An Open Letter To Donald & Hillary

September 28, 2016

Dear Mr. Trump & Ms. Clinton,

Your debate Monday night drew in 84 million viewers, the largest audience for a televised political event in history.

The exit polls in San Diego indicated that Trump had 5% of the vote and Hillary had 22%.

The news suggested that those results mean that Hillary won the debate, but with a combined vote of just 27%, the exit polls simply show that neither of you have yet to win over America.

So where are the other 73%?

Of course there are other lesser-known candidates who will be on the election ballot who weren’t invited to the debate, but I find it hard to believe that their collective votes would add up to 73%.

I’ll tell you where the other 73% are—they’re frustrated.

Or should I say… we’re frustrated.

We’re frustrated because we don’t feel like we can vote for either one of you.

Can I share why I believe this is?

Because we can’t justify giving our trust to either one of you.

Look—if you’re elected president, you’ll be leading every single American. We don’t take that lightly. We’re willing to follow, but we’re not willing to follow just anyone. We want to know we can trust the leader whom we’ve chosen to follow.

Trump—why is it that you’re being so shady about your tax returns? This shouldn’t even be a big deal, but because of your shadiness, it has become a big deal.

It reminds me of the Watergate scandal with President Nixon. The fact that guys were snooping around the Watergate building prior to the re-election may have been shady and unethical, but it wasn’t a huge deal compared to other issues of national security.

The fact that Nixon knew about it and tried so desperately to cover it up led from one bad decision to another, ultimately ending with his impeachment and resignation.

By choosing to conceal your tax returns, it implies that you are covering something up. If you are covering something up regarding your finances, it makes us wonder what else you’re covering up or willing to cover up in the future.

Combine your lack of trustworthiness along with your quick temper, and people have some serious and valid concerns about whether we want you in the driver’s seat.

And another thing, Donald. During Monday’s debate, you stated “against the advice from your lawyers”, you’d release your tax returns if Hillary released her 33,000 emails.

Since when is “doing the right thing” contingent upon someone else doing the right thing? Just do the right thing, period. You should always do what’s right, regardless of whether your opponent is willing to do the same.

You should never use ethics as a bargaining chip in your negotiations.

Be ethical. Be trustworthy. And be consistent at both.

Hillary—politics, as you know them, are dead.

The age of smiling on stage and making eye contact with your opponent and all the other tips and insight you’ve learned from your husband and from other politicians are tricks of the past.

The younger generation can see right through your polished façade. They sniff out insincerity like a drug-sniffing dog at an airport.

Social media has cultivated a new generation of voters to be experts in marketing. This is why a 14-year-old girl can tell you exactly why your last Instagram post wasn’t as effective as it could have been.

Young adults have been trained to be incredibly insightful, and the fact that you’ve allowed a giant elephant in the room with 33,000 sketchy emails smells like a kilo of coke in a suitcase powdered in white.

What did you do? What are you hiding? Can we trust anything you say?

Accidentally sending or receiving an email or two is one thing, but 33,000 of them? What type of activity have you been involved in as a senator? You claim that you never sent or received anything that was marked “top secret”, so why not release the emails to the public? Unless, of course, you’re lying.

Look guys—nobody is perfect. We all have “issues” in how we lead and deal with others.

We’re not looking for a perfect leader, but we’re looking for a leader who is trustworthy.

If we can’t trust you with small things, why would we give you inherent trust with the much bigger task of running our nation?

My suggestion: be real.

Not “political real”.

Be real real. Be open. Be transparent.

Asking us for our vote sounds to us as like you’re proposing. You want us to take your hand for the next 4 years.

As a pastor I do quite a bit of premarital counseling. My favorite part of my role in a wedding is the ceremony itself. Specifically, the moment when the bride walks down the aisle toward her groom.

As I stand there next to the groom, I know all the junk we have uncovered during our premarital sessions. It is often during those sessions when a groom learns quite a bit of the good, bad and ugly about his bride.

Yet despite knowing the worst things about the girl walking toward him, he still chooses her.

The bride knows all the good, bad and ugly about the groom she’s walking toward, yet she still chooses him.

That is the beauty of marriage. That both people know all the good, bad and ugly about the other, yet they still choose each other.

Donald and Hillary, this is my suggestion for you: let us get to really know you. Warts and all. Flaws and all. Mistakes and all.

You may feel as though coming clean will result in a loss of voters, but the irony is that if you come clean with vulnerability and sincerity, the undecided 73% may begin to trust you.

We may not like your previous choices or what you have done in the past, but at least we could begin to build trust for you.

We can deal with previous mistakes, but we can’t deal with a lack of trust.

Give us a reason to trust you.

Leave the fake smiles and politics as a thing of the past. Leave the insults and bashing to those who are insecure about themselves. Let us get to know the real you.

And if you do, whatever percentage winds up voting for you, you will know that despite the good, bad and ugly of the choices you’ve made, those people still choose you. Warts and all.

Be a leader who is trustworthy. Be a leader who is authentic. Be a leader who is worth following.


Matt Signature








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