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Leslie Knope's Letter to the American People Will Soothe Your Soul

Leslie Knope's Letter to the American People Will Soothe Your Soul

Leslie Knope's Letter to the American People Will Soothe Your Soul

We've seen an outpouring of inspirational op-eds in the last two days, but what a member of the Parks and Recreation writing staff has written from the heart of Leslie Knope hits home hard. 


In a time where reality is too terrifying to handle, it couldn't be more fitting to receive a heartfelt, emotional, and very real letter from a beloved TV character. Lightly sketched from Hillary Clinton herself, Leslie Knope was TV's most lovable, hard-working, and dedicated politician for seven years on the sitcom Parks and Recreation. Her highs and lows lifted and broke us. Amy Poehler brought Leslie to life so vividly that she continues to be a genuine inspiration despite the shows early 2015 finale, and she's the one we need right now.

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The letter, written by an unnamed Parks and Rec writing team member, was posted on Thursday under Leslie's name, and immediately it's a comfort to leap into her voice."Amidst the confusion, and despair, and disbelief, it was suggested to me by a very close friend of mine (I won’t say her name to protect her identity) (Ann. It was Ann)," the letter starts, and immediately we hear Leslie's voice. To the staff member who wrote this, I'm sure you know you're a hero today. 

What follows is one of the most heartbreaking calls to action I've seen in the last two days. Leslie's recount of a fourth-grade social studies lesson that ends in a farting dinosaur winning a class election over a hard-working tortoise named Greenie is brutally real, and it adds a simple and crystal-clear perspective on what happened on Tuesday. Leave it to Leslie. I recommend you read the entire story immediately, and I know the last few lines - in which young Leslie is awakened to the dark truth behind an intelligent candidate losing to an outrageous one - will stay with me for a while:

“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.”

The letter acknowledges Trump's win and immediately, specifically denounces him. It is unflinchingly honest about Trump's treatment of women and gives the major solution we have right now: telling young women how important and powerful they are.

"Our president-elect...has spent his life telling you, and girls and women like you, that your lives are valueless except as sexual objects...It is your job, and the job of girls and women like you, to bust out. You are going to run this country, and this world, very soon."

The letter is beautiful, and I wish it never had to be written. I wish we never heard from Leslie Knope again because her legacy was being lived right here in reality. Until then, I'll read this over and over and I'll act on Leslie's call. Let's find our team. Let's get to work.

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Preston Max Allen