Try For A Graceful Exit, Mr Trump

I hope that it is becoming clearer to you that the end is near. And it isn’t Joe and Kamala that are defeating you. It is you, defeating yourself.

You took a hammer to yourself and beat up your presidency. With the whole world watching.

On the surface you were gloating in the adoration of your followers at your rallies, but you knew you were hammering down that chisel to deepen the divisions between us.

And you couldn’t stop yourself. Or chose not to.

You could have said, ‘there are so many talented people in this country, all of whom could make an important contribution to my own view, why am I thinking that it is only the side I’m comfortable with that I should be seeking counsel from?’

It was such a basic question.

Simply to ask it would have been an act of moral and intellectual courage.

Did you ever ask it? Ever?

The problems we’ve been facing have been thorny ones. Dealing with them has been deferred by earlier Presidents, but when your turn came and the going got tough, you decided to file for bankruptcy. Which is what you’re familiar with. Debits going up faster that credits?

File for bankruptcy.

You’re not comfortable dealing with people who have dissenting views.

They upset you too easily. And rather than process that dissent in the effort to find common ground, you get angry.

Processing dissent with others calls for a willingness to consider that it is you who may be wrong. That maybe it is you not having the balanced take on the given matter. Which is okay because none of us are perfect. And simply posing the question will move us along on the road to reaching the greater truth.

You can’t file for bankruptcy when dealing with national matters. There is no such option.

People who voted for you thought, ‘well, he’s been a businessman – made and lost millions – he will know how to lead us.’ As if it was all about debits and credits. All about accounting ledgers. In their despair to find solutions, your supporters settled for the easy choice.

And you became President.

But leadership in its enlightened view is not about debits and credits but about guiding human beings, stirring up their energies and directing them to work with their brothers and sisters toward common goals.

Leadership, in its enlightened view, is not about ‘I am better than you’. Rather, it is about finding the best in each other.

To do that you have to know who you are. To do that you have to have struggled to find the best in you.

You started on that road a long time ago but then stopped. But a leader for a complex nation as ours cannot stop the process of self discovery. Stopping is filing for bankruptcy.

The leading of this nation does not allow for bankruptcy filing when facing difficult problems.

Take the matter of race. You could have said to your followers, ‘folks… there’s all of us in here, White, Black, Native Americans, Indian, Asian, Hispanics and shadings in between, and like the great variety of races there’s a great variety of opinions, and during my administration there will be an open debate on everything… and I will be listening, so I can grow wiser and my judgment becomes more balanced. I ask you, please join me in this journey of self discovery.’

But you couldn’t do it. Or you refused to.

Now time has passed and history has been written.

All of us will be learning from your mistakes as we learn from ours. We have to if we want to be the better nation we’ve always wanted to be.

As you come to the end of your term, please try to find in yourself to be graceful in defeat.

Look at it this way. Being graceful in defeat is a way of being kind to yourself. As if you were saying, ‘I tried my best, now let others try their best.’

We know you like to fight. That has been clear. But you have yet to fight the greater fight, the one that will let the better you, shine through.

Good luck, Mr Trump.

Oscar Valdes    oscar valdes@widehumr

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