ENTERTAINMENT

Aaron Sorkin's Letter To His Daughter Following Trump Win Reminds Us Why We Need Jed Bartlet For America More Than Ever

Jed Bartlet may by fictional, but his creator isn't.

10/11/2016 14:08 | Updated 10 November 2016

Aaron Sorkin has penned a moving letter to his 15-year-old daughter following the election of Donald Trump, apologising for not being able to protect her.

Aaron created ‘The West Wing’ with a president at its centre of moral fibre, wit, intelligence and a Nobel prize, and yesterday he wrote of his sorrow that the real world did not match his idealized version of his country’s leader in Jed Bartlet.

He wrote: “The world changed late last night in a way I couldn’t protect us from. That’s a terrible feeling for a father. I won’t sugarcoat it—this is truly horrible.

“It’s hardly the first time my candidate didn’t win (in fact it’s the sixth time) but it is the first time that a thoroughly incompetent pig with dangerous ideas, a serious psychiatric disorder, no knowledge of the world and no curiosity to learn has.”

NBC
Martin Sheen played Jed Bartlet in seven series of 'The West Wing'

Specifically, Aaron lamented that it was a triumph that “men who have no right to call themselves that and who think that women who aspire to more than looking hot are shrill, ugly, and otherwise worthy of our scorn rather than our admiration struck a blow for misogynistic shitheads everywhere”.

The Oscar winner for ‘The Social Network’ who also penned ’A Few Good Men’, ‘Moneyball’ and ‘Steve Jobs’ didn’t mince his words.

“For the next four years, the President of the United States, the same office held by Washington and Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, F.D.R., J.F.K. and Barack Obama, will be held by a man-boy who’ll spend his hours exacting Twitter vengeance against all who criticize him (and those numbers will be legion). We’ve embarrassed ourselves in front of our children and the world… what wouldn’t we give to trade this small fraction of a man for Richard Nixon right now?”

Aaron also joined Michael Moore in constructing a to-do list in the face of defeat. As the documentary maker has said, there is consolation to be taken from the numbers of people who feel as they do, and Aaron, too, says that the time for fighting back has begun.

And he finishes with a promise to his teenage daughter that the next election, her first time of voting, will be different. He concludes:

“Grandpa fought in World War II and when he came home this country handed him an opportunity to make a great life for his family. I will not hand his granddaughter a country shaped by hateful and stupid men. Your tears last night woke me up, and I’ll never go to sleep on you again.

Love,

Dad”

‘The West Wing’ ran for seven years and garnered 95 Emmy Award nominations, including six for Martin Sheen’s portrayal of President Josiah ‘Jed’ Bartlet, among his many plaudits. 

Asked for the real-life presidents he drew inspiration from, Martin revealed: “In this order: John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton ― all Democrats, of course.”

Martin Sheen spoke to HuffPostUK last year, when he chuckled about all the many people who wished for Jed Bartlet for America, and the many who still do, years after the show finished. 

Despite his many political exploits, including being arrested for his social activism an impressive 66 times, it transpires Martin isn’t one of those wishing him into high office.

“If I was the president I would demand a recount,” he pointed out. “There must be some mistake here. I could never be president, because I’m a pacifist, and to be president you have to be willing to kill, unfortunately.”

Asked what he would do if he were POTUS in real life, just for one day, he thought for a moment, before saying:

“I would just, as president, attend the first demonstration against polluting the environment, the next demonstration against gun violence and against the gun lobby and the next demonstration against abuse of children and the sex trade,” he offered.

“And I would strengthen the unions, I would do all the things that have crushed us for the better part of the 20th century and into the 21st century. The poor have been crushed. I would just try to stand with them and say, the majority of the people of the world, the 1% have prospered off your labour and your suffering and I would stand with you. I’m with the 99%. I would call myself the 99% administration.

“I wouldn’t be able to make many changes, but I’d have a hell of a good time trying.”

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS