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An open letter to the president of the United States

To the editor:

Dear President Trump:

I am a Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and I was devastated when she lost to you. I’m just being up-front. I didn’t agree with your wall, your plans to dismantle the Affordable Care Act or your positions on climate change. I did not think you had the experience to be president of the United States. I didn’t care for some of the things you said or your general demeanor. As a Black man, it was my opinion that you cared very little about issues that were affecting Black people. I had several issues with you, sir.

As many issues that I had with you and all the names I called you, one thing I couldn’t call you was a loser. Out of the largest field of primary candidates up to that point, you came from behind and beat all 16 Republicans who ran against you. And you mounted a successful campaign against Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine and won the presidency. Not only that, you won the undying allegiance and love of your loyal followers. Even today, although you lost the popular vote, you still received the second-most votes of any presidential candidate in the history of American politics. You will forever be remembered as the 45th president of the United States. What an awesome club to belong to.

How fondly history will remember you as you exit the White House if you treat the president-elect and his wife with the same grace, courtesy and dignity with which the last outgoing president and his wife treated you and Mrs. Trump. Only two days after your election, the president invited you to the White House and promised a smooth transition of power. Remember that beautiful letter he left for you in the Resolute Desk? “Dear Mr. President,” he wrote. “Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.” Simple words and actions such as those to your successor, written by you, not one of your staff, would go a long way to healing the rifts that now exist in this country.

As citizens of this great country, we’re all hoping for a smooth transition of power. I know it’s tough losing. We have all experienced that in one way or another, but few of us have experienced it the way you have. But I hope you can find it in your heart to make this transition as graceful and dignified as possible. We’re counting on you, Mr. President. Any words of advice you can offer to the president-elect as to navigating the rigors of the office, I’m sure he would appreciate.

Thank you for being a steward and attempting to take care of the country these last four years. I know it wasn’t easy for you.

Respectfully,

Paul Bryon Bellamy

A citizen of these United States

Longs, South Carolina

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