‘Parks and Recreation’s’ Leslie Knope Addresses Trump’s America
The long, national nightmare that was the 2016 election is now over, and we are out of the frying pan and into the fire. While some, like myself, are hopeful that America will overcome its dangerous mistake, others are panicking on Twitter and half-jokingly threatening to secede.
Most of us wish someone would come along and tell us that things will be all right, that there’s a plan we can follow, that the future is brighter than it looks. While some are turning to fictional characters for reassurance (like the Twitter users making this all about Harry Potter), it’s nice to have a fictional character come to us and tell us, directly, what comes next.
This morning, an anonymous member of the Parks and Recreation writing staff wrote an open letter to America on Yahoo! in the voice of the show’s main character Leslie Knope in the wake of Trump’s electoral victory. It’s a heartening piece, full of the familiar hyperkinetic comedy and warm sincerity viewers came to expect from Knope’s character over 125 episodes.
In the letter, Knope expresses her extreme sadness and disappointment, but urges readers — especially young girls — to take heart and not give up. (There are also plenty of jokes about farting T-Rexes.) Here’s an excerpt of the especially moving passage addressed at young women:
“And let me say something to the young girls who are reading this. Hi, girls. On behalf of the grown-ups of America who care about you and your futures, I am awfully sorry about how miserably we screwed this up… Our President-Elect is everything you should abhor, and fear, in a male role model. He has spent his life telling you, and girls and women like you, that your lives are valueless except as sexual objects. He has demeaned you, and belittled you, and put you in a little box to be looked at and not heard. It is your job, and the job of girls and women like you, to bust out.”
You can read the letter in full here, and I suggest that you do. Though we may never know exactly who wrote this — just a guess here, but I suspect that the writer of the letter asked to remain anonymous because NBC would not approve of their intellectual property being used in this capacity — I am glad that they did.
What do you think? Did the Leslie Knope letter lift your spirits? Let us know in the comments below or @WhatsTrending on Twitter.