Dear 2016 Presidential Candidates,
In a few days, this election will finally be over. I can say that while I have seen and voted in some crazy presidential elections, including ones with recounts due to “hanging chads,” this election leaves me the most dismayed.
I believe the nastiness directed at each other’s despicable behavior is leaving our country exhausted, angry, stressed, and hopeless. Unfortunately, it seems that even though the election will end, the thought of either of you as president won’t really leave anyone feeling united or having hope for the future.
I believe in growth mindset. I believe that we can make mistakes and recover. I believe we always have the ability to become more than we once were with intentional effort and putting the needs of other first. I believe it takes time, but with consistency we have the power to change perceptions.
I remember as a young child, feeling excitement about the presidential election. I remember a sense of pride in our president, even if it wasn’t my choice. This was the person who was the exemplar of protecting our country. As the principal of an elementary school, this is what I want for my students. I want them to have hope in our future and belief in a leader that truly looks out for the world they will live in as adults.
As I leader, I realized that to be successful, I had to invest in the root cause of our struggles. I believe you will have to do this for the good of our country. Invest in our children. Heal our nation by helping society to learn value for all. We need to focus on the future, not the past. We need you to be the model of unity, compassion, accountability, and servant leadership. We don’t need any more sarcasm, judgment, shortcuts, self-service, fear mongering or “justified rule-breaking”. It’s toxic and it is killing our great nation.
If America is to thrive in the 21st century, we have to abandon this “whatever feels good do it”, “it’s all about me” attitude. We have to quit widening the divide between those who are fearful and those that are angry. This depth of character must start at the top. Before you is an amazing opportunity. It is the chance to simply confirm the negative perceptions or an opportunity to be more than anyone ever thought you could be and go down in history as one of our greatest leaders.
We don’t have four years to waste and get it right the next time. So, to whichever of you wins, prove us wrong. Prove the stories about you wrong. Be the great leader this country needs. We need a president that will serve all Americans, not just the ones who voted for you because they felt they could manipulate you to serving their interest or that voted for you because you were the one that made them less afraid. It will take time, but please make Americans proud.
May God bless you, and God bless America.
An American With a Sense of Urgency