Poets & Writers Offer Words for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration
As we prepare for the inauguration of a U.S. presidential administration more hostile to free expression than any other in history, PEN America asked writers to craft an address for Donald J. Trump to deliver at the inaugural podium in his first day as President.
I would like him to say (but he won’t):
I stand here as a public servant to all the people in this country, regardless of race, faith, sexual orientation, immigration status, income level, or point of view. I am here to acknowledge the rich fabric of an America defined by diversity. I am here to make a more just and equal nation, one where fear, prejudice, and bigotry all disappear. I come here in humbleness to help steer the United States toward mercy and kindness. I am here to ensure that corruption and conflicts of interest disappear from our society. I am here to make sure that the country is ruled with elegance and self-assurance, to continue the great legacy of Barack Obama, who did so much for America with such dignity. Each presidency may be short, but the arc of history is long, and I hope to play my role in ensuring it bends toward justice.
(To read contributions from Meena Alexander, Indran Amirthanayagam, Michael Cunningham, Charlotte Druckman, Hafizah Geter, Michael Klein, Azar Nafisi, and Terese Svoboda, please visit the PEN website.)