that you have peddled over the past two years, your word is practically worthless. So, no matter how little actual evidence exists against you, most people still will not take your side. Because of the lack of thought, you seem to give before your remarks, 60 percent of Americans do not view you as honest, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll. A president needs to be trusted, so when you need popular support for an important decision, you have to be able to tell Americans to trust you. Right now, because you are seen as the boy who cried wolf, you cannot do that, and it is hurting you badly. While at a CVS nearby, I heard two people talking about how they think you colluded with Russia to get elected. I approached them, and soon, Angela Jackson, one of the two, explained to me why she would not give you the benefit of the doubt in the investigation.

“He is such a buffoon. He has lied so much that he lost my trust. Not that he ever had it,” Jackson said, laughing.

You have not only made your job difficult, but also, the jobs of many of your voters. Recently, I visited Grand Park in Los Angeles and asked people what they thought of your presidency so far. After many interviews, I finally found Jennifer Carter, one of your voters, but when she admitted to being one of your supporters, she was whispering. Carter has always been a Republican, but she has never felt that she needed to be so secretive about it until now.

“I am worried that if I tell people that I voted for Trump, they will think that I believe in everything that he says,” Carter remarked.

A couple years ago, she started her own company, where she goes to City Hall to look through documents to find missing people and return them to their families. Carter said she voted for you mainly because she thought that you would help her small business grow. In fact, she said she is happy with what you have done so far and looks forward to seeing the tax plan soon. But like many of your voters, Carter is ashamed of many things you say.

“He has said some terrible things and posted so much Twitter crap that I don’t agree with, and that is why I don’t feel comfortable telling people who I voted for,” Carter said.

Although she is just one person, Carter represents a key part of your constituency that could be a real asset for you next election cycle, but by being careless in your remarks, you risk losing them.

The lack of clear, thought-out positions in your administration is harmful as well. Every day, Los Angeles County program analyst Richard Fajado goes to his job at City Hall. Fajado said he has witnessed the mood change dramatically since your election.

“Many people, including me, are afraid of what is going on. Trump is not telling us what he is doing to our country. Secretly, he is doing stuff that affects us, though. He needs to be more transparent,” Fajado said.

Although Fajado leans toward a Democratic ideology, he said he would be more comfortable with the idea of you being president if your administration were more transparent. Not only are the plethora of controversial remarks and the lack of clarifying necessary ones hurting you, but they are also hurting everyday people in communities around the country. It would serve you well to give a little bit more thought to what you say in the future.

I hope you take this letter to heart since I wrote it because I truly hope you do well over the next three and a half years. There is still time for you to bandage up your presidency, but if you don’t change something fast, that opportunity will disappear.

Good Luck,

Tammer Bagdasarian