The Presidential Transition Team would like us to tell it how we would like to Make America Great. There’s a lot about this exercise that I find incredibly distasteful, most especially the “again” thing, the implication that America isn’t great today, and the connection to a horridly racist and misogynistic campaign. But y'know what? Fine. I’ll tell you what I want from my country. Here’s what I had to say on the subject.

I want to see America continue to live into its promise to welcome the world’s tired, poor, huddled masses, an ideal enshrined on my favorite national monument. I want to see a country that continues to work for the general welfare of the country, a principle enshrined in our Constitution, by ensuring that all our people have ever-increasing control over their bodies, in the form of more secure and more universal heath care and an end to attempts to control women’s bodies. I want to see America recognize, more and more, that greatness comes from goodness, not power or privilege. I want us to remember that freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religion were the first principles upon which all others in our country are founded, and the one by which all others are guaranteed. I want to see those freedoms respected, as we are compelled to do by the 14th amendment to our Constitution, equally for all persons, regardless of race, religion, creed, national origin, sex, orientation, or any other human condition. I want a government that affirms, loudly, consistently, and with actions as well as words, that these principles matter, and that we will take action to defend them, from attacks both foreign and, most especially, domestic. I want us to be a country and a people that takes responsibility for our actions and our impact on those around us, both our immediate neighbors and those around the world. I want a country that cares about truth, especially in areas where, like the reality of climate change, that truth impacts the entire world.

That is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start. I think it’s a sound statement of principles I’d like to see our government stand by… and, not coincidentally, a list of things I’m worried about the incoming administration messing up.

If you choose to respond, I would encourage you to be respectful and careful with your words. Don’t give them any reason to write you off, to think of you as a crackpot. But tell them what you believe, what you care about, and maybe what you’re afraid of. Maybe someone will hear it. Probably not. But it’s good practice anyway.