Dear Mr. President,
In the aftermath of the midterm elections, we are officially a divided nation.
It is the House vs. the Senate.
The left vs. the right.
The Trump-haters vs. the Trump-lovers.
War has been declared by every side, and no one is willing to compromise, understandably so.
And looking at things through natural eyes – in other words, barring divine intervention – we are going to live in one continuous, ugly, even vile news cycle every day of the week, right up until the 2020 elections.
Surely, this cannot be good for our nation. We will literally tear ourselves up. It will be the intensity of the Kavanaugh hearings, multiplied and non-stop, for the next two years.
Families will divide over this. Long-time friendships will dissolve over this. Whole states will even talk about secession over this.
To say it again: This cannot be good for our nation.
Do I expect the media (on either side) to be more careful in their rhetoric? Do I expect CNN (on the left) or Fox (on the right) to moderate their tone? Certainly not.
What about your political opponents? Will they moderate their tone, now that they control the House? No way.
In reality, there is only person in America who can help unify our broken nation, and that is you.
To be clear, on my end, as a committed evangelical, I would never compromise my pro-life, pro-family, pro-religious liberty, pro-Israel convictions.
And I don’t expect those on the left to compromise their convictions either.
In that sense, the ideological divide runs deep and will continue for decades to come, barring a national spiritual awakening.
But tone can make a massive difference. The way we treat our enemies can speak volumes. The example you set, sir, will be followed by millions. Isn’t that something to think about?
Many of those who voted for you did so because they wanted a fighter. They wanted someone with backbone. Someone who would expose the unethical tactics of many on the left. Who would not be intimidated by the hostile media. Who would face down world leaders without flinching.
In that respect, you have not disappointed your base.
And you have stood firmly for many of our most important values. In fact, your courage and tenacity and resolve have been outstanding. You have exceeded our expectations.
Sadly, however, your style and tone have also alienated many good people – and I mean people who could have been a strong part of your base.
You have made it difficult for many evangelicals to garner more support for your excellent programs.
You have even opened yourself to the charge of being racist and misogynist, neither of which I believe to be true. Yet you have given unnecessary fuel to the fire of your critics.
And when you get in the gutter to fight your battles, not only do you dirty yourself. You dirty the whole nation. You also lose your lofty vantage point as the most powerful elected man on the planet.
I was encouraged to read your interview posted earlier this week in which you expressed regret for some of the tone you used during these last few years.
You said, “I would like to have a much softer tone. I feel to a certain extent I have no choice, but maybe I do.”
With all respect, sir, you certainly do have a choice.
You have come through the midterms very well, and you remain in the driver’s seat.
During his first midterms, President Obama lost six seats in the Senate, 63 in the House and six in governor races.
In contrast, you gained three seats in the Senate while losing only 34 in the House, along with seven in governor races.
The expected, massive blue wave did not materialize.
That means that, on a strategic and political level, if you step higher, you will expose just how low your opponents can go. This will only help you and the Republican Party in the 2020 elections.
More importantly, on a holistic and national level, if you step higher, you will elevate all Americans. We can have deep differences without hating each other and despising each other and degrading each other and demeaning each other.
Some, indeed, may get in the gutter, but everyone doesn’t need to get dirty and soiled.
One of my dearest friends – and one of your most trusted evangelical advisers – has urged you to be a father to the nation, just as you have been to your children who stand close by your side to this day.
Other religious leaders who have met with you privately, including the rabbi of the synagogue in Pittsburgh, have commented on the side of you that the public doesn’t see – the kinder, gentler, caring side.
Why not show that side to the nation as well? How can that hurt?
You can continue to be decisive, strong, unflinching, uncompromising, unwavering and fearless – like those of us who voted for you want you to be – but you can do it with dignity, as the president of the United States.
Why not take tweeting to a new, higher level? Why not set a new national trend?
You were conciliatory and gracious when you won the presidential election. That is what victors do. They know how to win graciously.
Why not continue with the tone of the gracious victor as you pursue your agenda the next two years?
If you’ll do that, your base will only increase and the national dialogue will be elevated.
The cleaner you are, the dirtier those in the gutter will look. They will be like those spitting into the wind.
You, however, will stand on higher ground, leading the nation.
Isn’t the path to real victory?
If you want to win, win, win, this is the path to pursue.