By Sean Weems
I didn’t vote for you. I didn’t think you were the right man for the job. I had concerns about how you would conduct yourself in office – I’ve seen you on TV and your Twitter feed. I thought that your supporters were following you blindly and that 90% of the things that you promised would never happen. I liberally included #NeverTrump in my tweets. I told everyone that I knew that you were a wolf in sheep’s clothing. None of that has changed. But now my worry runs deeper than your taxes or your golfing or your insulting Tweets. The cost for those things, in the end, is your dignity or tax dollars. But this, this is different.
In less than a week’s time, I’ve watched as you used our Navy to lob Tomahawk missiles into Syria, redirected an aircraft carrier from a port call in Australia to the Korean Peninsula, and used the Air Force to drop a MOAB in Afghanistan. (And as far as Afghanistan, it’s not lost on me that this is in a region where we just lost a brave Army Green Beret.) I won’t sit from a position of not knowing what you know and argue whether or not these were the right things to do. These events have already happened.
You have something that is very precious to me. Twenty years ago, I was blessed with a son. Immediately, my priorities shifted. Everything that I did while he was growing up, good or bad, was an example to him. I am not a perfect person. I have made my share of mistakes, and I own them. My only son is now serving in the Navy. He has known war for nearly his entire life. He was 4 when the Twin Towers fell. He felt a calling to serve his country as have many. Our family is aware of the risk involved with this sacrifice. He never backed away from it, and we never tried to talk him out of it.
You’re the Commander in Chief. You have the world’s most powerful military under your command. Before you leave office, more soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines will die. Remember that these lives are not just numbers. They are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers – they are cherished by those of us watching you play Reality RISK with their lives. When you give an interview and you get the name of the country you lobbed missiles at wrong or you boast about the “most beautiful piece of chocolate cake” served as you launched missiles at Syria, it feels like you’ve lost touch with that. These are not floaty boats in your bathtub or toy soldiers you are dealing with. You are dealing with real lives.
As you’re sleeping in luxury following another day on the links, there is a parent somewhere out there that isn’t sleeping. You have children and grandchildren. They are all being protected by the Secret Service. You don’t have to worry about whether or not they are ok. We don’t have that luxury.
Mr. President, I don’t want you to fail. I want you to show me that I was wrong about you. When you do something that is good, I will give you credit. And when you do something that is careless or an affront to the Constitution you swore to uphold, I will call you out on it. You didn’t get my vote, but you did get the most precious thing that I have – my son’s life. Use it to keep our country safe and our freedom in place. It is not for you to waste trying to get your approval ratings higher. You get the results you earn.
I know you’re not perfect. I don’t have unreasonable expectations for you. I just want you to lead with the same honor and dignity displayed by America’s son and daughter service members. I want you to make me spend the rest of your term saying I was wrong about you.
A concerned American and proud father,