Dear Elizabeth (2)

I read your proposals on immigration. They are balanced and filled with a sense of compassion. Thank you. The idea of creating an office for New Americans is a fine example of a future oriented imagination that seeks to inspire. Let that be the hallmark of your campaign. Thank you again.

The task now is to sell the proposals. I mean sell them to those who do not yet grasp the value of immigrants. I mean sell the proposals to Trump’s supporters.

I do not think that Trump’s ‘base’ should be conceded. Far from it. It should be actively courted because they are Americans left behind. They are Americans who, having been ignored by previous administrations, both Democratic and Republican, fell prey to the manipulations of the current president who, based on his actions, i.e. tax cuts that benefit the wealthy, seeks not to empower them. That task of empowerment will fall to someone who, like you, has a strong record of working to uplift our citizenry.

The ‘base’ was once sadly referred to by Hillary Clinton as comprised of ‘deplorables,’ a mistake that contributed to her losing her bid to be president. I have no doubt that, had a writer of yours inserted that word in the text of a speech, you would have immediately deemed it inappropriate and not vocalized it.  

The advantage of courting Trump’s base is that, in doing so, you would be actively engaged in the quest of attempting to unite the nation. Trump has shown no inclination to do so. He could but he doesn’t seem to grasp the essence of the concept. Part of the reason is that he is not an integrated man. He is intelligent and competitive, hard driving too, but his efforts appear guided by the desire to boost an ego thirsty for attention.

You, on the other hand, convey a sense of being a mature and well grounded person, someone not bedeviled by Trump’s affliction. Because of it, you can aspire to unite the nation. Which means reaching out to Trump’s ‘base’.

I do not think that the ‘base’ really sees the building of a wall on our southern border as a real solution to their problems.

The ‘base’ needs to gradually be guided to understand that their real freedom lies not in barring immigrants (though setting immigration limits is essential) but that it will come from their personal development; their real freedom will come from their efforts to nurture their productive capacities so they can feel they’re on a path to integrating with the rest of the nation and the world at large. Previous administration, both Democratic and Republican failed to assist them. Your administration will not make that mistake. You will engage the ‘base” and challenge them to be their best, offering the necessary means for them to realize their potential.

Men and women who are actively attempting to exercise their potential are not likely to fall prey to the fallacy of racism or white supremacy.

Reaching out to Trump’s ‘base’ with the firm promise of generous assistance for their personal and economic development stands the chance to not only engage them, but to signal to the rest of the nation that you are in the office of president to be an agent of change for the nation as a whole, and that you carry in you the spirit and creativity of a statesman like Franklin D Roosevelt.

Maybe there is a place for an office for Americans left behind by Globalization (as a counterpart to the office for New Americans) and for it to be the fountain of the effort to bring them on board.

There is a dynamic view of human beings that should be at the bottom of your programs and creative solutions. We human beings are always in transition. We are always desirous of improving ourselves. Sometimes we give up but the longings are always there. All of us, without exception, are eager to be better than we have been and, at bottom, want others to recognize us.

Essential to who we are is the need to connect to our fellow human beings, no matter what their color or origin. Racist beliefs are held by those who have temporarily given up on that fundamental quest.

Essential to who we are is the yearning to be validated by our brothers and sisters for there is nothing more satisfying.

Elizabeth, life has assigned you a gigantic task. But in its infinite wisdom, life has also chosen someone who is tremendously capable. So fear not that you lack the imagination, the daring and the compassion for the job. It’s all in you.

I see it. Others do too.


Oscar Valdes

Author of Brother Donald:Letters.

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