Dear Hope Hicks: Are You Sure You Want Your New White House Job?

Understand the choice you’re making, because you cannot unmake it

Hope Hicks
Getty Images

Dear Hope,

Congratulations on your appointment as interim White House communications director. You might want to consider resigning.

You work for the president of the United States. That’s the good news and the bad news.

The job puts you in the spotlight of history. This position will define you. It will cement your image in the eyes of the public — and the eyes of history. What happens to this administration will follow you in the job that comes after this one, and the next one, and the next one.

Coming in at this particular moment in time — the day after the president affirmed that there was “blame on both sides” when a white supremacist gathering turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia killing a protester — does not bode well for your tenure.

Please consider: At the age of 28, do you want to tie your reputation, your name, your credibility and your future to a man who loudly nods support to racists and neo-Nazis?

Understand the choice you’re making, because you cannot unmake it.

Here is what happened Tuesday: By creating an equivalency between white supremacists and those who opposed them in Charlottesville, the president validated the views of the former. He offered comfort to the forces of hate and division.

Make no mistake, that press conference will embolden and unleash forces of evil — we should not shirk from calling it what it is — because of his words: “I think there is blame on both sides,” he said. “You look at, you look at both sides. I think there’s blame on both sides.”

Donald Trump is not the first president, perhaps, who has supported racists and anti-Semites. But he is the first president in living memory who has had the audacity to speak those views in public, from the pulpit of the presidency. That is what is so stunning. And that is why this is a moment for each person of conscience to make a choice.

Hope, as (interim) White House communications director, you will need to defend this position. You will be presumed to endorse it. You will repeat these views, many times. Can you live with that?

And one more thing: This will follow you for the rest of your life.

To be sure, the choice facing you is unfair. You had no reason to expect that you would end up in this position when you agreed to take the join the Trump campaign, an ingénue with no political experience and no particular expectation that your guy would win.

But you knew the Trump Organization, where you’d worked since 2014, and you knew the man himself.

As many other campaign and then administration officials were hired and fired, you stayed. You stuck it out. You earned Trump’s trust by making him the center of attention, not yourself.

For months, you have been quietly in the thick of things. Your desk is right outside the Oval Office. You have proximity to the president. As a trusted adviser you were present for that stunning the New York Times interview a few weeks ago in which Attorney General Jeff Sessions got shredded.

And of course you want to be loyal. You have been with Ivanka and then Trump since you were barely an adult yourself. You don’t want to quit. And you don’t want to be pushed around.

All I’m saying, as someone who has worked in the media for three decades, as someone who has children around your age, and as someone who has heard you are an honest person with a conscience and a moral center, is this: Understand the choice you’re making. You will not be able to take it back.