Dear President Trump,
Every election cycle, the process seems to involve more and more hate. The 2008 election was considered a pretty nasty and hard fought race. The 2012 election was regarded as one of the least classy elections in a very long time. The 2016 election was viewed as possibly the most disgusting display of childish behavior that we have ever experienced as a nation. Neither one of you candidates did enough to ensure that the national conversation was focused on important issues. In fact, a recent Pew poll found that the number of voters who would say the candidates have discussed important issues is at its lowest in twenty years. This election produced candidates who were willing to do awful, despicable, and ridiculous things to get the job that they wanted. Candidates have openly called each other ugly, nasty, deplorable, and Canadian. As president, part of your responsibility is to unite the nation. The head of state should do everything they can to make the country run smoothly, and that certainly cannot take place with the unbelievable and increasing amount of mudslinging that we saw this year. The childish, personal attacks between politicians must stop in favor of a more issues-oriented style of public discourse.
This year’s election cycle gave us plenty of incidents at which to be appalled. For example, you cited Carly Fiorina’s face as a reason that she should not be president. Is it really a good example for our country to have a president that engages other politicians in such a way? However, this immature, indefensible remark was quickly forgotten in the storm of other disgusting remarks by almost every other potential president. During the battle for the presidency, everything was fair game: the politicians’ parents, their wives, and their physical stature were all brought into question. The news anchors and the comedians could hardly keep up with the onslaught of insults. However, nobody seemed to stop and question the gravity of the political process. These people were attempting to become the most powerful official in the most powerful nation on the planet, and they were saying things like, “He started it!” Nobody seemed to stop and question the effect that these attacks would have on the nation. A child cannot help but be a little disappointed in their parents after a nasty divorce. In the same way, America cannot help but be a little disappointed in its politicians after this exhausting election cycle.
Over a third of the country feels that the candidates did not address important issues this year, which is the lowest number in two decades. It is no secret that many Americans feel dissatisfied with the current political system for a number of reasons. One of these reasons is the mudslinging. America is exhausted from watching its candidates tear each other apart for over a year rather than discussing have a nuanced discussion about the complicated questions facing the country. For example, what is the appropriate amount of illegal immigrants that the country can handle without a negative effect on its citizens, and why? This is an extremely complicated issue, but there was never any sort of rational debate between the candidates about this issue. You took the rather unconventional position of mass deportation, and Hillary Clinton called you bigoted without enough explanation as to why. This particular issue never really saw any serious discussion. The two sides went into their trenches and never came out. This was certainly not unique to the immigration discussion. There was a severe lack of informed discussion on Syrian refugees, policing, government corruption, and a number of other issues. Right now, there are massive amounts of people that are scared about what is going to happen with their jobs or their healthcare, and we cannot even have a decent discussion on any type of issue.
This election provided us with little hope that our candidates were going to help us. They seemed more concerned with each other’s pasts than America’s future. What are you going to do to stop this? It is partially your responsibility to elevate the level of public discourse. The country needs you to stay away from the mudslinging and promote informed discussion. America’s political landscape is so fractured, but no one wants to actually do anything about it. The citizens need to have a leader who is willing to go high when their opponents go low, and so far, it seems like there is no chance of that happening in the next four years. This isn’t a Gordian Knot. Stop being so unforgivably rude to everyone, or America will be just as divided at the end of these four years.
Greene, Bob. "Mudslinging Campaigns Hurt the Country." CNN, edited by Meredith Artley, Cable News Network, 2 Sept. 2012, www.cnn.com/2012/09/02/opinion/greene-campaign-mud-slinging/. Accessed 10 Nov. 2016.
Miller, Zeke, and Philip Elliott. "South Carolina Republican Mudslinging Reaches New Heights in 2016." Times, edited by Nancy Gibbs, Time, 18 Feb. 2016, time.com/4230200/south-carolina-republican-primary-trump-cruz-rubio-carson-bush/. Accessed 10 Nov. 2016.
Morgan, Nick. "The Death of Public Discourse in America." Forbes, 13 Oct. 2016, www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorgan/2016/10/13/the-death-of-public-discourse-in-america/#28896a2536ad. Accessed 10 Nov. 2016.
"Views of Candidate Insults, Criticism, and Political Division." People Press, Pew Research center, 27 Oct. 2016, www.people-press.org/2016/10/27/3-views-of-candidate-insults-criticism-and-political-divisions/. Accessed 10 Nov. 2016.