An Open Letter to President Trump

Dear President Trump,

I’ve tried so hard to figure out how to articulate what I need from you, what I believe the people of the United States and the rest of the world need, from you. I can’t find the perfect words, but what I do know is this: It’s not about policies, it’s about character. I won’t presume to judge what’s inside of you, but I believe that, in the long run, a leader’s character is more important than his policies. 

You rode to office on a tide of anger, and anger can serve a purpose when it’s directed toward things, rather than people. So build bridges, not walls, sir. Temper your outbursts. Cease to ridicule those who disagree with you. Instead, look to persuade. And find the humility to admit when you’re wrong. Seek counsel from those with other perspectives. Don’t just listen. Hear. Model in yourself what is so desperately lacking in our culture: civility.

When a young man saunters across the street in front of my car, forcing me to slam on my brakes, never deigning to even glance in my direction, I worry. Not about his hostility, but about his indifference. Because differences can be resolved, but indifference can’t. Indifference doesn’t care. It refuses to acknowledge the rights or even the existence of the other.

I beg you not to be that person, sir, but instead to find the root of civility within you that says to others, “You matter. And so, although I disagree with you, I will build a bridge, not a wall.”

I began by saying I didn’t know what I needed from you. I now realize this letter should have been about what you need from me. And so you have it, sir: I pledge to pray daily for your success in modeling and drawing out of the American people—of all people—not just greater material success, but greater civility, greater compassion, greater character.

This is my pledge to you, and I will keep it.  


About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, For Pastors and Teachers and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

70 Responses to An Open Letter to President Trump

  1. I hope we actually get down on our knees and pray for this president. We really didn’t with Obama. We just seethed. Let’s not repeat that mistake.

    Liked by 8 people

  2. Mitch, you offer what it is we each can do. Prayer for national elected leaders down to the local elected leaders is so important! Thank you for such a great reminder on such a historical day!

    Liked by 8 people

  3. Thanks for this–we have similar impulses, so I will post the letter I wrote here. I do want to note that President Obama, as a fellow Christian, and Hillary Clinton, as a fellow Christian, had my daily prayers as well. And will continue to have them, as we face what we’ve done in this election.

    Dear President Trump,

    Congratulations on your win. It was spectacular, and will, without a doubt, go down in history, no matter what comes next. But it is no longer about winning. You won. That’s over. It is now about governing. You have a chance to make history again—but not by continuing the tactics that helped you win. That’s what everyone expects. You will not be remembered by who you make richer, but by the balance you strike. You won’t be remembered by hanging with your cronies or fulfilling the far right’s agenda. That’s what everyone expects. Surprise them all again. Use your many gifts to govern wisely, fairly, and with an eye to future generations. They are the ones who will remember you. Let them remember you well.

    You will be in my thoughts and prayers daily. You have the future of the world in your hands.


    Liked by 8 people

  4. Thank god someone said it -Civility is what he needs. And I appreciate the way you differentiated between differences and indifference.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. beigebirds says:

    Thank you for posting this open letter. Although addressed to President Trump, many of us need to heed your words and apply them to our thoughts and actions.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Ray Stiles says:

    Mitch, do you realize that right now tens of thousands of DC protesters are charging barricades of riot police, and were being met with heavy pepper spray, riot batons and flash bang grenades.
    Under the circumstances, your open letter to a psychopathic liar seems so naive, kind of like believing the sky god will make everything okay, so pathetic…


  7. Perfect letter, Mitch, filled with truth and grace. You’re speaking my language.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Just Me says:

    Thank you for your beautiful and meaningful letter. You said it all, my friend. ❥

    Liked by 2 people

  9. As repeated from earlier today: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty…” ~1 Timothy 1:2 (KJV)

    Encouraging post…

    Liked by 4 people

  10. “I worry. Not about his hostility, but about his indifference. Because differences can be resolved, but indifference can’t. Indifference doesn’t care.” Yes. Well said.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. George says:

    He, like all Presidents before him, can use all the prayers they can get.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Beautifully stated.

    I extend my prayers to the American people, that they will continue to protest the injustices that are likely to come, but always in a peaceful fashion. And to the uber-rich, that they might speak up to support a more equitable distribution of wealth through tax reform.

    And to our Senators and Congresspeople: may they find within them the courage to use those checks and balances still in place, to encourage all currently in power to consider how policies will affect ALL Americans.

    And to those dispatched to “keep the peace” – may they do so peacefully.

    And to *anyone*considering dispatching incendiaries that they might think again, considering consequences carefully. Marshall Law and curfews would decimate First Amendment Rights.

    Violence is never the appropriate answer – and will be unlikely to yield a solution.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Pastor Randy says:

    Loved the way you ended your letter (lots of great stuff before that). It’s time we become the change we want to see in others. Let’s create change by serving others like Jesus did then, and still does today!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. He definitely can use a few prayers right now. It’s tough because we should respect our leader…and he doesn’t really exhibit much class. We try to raise younger generations to behave the exact opposite of how he behaves sometimes, so it’s hard to follow a leader who doesn’t live by those same principles. All we can do is pray and wait…

    Liked by 2 people

  15. paradoxical vagabond says:

    Brilliantly written.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m afraid that talking an impulsive person with anger-management issues out of that behavior is like trying to talk someone out of alcholism or heroin addiction. About all we can effectively do is pray.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Nancy Ruegg says:

    A powerful letter, Mitch, filled with common sense and wisdom. Why don’t YOU run for president?! Meanwhile, I, too, will be praying for our current president as I have for those who’ve already served–Democrats and Republicans alike.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. mitchteemley says:

    I would expect nothing less of you, dear child of God.


  19. Great post, Mitch! Like you, I have vowed to pray for all leaders — especially our President. I’m hopeful that we will see a transformation as evidence of God at work. I truly enjoy your posts.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Paula says:

    We need fewer rants and more rational discourses with others. As I read this, I heard it spoken to individuals with whom we have contact every day. I was also reminded of the words of St. Francis: “May I not so much seek to be understood as to understand.”

    I came to the conclusion years ago that my prayers really can change another person because of what God can do in their lives. So my prayers can actually change another person. In cases where it doesn’t happen, then at the very least, my prayers change me.

    Thanks again, Mr. Thinker-about-stuffer.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. goroyboy says:

    Well done . Yes I will also commit. Thanks

    Liked by 2 people

  22. gpavants says:

    Hello Mitch,

    Amen, brother. Let’s pray together for our nation and its leaders. I did pray that the Lord would create the right climate for hearts to open to Him. Let’s see what He has planned.

    Keep on praying,


    Liked by 1 person

  23. directorfsm says:

    Greetings Mitch,

    I enjoyed your post. As one of the “deplorables,” I often had reservations about then Mr. Trump’s presumptive ways but support(ed) most of his stated goals. I understood that and now he is (and at age 70 unlikely to change much) a non-politician businessman and the better choice of candidates (my opinion). It has been my hope and prayer from the beginning that he would temper some of that verbose attitude; too as he reminds us daily “Make America Great Again”.
    I was encouraged at the inauguration with the many prayers and referenced to God. I stand with you in “prayer every day for your success in modeling and drawing out of the American people—of all people—not just greater material success, but greater civility, greater compassion, greater character.” Could you imagine the impact those who have been shouting hateful things at President Trump (and his family) could have if they would only begin to calmly in a confident low voice begin to suggest changes that benefit all.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Lucie says:

    Mitch, How eloquently and beautifully stated….thank you, dear man for expressing a part of what is in my heart. If I may, let me express the other part: As an older, gay woman, there are many concerns/fears shared by those of us that his words were directed against. So, may I add that not only do we need to pray for him and those of us who disagree with each other, but that we need to make it known to those among us who see this administration as a “free for all” to direct hatred against those of us that are different (, Muslim, Mexican, African-American, etc.) that IT IS NOT! That discrimination and inequality are things of the PAST and that we will not stand for discrimination of any kind. That IT IS NOT OK! The woman’s marches that were held here in CA and all over the nation, I saw as just that:: a reminder that we are marching together to show the nation/world that there are those among us that DO NOT and WILL NOT tolerate discrimination and injustice against anyone of us – that we will stand up and speak out against hatred and discrimination under any and all circumstances. And that we will do so (as often as time and circumstances allow) in a kind, peaceful, rationale manner. I am happy for your readers who voted for him that feel that they have “won”, but worry that the “change” that they voted for is someone who exhibits hatred, and unkindness and everything that personally, I do not stand for. My heart weeps on a daily basis and I pray that those of us who are “different” are not subjected to the hatred and cruelty of years passed….that’s just my humble opinion and how I look at this “looking at life from my shoes”….<3

    Liked by 2 people

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  28. smzang says:

    I have only now found this and it sums up the needs of this country.
    I have reblogged you so many times, I’m embarrassed but you keep
    saying important stuff in voice that is understandable and identifiable.
    So here I go again!

    My thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. smzang says:

    Reblogged this on Pitching Pennies Poetry and commented:
    Of late it seems I have been reblogging a lot of posts. Guilty as charged!
    I think of this group of bloggers as family so when I find informational posts that really knock my socks off, I share them. This is one such post.
    Again my thanks to Mitch Teemley for having the ability to think and the courage to speak.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Mitch,
    I just read this today. Your view of the times then was what many felt and believed. There has been a severe disconnect between how some view Donald Trump, the Donald Trump some prefer to make you believe, and the non-ideological Donald Trump. Looking at how the history has unraveled and maintaining the faith for the future, please consider the following:
    1, In the beginning, Mr. Trump began with a blaze that touched the Hearts of many in the US
    who were not able to express their true feelings.
    2. He emulated the frustration of the dislike for the status quo.
    3. The people spoke in November and the opposition huddled to attack.
    4. The reaction of the opposition, and still today, gave in full view the frustration of the people.
    5. He and his staff have been bombarded with incivilities from the opposition as if they receive
    daily instruction from a central control.
    6. Mr. Trump is not and has not promoted incivility in any form. He is not an ideologue and
    moves with his Heart and the guidance he receives from his Creator.
    7. The problem today is not with Mr. Trump but with those who refuse to believe that their
    ideal is flawless.
    I myself have had the undying FAITH, that Donald J. Trump would be the 45th President of the United States. That same Faith is knowing, had things gone the other direction, there would not be The United States of America.
    Thank you for your letter. Let us all try to see the good that is in store for the World led by the ONLY CHRISTIAN NATION.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. mitchteemley says:

    Reblogged this on Mitch Teemley and commented:

    I posted this Open Letter to our newly elected president two years ago. I am re-posting it today, in part, to confess publicly that I have failed far too often to pray for him and for other world leaders, and in part to renew my pledge to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I really like this letter. I try to pray for him daily. One can readily see that he is not a perfect man, and that he needs a lot of help. Many times, he is his own worst enemy. He also needs wise counselors around him; men who will not pressure him to try to please his base for political purposes. He needs men who will show him how to navigate the political seas so that he can work together with our elected representatives and begin to solve the problems our nation faces. Thank you for the post.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. landl30 says:

    As an Anglican we prayed for years for “the President of the United States and all in authority”…. not because we necessarily thought that they were wonderful, but because, whoever they were, they were going to need help… and for God’s hand speaking to their hearts, and shaping their hearts.
    Well said Mitch.
    Len Freeman

    Liked by 5 people

  34. Excellent post, Mitch! Did you, or would you actually send this letter to the President? I know it seems like a long shot, but if God wants him to get it, he will.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. PERFECTLY written! I definitely have to pray for him more; he needs it. Great post Mitch.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Reblogged this on 2 R Better Than 1 and commented:
    Mitch penned a promise that I have also vowed to keep. I sincerely hope that you’ll join us. America is depending on us. May blessings abound.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Wow, well stated, Mitch! Amen! I really appreciate your approach. It reminds me of the scripture exhortation that our speech be gracious, seasoned with salt. Your letter was a perfect example of that.

    Liked by 2 people

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  39. msnyder1970 says:

    2 years later from when you wrote this and we have an uncivil toddler in office that has only gotten worse.

    Liked by 2 people

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