A Letter to President-Elect Donald Trump

Before his first inauguration I wrote a letter to President-Elect Barack Obama beseeching him to consider addressing the world with a peace overture once in his office. I never got a reply, and the rest is history.

The campaign speeches of now President-Elect Donald Trump suggest he might be more amenable to a similar letter than was his immediate predecessor. Once this article is published I intend to send Mr. Trump the following letter.


Dear Mr. President-Elect,

Sir, you have a golden opportunity on your Inauguration Day. At that moment America’s future is in your hands by your charting of that future and your steering of our Nation in that direction.

In doing so, you can choose to continue the domestic and foreign policies of your two most recent predecessors, but I believe from reading your campaign speeches that you have rejected that choice. While America’s domestic and foreign policies are inextricably linked, I think you should begin your Presidency by focusing first on America’s relationships with her global neighbors, which you have noted are not good at all. Indeed, the world’s opinion is that America is the greatest threat to world peace.

America cannot, without ruining her future and possibly that of the rest of the world, continue to bomb away helter-skelter, continue to force regime changes, and continue to create enemies to justify a monstrous war budget. I respectfully suggest, therefore, that you consider addressing the United Nations with the following address or some version of it:

As members of the international community neither we nor you should continue along the hurtful paths of our past. The world is smaller, making its problems bigger. When any one of us oversteps the boundaries of helpful international behavior our hurtful footprints are felt world-wide. It is in all of our interests and for generations yet born to enter a new dawn of international friendship, cooperation, and peace.

To that end I am inviting you to join with me in creating a Global Goodwill Network under the auspices of the UN to seek ways to make our smaller world a more peaceful and habitable one for all its inhabitants. I shall begin this initiative by pledging that America will join the International Criminal Court and will abide by the rules of international law.

A world in which countries trade fairly among themselves will be a world more at peace than at war, so I intend to ensure that America’s business transactions with the rest of the world will be fair ones and that exploitative globalization by multinational corporations headquartered in the U.S. ceases.

I intend with the help of Congress to rethink and alter our approach to economic, foreign, and military policy and will accelerate withdrawal of our combat forces and military bases on foreign soil. I will insist that in return for continued U.S. support of both sides there absolutely must be a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

I will shore up our obligations and support for a reformed and reinvigorated UN that encourages localized markets, not globalized ones. I will also propose creation of a new UN entity, The Councils of the Continents, with each having the primary responsibility for restoring goodwill in their own territories. For those who join us we shall establish cooperative partnerships. For those who choose not to do so, we shall keep inviting you.           

If the intent, if not exactly the content, is agreeable to you, Mr. President-Elect, I also suggest that you incorporate the message into your first inaugural address.

Please do not allow your own legacy to be a copy of that of your two predecessors.

Respectfully yours and in the name of world peace and for the sake of making America a truly great nation,

Gary Brumback

Gary Brumback, PhD, is a retired psychologist and Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. Read other articles by Gary.