To say I have deep reservations about President-elect Donald Trump is an understatement.
He’ll enter the White House as the least prepared, least qualified president in modern history. He ran a divisive campaign that inspired half the nation and disparaged the rest.
But he won. Easily – at least in the Electoral College. And he’ll be our 45th president. So for now I’m going to hope, and pray, that America prospers under Trump. Instead of immediately pondering what Democrat can defeat him in 2020, I’ll hold out hope that Trump blossoms as a moderate leader who shakes up both parties and creates a new vision in Washington. It’s a long shot, but our future is at stake. Even if you’ve come to despise Trump the man, there’s nothing left to do but pray for Trump the president.
At various times during his campaign, Trump showed signs of embracing the middle. He spoke about preserving Medicare and Social Security and taking on the pharmaceutical industry. During his victory speech early Wednesday morning, he spoke of improving our infrastructure. What Republican president-elect has made that vow on Day One?
It doesn’t mean we should forget that he ran a racist, vile campaign that directly or indirectly targeted Muslims, Hispanics, women, people with disabilities and the Jewish community. Our only hope now is that it was all talk to win the presidency on the backs on an electorate that was fed up with political correctness and wanted a straight shooter.
We won’t forget the ugliness, but it’s in all of our interests that he succeeds as president. Another major recession helps no one, especially the minority communities.
Trump will need to surround himself with strong advisers. After allowing the conspiracy-driven alt-right crowd to run his campaign, recycled far-right names like Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani have already been mentioned for Trump’s cabinet. Let’s encourage Trump to appoint some diversity to the mix and not just have a white, male posse. He said Wednesday morning he will be a president for all. He has an opportunity to prove that from the start.
There’s no question this election was a disaster for the progressive movement. It could shape the Supreme Court for a generation. Our environmental policy is in danger and who knows what will happen to the millions of Americans who have health insurance thanks to an Affordable Care Act that was flawed but still benefitted many people who were previously uncovered?
After years of obstructing President Obama, the Republicans are now in control. It’s time for them to put their money where their mouth is and show that they have policies that can move our country in the right direction.
They’ll be led by the most enigmatic president elect of our lifetime – possibly anyone’s lifetime. Perhaps he’ll hold both sides accountable and prove to us that he can cut deals and shake up Washington.
You have every reason to doubt him. But at the moment there’s nothing left to do but pray for our nation under a President Trump.
Andrew Abramson is a columnist for the Sun-Sentinel. Readers may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.