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Knope relayed a childhood experience of voting and advocating for a legitimate candidate (Greenie the Tortoise) only to have the dumbest possible option thrown out in the nick of time to get elected: a farting, saxophone-playing T-Rex whose only platform was to “eat all the teachers.” And guess what? Dr. Farts the dinosaur got elected. Knope wrote:
As I tearfully added it to my Silver Star Diary, she asked me what upset me the most. “Greenie was the better candidate,” I said. “Greenie should have won.”
“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.”
Preach. The lesson Knope learned as a young girl is more prescient than ever. She admits she’s grieving. She admits she’s unhappy. And she gets real about what this means for the little girls like her, crying out against a Dr. Farts-esque president-elect:
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…
You are going to run this country, and this world, very soon. So you will not listen to this man, or the 75-year-old, doughy-faced, gray-haired nightmare men like him, when they try to tell you where to stand or how to behave or what you can and cannot do with your own bodies, or what you should or should not think with your own minds. You will not be cowed or discouraged by his stream of retrogressive babble. You won’t have time to be cowed, because you will be too busy working and learning and communing with other girls and women like you. And when the time comes, you will effortlessly flick away his miserable, petty, misogynistic worldview like a fly on your picnic potato salad.
We hope to see her on the ballot in 2020.
Read the full, impassioned Leslie Knope letter to America at Yahoo TV
Dahlia Dandashi is a multimedia content producer. Her work has been published at the Austin American-Statesman and Viceland. An Arab-American raised in Dubai, she is based in Austin, Texas.