Dear President Trump

Dear President Trump,

First let me apologize for not writing sooner. It’s just one of those things where the best of intentions just doesn’t get it done. While important, this letter never seemed vital…until perhaps now. 


I was a big fan of your show The Apprentice. I didn’t always agree with your decisions on who should stay and who should go and the tasks could at times be a bit lame but the whole concept was like a Science Lab of what to do and what not to do when it comes to leadership. For that reason I found it fascinating.


I know it’s easy to say after the fact but I wasn’t the least bit surprised (well maybe a little) by your victory in November, winners win. That’s how it works in all walks of life, even in politics it appears. Clearly there are wide swaths of the American people who do not view you in a favorable light but however you’ve done it no one should continue to be surprised by your success. 


I really don’t know anyone, anywhere who wouldn’t describe the Presidency of The United States of America as the pinnacle of success. You sir have arrived! 


Which is why I, as a student of people and leadership, am so surprised to see you behave as if you’re an up and coming street fighter looking to get someone, anyone, to recognize their potential. You absolutely, positively, supercalifragilisticexpialidociously do not have to do that anymore.


There are clearly people in the media who would prefer to shape your message in such a way as to make you look deplorable. They are pretty good at it too, so good in fact that they certainly do not require your rather skilled assistance. 


Social Media in general, and Twitter in particular, was a very valuable tool for you during the election. It indeed allowed you to get your message “out there” in an unfiltered, direct, and unprecedented way. As effective as it can be in helping you stay connected as President to your fellow Americans it can also serve as a valuable weapon for your opponents to use against you. 


But they are shooting blanks unless you provide them with real ammunition, and that it seems is what you’ve been doing far too often. When you do that you descend from the pinnacle of success, from the highest office in the land, to the level of your opponents. You do not have to win a fight against the media, in fact you can’t win a fight because there is no fight, it’s over, you’ve already won.


The only way, the absolute only way you give credence to the things they say about you, true or not, is to respond to them. You may be hitting back “10 times harder” but half your blows are landing on you. I’ve thought long and hard about this and I just can’t think of a single benefit to you or the nation of you doing that. So don’t! 


You simply cannot build America up by tearing down your fellow Americans, it does not work that way. You lead all Americans Mr. President, whether they voted for you or not, whether they like you or not, and whether they want to be led by you or not and disparaging those you lead doesn’t work either. Never has, never will. 


Don’t stop tweeting Mr. President, just stop tweeting the trash talk. Tweet about your successes, tweet about your challenges, tweet about where and how the public can help you, just don’t tweet negative stuff about the people you lead. Even if it’s true there is no benefit to anyone in doing it.


As we Americans celebrate our freedom this week I urge you to think of all of our fellow Americans who have sacrificed their very life to protect the freedoms we enjoy. It is they who provide us with the continued right of free speech. You sir, as do all Americans, have the right to say pretty much whatever you want but I’d encourage you to consider this: having the right to do something doesn’t make it right to do. 


In my humble opinion Mr. President you can best honor those fallen heroes by honoring the office which you now hold. Honor it by being your best self. Honor it by being the role model of American values and ideals. Mr. President there is simply no way to make America great again by damaging the principles by which we have stood for all these years. 


Let your protagonists try to provoke you but do not be provoked. Rise above the fray, they cannot fight you if you don’t join the fight. Find the courage to no longer engage them in battle. 


Work everyday for every American, even those who today may hate you. Their hate is their problem not yours. The hater always loses more than the hated; do them a favor and be the President who is impossible to hate. 


You’ve got a long way to go to make that happen but if you’re up for it then it shouldn’t really be a problem for you. After all, you’re in the business of surprising people. 


It’s called leading Mr. President pure and simple. As President of the United States leading is not a part time job. Everything you say and do either adds to or subtracts from your ability to truly lead. That’s everything Mr. President, absolutely positively everything


Every American, even those who didn’t vote for you, even those who loathe you, need you to succeed. They may be so filled with hate that they can’t see that today but that doesn’t diminish the fact. The American people need you to lead. Everyday, all day.  


Thank you for taking the time to read my letter, I hope you’ll find some guidance in it that will help you as you continue to work for all of us. May God bless you Mr. President and may God bless America. 


Your fellow American, 


Steve Keating

22 thoughts on “Dear President Trump

    1. Thank you! I’m learning first hand about the “great divide” in the US right now…so far, hundreds of people have complained about this post. Some have threatened me for supporting the President, others for “ripping” on him. The language and words they use, on both sides, is disgusting. I can only wonder how we ever return to civil discourse in this country???

      1. I am saddened yet not terrifically surprised . The founder of my wife’s company would often say to her and other leaders that “the speed of the leader is the Speed of the gang “More modeled civility from all leaders would lead to civility in practice..
        I worry about the same things you do about civil discourse and choosing to believe we have to keep practicing it and talking about it.
        The blessing of this whole situation is that we may emerge a less complacent and more civil society with the right leadership from all sectors.
        Thanks again

        I appreciated your thoughts

      2. Thanks Again John, it is a fact that leaders lead by example, whether they intend to or not. Too many people in leadership positions have no idea how much their actions “weigh” and no knowledge of the fact that their people will do what the leader does about 100 times faster than they will do what the leader says to do.

        It’s almost laughable to hear a “leader” in Congress say we need to stop calling people names just because they are stupid morons. Maybe they should listen to themselves once in a while. Geez!!!

  1. Steve,
    Thank you for your courage and clarity in discussing what leadership and especially Presidential Leadership is and what we all need.
    .All Americans want and deserve a leader .
    Who you voted for in November means little now
    We need leadership.
    I teach graduate level leadership classes and find it difficult to discuss leadership” in the news” because there aren’t many good examples with chief executives in my home State of Illinois or Washington DC
    I do believe people can choose other directions as leaders to better serve.

    I would offer this thought from a former chief executive as a guide or rubric of sorts for President Trump and Governor Rauner to consider as leaders.

    “If you actions inspire people to dream more,
    learn more,
    do more and
    become more , you are a leader.”
    John Quincy Adams,6th President of the United States.

    The question Mr. Trump and Mr. Rauner is what is the effect of your actions ?

    .Please consider this guide from Mr. Adams to gauge the effect of your actions

    We need leadership from both of you..

    Steve ,
    Thanks again for this letter it was a great encouragement for me to finally share my this crucial time .
    My Best
    John Hackett

    1. Thanks John, that is indeed a great quote! I agree with you there are precious few, if any good leadership examples coming out of government today. It’s a sad state of affairs and I don’t know how this ends. It’s kinda scary.

  2. Excellent piece, Steve.

    Great points, throughout.

    As I ‘tweeted’ Donald Trump when he was announced the winner, “Congratulations: Now please go and surprise everyone!”.

    And, I think he will – and I also believe that more people will enjoy the ensuing, mataphorical, omelette than anyone originally expected…

    Bigots and biased need to wane…

    You are 100% correct in what you say about “don’t join the fight…. tweet nothing but positive comments…” (slightly paraphrased.)

    And let the sulky blockers get over their hissy-fits! If they have any brains, they’ll be back. And, if they don’t come back; you don’t need them, anyway!!…

    Ed .

  3. Thank you Steve for plainly communicating , in my opinion, the thoughts of many Americans regarding our President and leadership. I’m wondering if you had sent this to our President directly prior to this release and if he or his office has responded to you?

      1. Tardiness.

        I once wrote a ‘V.I.T.O.’ letter to the then English Prime Minister, John Major: Taking to him a technology that would revolutionise the speed in which his constituencies’ ‘numbers’ would be reported back to central office and get reconciled and reported.

        I received a detailed reply three days later, sponsoring me into the relevant person.

        But I don’t think John was dealing with as much crap as Don is right now, so hang in there, Steve. You should get a reply.

        And, if you haven’t received a response in a couple of weeks – re-send it and call them!.

  4. If you ran a newspaper and knew (absolutely knew—there is no doubt of this) the President was lying all the time, was totally corrupt in his governing to favor his (and others) businesses, what would you do? Tell the public or cover it up? If you tell the public the truth, you are accused of being a bad loser and totally biased. If you cover it up, you are not doing your job as a newspaper owner. There are no good answers when the President is so totally indecent, which he shows all the time, as you pointed out.

    I’m glad a supporter is pushing back, if ever so slightly. However, writing him a letter to be nicer is rather imperceptive, in my opinion. He cannot change who he has been all his life and continues to be now. Resisting his meanness and mendacity is the only rational response.

    1. Thanks for your comment Peter. Actually, I’m neither a supporter or detractor…I’m an American, I NEED our President to be successful. When you say lying “ALL the time” and TOTALLY corrupt you diminish the seriousness of your argument. If we can stick to provable facts I believe it would lead to clearer, less emotional discourse.

      1. You are right. We should stick to provable facts. I was too loose with lying “all the time”, but the June 25 NYTimes, lists hundreds of lies since he’s been in office. The lies are provable. In his first 40 days, he lied at least once each day. Big important lies, in my opinion. In the next 113 days, he lied on 74 of them, at least once. The list is quite specific. And I was too loose with “Totally corrupt”. He is just corrupt, which seems pretty obvious.

      2. So I guess when his loyalists say “he’s unbelievable” they have it right. By the way, WSJ list 900 times since Election Day where the Times misstated “facts” and therein is the real problem, there is way too much lying trying to prove that others are lying. We are a country with a truth shortage, both in the White House and some of the media. In the case of the media I think they mean well, or at least they stated out meaning well. But now their zeal to “get him” is causing them to rush stories that are unverified. Both the right and left wing media have fallen into this trap but as I write that it brings up another problem… there shouldn’t be a left and right wing media, there should just be media.

      3. Correct… I’m told it wasn’t 900 times, it was just hundreds of times… and I’d bet even that is easily disputed. 🙁

  5. Thank you for this. Words do matter, and I too desire for him to be successful. When he uses his power for the good of all, not just his fans, when he uses his words to influence instead of touting prominence, I believe he will have his greatest success.

    1. Shaunna you and I are of the same mind. From the comments and tweets I’ve been receiving I’d say millions more agree with us…we can only hope The President takes it to heart.

  6. When some of the responders say they would like President Trump to be successful, because he is the President of all of us, what exactly would it look like? What would be achieved to consider him successful?

    1. That’s a great question. I suppose the easy answers would be an growing economy, low inflation, low unemployment. A fair and equal health care system for ALL, a simplified tax system to is fair to EVERYONE, greatly improved infrastructure and a renewal of American values and decorum. A return of respect and bipartisanship to the political process would be nice too and maybe settle that whole Mideast deal too. That would be successful. I don’t think he’s up to it but I’m afraid we’ve slipped so much that no one could do it all. Even some of it could be considered a success but frankly in today’s toxic political environment (which of course he is partly responsible for) getting anything positive done will be almost a miracle.

    2. and by the way….that was kind of the point of my letter…if he can’t stop pouring gas on the fire he cannot and will not be successful. I don’t know what it will take for The President to learn that but if he can’t “we the people” are the real losers.

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