Dear President-elect _______________:
It is Election Day here in America, and the long and arduous campaign season has come to an end. Congratulations on your victory! Enjoy the moment, but understand that once the celebration ends it will be time to turn your full attention to governing the most powerful and influential nation in the world. It is an enormous task. With that in mind, please accept this respectfully offered advice.
Be prudent in thought and deed. Please avoid being careless in words and negligent or criminal in actions. You represent all of us now, so endeavor to uphold the integrity of the office with wisdom and dignity. Millions of people at home are relying on you, and billions more around the world are watching you and taking your measure. Understand that what you say and do will reverberate around the world and affect more people than perhaps you can possibly realize. Great leaders understand their responsibilities to those they lead and represent, so carefully consider everything you say and do.
Be humble. Understand that greater leaders than you have possessed the office you are about to hold, and have the humility to learn from their examples and seek lessons from other outstanding leaders from various walks of life. Keep in mind that no successful person does it on his or her own. Do not be too proud to rely on Providence, and surround yourself with capable and honest individuals who will be willing to tell you what you need to hear and not just what you want to hear. Remember that it is not about your personal image, legacy, or agenda. You serve the American people, so endeavor to work on behalf of the people as an unpretentious servant who understands that showing humility or forbearance is not the same as showing weakness.
Finally, listen carefully. You have spent the last year or two explaining to the public why you should be Commander in Chief. Well, the job is yours. It is time to listen to the people now. This does not mean that you should just listen to those with whom you agree. Listen to those with whom you disagree as well. Learn to work with other duly elected government officials and members of both parties. Listen to the needs and concerns of the American people, and consider them carefully when making decisions. Remember that you are the leader of the entire nation, so recognize everyone’s interests where possible and take them into account before taking actions that will strengthen or improve the United States as a whole.
If you take this modest advice to heart, you may find yourself named among the great presidents of our nation’s history. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Reagan all demonstrated the capacity to do these things to some degree or another. Perhaps establishing an administration characterized by these three traits will lead posterity to mention your name alongside those just mentioned. As American citizens, we hope that will someday be the case.
We the People
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