Dear Mr President

Dear Mr President,

Welcome. In the exact moment that I am writing this, commuting to work by bus on the west coast, you are arriving by limousine to the steps of the Capitol to put your hand on the bible and swear yourself into the highest office in the United States of America. At that fateful moment, you will have achieved a feat which only forty four men have achieved before you: the US Presidency. You have arrived at the highest of places by way of the narrowest of roads. Congratulations. 

You don’t need me to tell you that the path ahead of you is more difficult that you could possibly have anticipated. The office of the president lies at the uncomfortable crossroads between public interest and public opinion. You are certainly no stranger to living life in the public eye and I imagine that you already know the roar of voices which is the American public, but in the moment that you seize the office which you have fought so long and hard to acquire you will become responsible for every voice in that roar. You will hold the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of millions of individual Americans in your hands, and the things that you say and do will have life or death consequences for the people whom you serve. 

You will forgive me if this sounds dramatic: I am a filmmaker and a storyteller and, likely, a liberal snowflake, which, as you know, inclines me towards histrionics and hyperbole; but I am considering your legacy with deep, personal interest. We have never met, and I doubt that we ever will. You strike me as a man who values victory and who fights hard for success. You strike me as a man who wants the very best that life has to offer and who wants the best for his family and who strives to surround himself with beauty and prestige. You strike me as a man for whom legacy is a matter of great concern. While I find your intentions towards the governance of this country to be inscrutable, which, I think, is probably by design, I can already see threads of your legacy writing themselves into the fabric of history. You ran your campaign on the directive to Make America Great Again, and if you achieve this during your time in office you can consider yourself to be a success. I might humbly suggest, however, that you set your aspirations higher than that: to Make America Greater Than Ever Before. You may find this to be more attainable than you anticipate: after all, this is exactly what all Americans are longing to achieve: all that we lack is someone who rouses us to action. 

You may even find that it will be your dissenters who will fight the hardest towards this end: the individuals who once approached civil politics with indifference and apathy now find themselves searching their conscience daily in pursuit of their own values and ideals towards the greatness of this nation. I count myself among this number, as each day I ask myself what it means to be an American and what it is that I stand for and what action I can take to implement change. 

The bottom line, Mr President, is that the mighty thunder of America is ringing out because of you today. It is only in the echo that we will discover whether your legacy to our history will be one of reverence or of ridicule. I don’t envy the path before you, but I trust that we the people of these United States will be following your presidency with great interest. 

May your days of leadership truly be in service of making America Great. 

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on January 20, 2017.

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