In lieu of a reunion special, Parks and Recreation‘s’ Leslie Knope lives on through a letter addressed to the American people.
When Parks and Recreation was on the air, it gave us something wonderful: A beautiful vision of how the world might soon be, and the comedic dismissal of those who act only for their own gain.
It has not been easy to see how particularly poignant moments of the show — that were supposed to be pastiche — have become reality.
Take Glamour Magazine nominating a man for Woman of the Year after Parks and Rec already (or so we thought) put that ridiculous notion to rest once and for all.
Or the debate between Leslie and her very unqualified opponent Bobby Newport, who just said whatever the audience wanted him to say without any basis in fact and yet they loved him for it.
After the results of the 2016 election became clear, Parks and Recreation creator Mike Schur announced that he’d be taking a break from Twitter, but not before leaving his followers with a powerful statement.
And now, a Parks and Rec writer has penned a letter in the voice of Leslie Knope, shared on Yahoo!, which might give fans comfort.
Because, unlike most would-be peacemakers in the media, Leslie Knope does not accept that this is the status of the country, just like we knew she wouldn’t.
Here’s a sample of the letter (please read it in full at the source):
“Like most people, I deal with tragedy by processing the five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. My denial over the election results was intense. My anger was (in Ron’s words) “significant.” My bargaining was short, but creative — I offered my soul and the souls of all of my friends in exchange for 60,000 more votes in Milwaukee, to any demon who cared to accept. (Tom told me it was a terrible deal, but I didn’t care, in that moment.) My depression I have already mentioned. Which brings us to Acceptance. And here’s what I stand on that:
No. I do not accept it.
I acknowledge that Donald Trump is the President. I understand, intellectually, that he won the election. But I do not accept that our country has descended into the hatred-swirled slop pile that he lives in. I reject out of hand the notion that we have thrown up our hands and succumbed to racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and crypto-fascism. I do not accept that. I reject that. I fight that. Today, and tomorrow, and every day until the next election, I reject and fight that story. I work hard and I form ideas and I meet and talk to other people who feel like me, and we sit down and drink hot chocolate (I have plenty) and we plan. We plan like mofos. 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.
And let me say something to the young girls who are reading this. Hi, girls. 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 (or would have, if his daddy had loved him). (Sorry, that was a low blow.) (Actually, not sorry, I’m pissed, and I’m on a roll, so zip it, super-ego!) Our President-Elect is everything you should abhor, and fear, in a male role model. He has spent his life telling you, and girls and women like you, that your lives are valueless except as sexual objects. He has demeaned you, and belittled you, and put you in a little box to be looked at and not heard. It is your job, and the job of girls and women like you, to bust out.”
“He is the present, sadly, but he is not the future,” Leslie writes. “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.”