Leslie Knope has written an open letter in response to the news of Trump/Pence’s election. Leslie is the Associate Director of the Parks Department for Pawnee, Indiana, a former history major, a councilwoman, a parent, a crafter, a tireless force for good, an organizer, an inspiration, a woman, a Pawnee Goddess, and a friend. Leslie cares about her community and the people around her, and she works relentlessly to improve their lives (whether that means building a new park or stamping out at dealthy library. She is a woman with experience, gumption, and vision (like another nasty woman we know). And she also looks goddamn amazing in a pantsuit.
Leslie, after an election night filled with hot chocolate, crying, and best-friend hugs from the world's sweetest and most beautiful nurse, Anne Perkins, sat down to write the letter. She recalled being in fourth grade and receiving a civics lesson:
“The 17 students in our class were introduced to two fictional candidates: a smart if slightly bookish-looking cartoon tortoise named Greenie, and a cool-looking jaguar named Speedy. Rick Dissellio read a speech from Speedy, in which he promised that, if elected, he would end school early, have extra recess, and provide endless lunches of chocolate pizzandy (a local Pawnee delicacy at the time: deep fried pizza where the crust was candy bars). Then I read a speech from Greenie, who promised to go slow and steady, think about the problems of our school, and try her best to solve them in a way that would benefit the most people. Then Mrs. Kolphner had us vote on who should be class president. I think you know where this is going.Except you don’t, because before we voted, Greg Laresque asked if he could nominate a third candidate, and Mrs. Kolphner said “Sure! The essence of democracy is that everyone—” and Greg cut her off and said, “I nominate a T. rex named Dr. Farts who wears sunglasses and plays the saxophone, and his plan is to fart as much as possible and eat all the teachers,” and everyone laughed, and before Mrs. Kolphner could blink, Dr. Farts the T. rex had been elected president of Pawnee Elementary School in a 1984 Reagan-esque landslide, with my one vote for Greenie the Tortoise playing the role of ‘Minnesota.’”
The young Leslie was sad, and her teacher came to console her.
“Greenie was the better candidate,” I said. “Greenie should have won.”She nodded.“I suppose that was the point of the lesson,” I said.“Oh, no,” she said. “The point of the lesson is: People are unpredictable, and democracy is insane.”
Knope, as Hillary Clinton did in her concession speech, then addressed to the girls and young women who might be reading:
“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. We elected a giant farting T. rex who does not like you, or care about you, or think about you, unless he is scanning your bodies with his creepy T. rex eyes or trying to physically grab you like a toy his daddy got him.”
Leslie Knope then closed with this:
“[Trump] is the present, sadly, but he is not the future. You are the future. Your strength is a million times his. Your power is a billion times his. We will acknowledge this result, but we will not accept it. We will overcome it, and we will defeat it.Now find your team, and get to workLove,Leslie.”
Listen to Leslie, hear her words. She has wisdom to give, and she gives it with love.And we too, at BUST, send our love and support to you. Read the full letter here.
Leslie asks that, if you can, please donate to the ACLU, the International Rescue Committee, or the charity of your choice (BUST recommends Planned Parenthood, NARAL, Million Hoodies, Black Lives Matter, and United Muslim Relief).
The piece was written by a member of the Parks and Recreation writing staff. Parks and Recreation is streaming now on Netflix — because while we should all do our best to go out and fight the good fight, it’s okay to take some time, curl up, watch TV and drink some cocoa in order to feel safe.
Image Source: NBC Universal
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