Parks and Recreation is no longer on the air, but one of the show’s former staffers has given main character Leslie Knope a platform to speak out against Donald Trump and Tuesday’s election results.
In an open letter posted to Yahoo, an unidentified writer for the erstwhile NBC sitcom has penned a letter from Knope to America. In it, Knope relays an anecdote from her childhood while working through her emotions — with a little help from her BFF Ann of course — before getting to the matter at hand.
“I do not accept it,” Knope wrote of making it through the final stage of grief. But Knope is undeterred in what she plans to do next. “We figure out how to fight back, and do good in this infuriating world that constantly wants to bend toward the bad. And we will be kind to each other, and supportive of each other’s ideas, and we will do literally anything but accept this as our fate.”
Knope then addressed any young girls who might be reading her letter.
“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,” she begins. “Our President-Elect is everything you should abhor, and fear, in a male role model.”
The (fictional) Pawnee public servant continued: “You are going to run this country, and this world, very soon… He 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.”
On that note, she concluded her letter with her signature encouragement, “Now find your team, and get to work.”
While the Parks and Rec writer who penned the letter is anonymous, the show’s creator has weighed in publicly on Trump. On Wednesday, producer Mike Schur wrote a 28-tweet thread about the election, noting “America has always survived its (many) disastrous political decisions.”
“This feels like the most disastrous,” he added. “I believe we can survive it. The problem is: this isn’t just a political decision. It’s a clarion call to forces of white nationalism, anti-semitism, and fascism. I thought the country had progressed enough to shout down a man whose campaign was fueled only by fear and hate. It has not. Progress comes from empathy and inclusiveness. I will try to find empathy for the people who voted for Trump. But Trump voters have to find empathy for the people who, with very good reason, fear his Presidency. That is the only way forward.”
Head to Yahoo for the full Knope letter.