In the aftermath of the #US Election, the kind and upbeat public servant from NBC sitcom "#Parks and Recreation" Leslie Knope has written a letter to America, offering reassurance and hope for the future, especially to young female fans. Donald Trump's victory in the American election has caused a lot of shock and fear around the world and now even fictional characters must step onto the stage to try and bring hope to millions.
Knope's letter on Website Vox
Knope's letter originally appeared on the website Vox and features references to other popular characters in the show such as her best friend Ann and the fan favourite Ron Swanson. The letter opens referring to the "confusion, and despair, and disbelief" of the present political moment for many and how Leslie Knope, a cult figure famed for her cheery aspiration in local government, shares in those emotions too. She goes on to share an anecdote about a school election (won by a T. Rex named Dr. Farts with no real policies) that is very in-keeping with the character's in-show style of reassurance and justification. The letter, credited to one of the "Parks and Recreation" writers on Vox, combines the show's fun and positive tone with a real kind of reaction to the election and a message of hope.
The second part of the letter begins with the paragraph "No. I do not accept it." in reaction to the idea that American has become the hate-filled landscape that Trump seems to advocate. Indeed, many people have questioned how Trump became president and what that means for the state of America and its people. Knope's letter does not accept hate, but suggests a vision of working together for the future that may be fictional, but may just also be what a lot of people in America and around the world need to hear right now.
Addressing young women
The letter addresses young girls, many of whom will see Leslie Knope as a television role model, telling them "our president-elect is everything you should abhor and fear in a male role model". The show that features Michelle Obama in a cameo before it ended displays how it can still be a beacon of hope for women in a political world that often seems to discredit and demean them, particularly in light of this election. The concluding message that 'you are the future' provides a typically Leslie Knope motivational message, usually directed at other characters in the show, but in this case for anyone who needs to hear it. #Politics is not over.
The character, played by Amy Poehler, has been a popular one since the show began. Though fictional characters cannot themselves change the world, but in light of this shocking and fear-inducing election, it is perhaps characters like Leslie Knope that are needed even more: characters whose realistic positivity can help to cheer up 2016.