Dear Joe,

Don’t worry about not answering my 25 earlier emails or calls. What with the campaign and all, I’m not at all insulted. My son ran for President of his high school and I was with him every step of the way,.. except when he was at school. which is where he campaigned… So I know what you went through. 

You’re doing all the right things in terms of staying cool in the face of Trump’s foot-stomping temper tantrums. I do advise against putting your foot down when he rants about the election, though. It can cause hairline fractures of the lateral and intermediate cuneiform bones. The good news is that will require wearing a boot, so if Trump shows up at the Inauguration, you can put your foot down – on his foot.

Picking a seasoned, smart, and calm set of professionals to lead your administration is such a clever move. First time in 4 years, if I remember correctly. 

But you have to do more than that. You have to corral the feral cats that make up the Democratic Party. You have to calm the Republicans who have been made crazy by Trump. You have to make Americans believe each other again, not to mention believe in each other.  

Here’s my considered advice.

Have occasional televised Zoom Halls, with a moderator, similar to those you had in the campaign. Make sure to invite folks from different parts of the country. Answer questions candidly- no spin. If you don’t have a good answer, say that. If you can’t answer for security or other reasons, say that. If any of them are wearing MAGA hats and long, bushy beards, keep your answers simple and use one syllable words.

Clearly Fox and other Trump networks will try to undercut you, but, Zoom Halls will do for you what Fireside Chats did for Roosevelt: create a bond of trust with the American people.

And from time to time include Kamala Harris. The country has to get to know and trust her, too, because…really Joe, how long do you have? 

Stop using the word “socialism”. The word is toxic to many in the country, especially the older, less educated voters who think communism and socialism are the same, even though they’re not. Socialism involves nationalization of commonly needed resources (healthcare, education, utilities, for example).  It is  successful in countries like Sweden and Denmark. Communism which started as an extreme version of socialism, has never actually existed. It was immediately morphed into dictatorship by Russia. Older Americans remember ducking under school desks in Atom Bomb drills because of Stalin and Mao.  Communism and socialism are equally feared by old White types, even though they graduated from public schools, drive on our national road system, and collect Social Security checks.

Outlaw the phrase “Defund police” by Democrats. It implies eliminating police through budget cuts. Who in his right mind would do that, outside of a Mexican cartel? “Refund police” might be more appropriate in terms of putting police money toward training in mental illness treatment, community policing, and de-escalation techniques. 

Get down to Georgia right away. Hold hands with Stacy Abrams and ride her coat-tail. Ditto Carter. Send every celebrity who scores well in Georgia. Take the spotlight away from Trump. Use surrogates to blame Trump and Kemp for everything wrong with Georgia.

Take AOC and the other ultra-liberals to a quiet lunch and softly knock heads. Explain that you have enough problems with McConnell and his bunch and if she roadblocks you, she’s giving the Republicans an easy march to 2022, not to mention 2024. Convince her that timing is everything, including her time in the sun, which can’t happen without a Democratic sweep in 2022.

Make infrastructure the priority, after Covid 19, as part of reviving the economy. And give rural areas special attention. I know city and suburban kids like video games, but country kids might, too, at least after milking time. And their parents wouldn’t mind exchanging party line phones for Netflix.

Right after that, how about giving education a boost? Imagine a generation that understands the difference between socialism and communism, a generation that understands why “Black Lives Matter” became a slogan instead of “Black Lives Matter, Too”, a generation that respects giving as much as taking, a generation that values nature as much as the future because without one, the other won’t exist, a generation that…

…Wow, Joe, you have a lot to do! But don’t worry, you can call me, any time.

(If you like this, pass it on. If you don't, pass it on anyway. Why should you suffer alone?)