Dear Secretary Clinton,
Let me be clear from the beginning that I am not a “Trumper,” nor a conspiracy theorist, and if there is anyone in my life who considers me deplorable, I would like to apologize for whatever has occurred to lead them to that conclusion. This letter is not about Donald Trump or his supporters or his taxes or anything Trump.
I understand it’s a savvy campaign tactic to turn things around to your opponent’s weaknesses, but just for a few moments, let’s put your opponent aside and focus on you, as a candidate for the most powerful position in the world and, in fact, as the person to whom I and many others are looking to save us from a Trump presidency.
Having established that you are not in danger of losing my vote, I am hopeful nonetheless that you will continue reading.
Let me also be clear that I am not interested in your detailed medical records. I agree with you that a person is entitled to a ‘zone of privacy,’ regardless of her public profile. As a more or less healthy person, I would feel uncomfortable were I required to bring my medical records to a job interview.
What this is about, and what I am interested in, is your campaign’s performance in this the most important of job interviews.
Anyone who is paying attention–and I trust that your campaign is paying attention–is aware that the issues of transparency, judgment, and trustworthiness plague your campaign, and once again you have fallen short in these categories. Americans, voters, and indeed the world need to know that you and those who will serve as your most trusted advisers and leaders are trustworthy, competent, and capable of good judgment.
This is the part where a surrogate counters with the “. . . but Trump” argument. Let’s put that aside for the purposes of this letter. It is not about Trump or a Trump presidency. It is about you and your presidency.
Many of us who have no other reasonable choice as the next President of the United States are trying to visualize your presidency. We are looking to you to assure us that the missteps of your past are in the past, that you and those around you have learned from mistakes related to transparency, judgment, trustworthiness, and competence. We are looking to you to help us feel comfortable that your decisions and the decisions of your most trusted advisers are sound ones in the best interest of our country.
This latest episode does nothing to help in that visualization.
For about two hours on Sunday morning, you effectively disappeared, and there was no news about where you were. Were the President of the United States to disappear for two hours, with no word from her trusted advisers as to where or why, significant consequences would follow: markets and foreign governments would react.
You and your surrogates have again expressed regrets in your lack of transparency surrounding the circumstances of your disappearance and the state of your health. Why would a campaign whose major struggle is transparency not be better at making that a top priority?
We have subsequently learned of your pneumonia diagnosis, that your doctor advised that you take time off, and that you “did not think it would be that big a deal.” This is a real life example of disregarding the advice of someone whose expertise is outside of your own. This does not effect confidence in your judgment in trusting advisers around you.
In the parade of surrogate interviews to follow, every single one has deftly turned the conversation to Mr. Trump’s medical records, Mr. Trump’s taxes, Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, and the media that so clearly wants to support you, allows them to do so. I, for one, am sick and tired of hearing about Mr. Trump.
This may be an effective strategy for your campaign in the short run, but in the long run, after November, Mr. Trump will not be there as a distraction to which you can direct our attention. Eventually you and your administration will have to demonstrate good judgment, competency, and trustworthiness for America to continue to thrive in and lead the world.
The American public, and indeed the world, need to know that you are putting together a strong, trustworthy team to lead our country with competence beyond campaign strategies. For now, yes, it is about winning, but in a few short months, it will be about doing real and important work.
At this moment, I am struggling to envision your future administration as competent and trustworthy. Your health, of course, is of utmost importance right now. When you are fully recovered, please do your best to present to us a team that demonstrates competence, transparency, and most of all good judgment that is in the best interest of the American people.
All good wishes for your speedy and full recovery. We need you.
A concerned citizen.