Aaron Sorkin, the Oscar-winning Jewish screenwriter of hits like “The Social Network” and “The West Wing,” had a lot to say about Donald Trump being elected the 45th president of the United States. So much so that he wrote an incredibly personal and honest letter to his 15-year-old daughter, Roxy, and her mother, Julia Sorkin that was published in Vanity Fair.
Regardless of your political affiliation, Sorkin’s letter is a beautiful call to action. For instance, while he calls the election “truly horrible,” he also understands that this isn’t the end of America, or hope, or love–and if anything, we as Americans need to stand stronger together and overcome what has just been thrown at us. In essence, we must act–because really, what else can we do?
“So what do we do?
First of all, we remember that we’re not alone… Second, we get out of bed. The Trumpsters want to see people like us (Jewish, “coastal elites,” educated, socially progressive, Hollywood…) sobbing and wailing and talking about moving to Canada. I won’t give them that and neither will you. Here’s what we’ll do…
we’ll fucking fight… (Roxy, there’s a time for this kind of language and it’s now.) We’re not powerless and we’re not voiceless. We don’t have majorities in the House or Senate but we do have representatives there. It’s also good to remember that most members of Trump’s own party feel exactly the same way about him that we do. We make sure that the people we sent to Washington—including Kamala Harris—take our strength with them and never take a day off.
We get involved. We do what we can to fight injustice anywhere we see it—whether it’s writing a check or rolling up our sleeves. Our family is fairly insulated from the effects of a Trump presidency so we fight for the families that aren’t. We fight for a woman to keep her right to choose. We fight for the First Amendment and we fight mostly for equality—not for a guarantee of equal outcomes but for equal opportunities. We stand up.
America didn’t stop being America last night and we didn’t stop being Americans and here’s the thing about Americans: Our darkest days have always—always—been followed by our finest hours.”
Sorkin also mentioned how his father fought in World War II for a better world–and that’s not something he’s about to throw away. However, Sorkin isn’t the only dad to write a letter to his daughter. Dave Sloan, an Orthodox Jewish dad of Silver Spring, Maryland, wrote a handwritten letter to his kids as he was getting on an Amtrak train to New York City for work.
In his letter, he wrote:
“We still believe in tolerance and unity and respect and science and honesty and expertise and hard work and love,” he wrote. “We’re just going to need to fight a little harder for those things.
We’re not going anywhere, and America is worth fighting for. We’ll continue to respect our country, its true character and the office of the president, even if the person in that office doesn’t.
It’s going to be hard. but we’re going to be OK. Love, Aba.”
These letters are inspiring, because it reminds us that we need to keep moving, that routine can help bring back a sense of normalcy–and that we need to be examples of strength for ourselves and our kids.