We Americans elected a new President yesterday. Of course, Karissa and I voted. Neither of us voted for the winner. I voted for Gary Johnson, despite his many flaws. I was hoping to see him garner 5% of the popular vote and earn Federal funding for the Libertarian Party in future elections.
The outcome of the election has come as a surprise to the mainstream media and most pollsters. The level of shock at an election outcome is palpable. While it’s a bit surprising that Trump won, given his myriad personal flaws, the fact that he ran as an outsider and the “change” candidate is the reason he won. Plain and simple.
Mr. Trump ran a divisive campaign. He hated on every other candidate in his path. From “Lyin’ Ted” to “Crooked Hillary” and all of the rest. That’s all somewhat normal, but his remarks about illegal immigrants, refugees, and apparent mocking of the disabled crossed the line. He tapped into real anger – some of which is justified, if not misguided, and some of which needs to be quashed.
I hoped Trump would lose. I’m not a fan of Hillary, but she would have been akin to a 3rd Obama term (more of the same). I wanted the Republican Party to re-imagine itself. To move back to being a party of inclusion focusing on national defense, lower taxes, and shrinking government. To stop being the party of laws that inspire hate. Disagreeing on the role of government in healthcare and how large the social safety net should be is all fine and good. That’s classic politics. Republicans need to be more libertarian on social issues – to say it’s not the role of government to say something is right or wrong if it mostly affects consenting individuals.
So begins my advice for President-Elect Trump:
Mr. Trump. Congratulations on the victory. The office of the President is a great honor and responsibility. I hope you treat it with the respect and weight it deserves.
You ran a divisive campaign. It’s time to bring America back together. It’s time to become the voice for all Americans, not just the ones that elected you. Sure, you have to deliver on some of your campaign promises, but softening some of the edges would both help things get passed and insure many are happy with the changes.
22 million people are now insured via ObamaCare. Repealing it must be done with a viable replacement. I’m not a huge fan myself of the structure of the program, but it is sort of something that’s part of life now. Tread carefully.
Lower taxes. You promised to lower and simplify the tax code for businesses and regular folks. Deliver on this promise.
Your softened language about deporting illegal immigrants that commit crimes seems palpable. Bill Clinton proposed the same idea in 1995 to a standing ovation during a State of the Union address. Also, make a law that illegal immigrants must pay for services they use. This will ease the burden felt by your base while being a reasonable proposal for the other side of the aisle.
I know Hillary painted you as a monster, the second-coming of Hitler. Prove her wrong. Show her that you’re a reasonable human. That you’re not full of hate. We know from you past, books, and tv appearances that you’re an egomaniac with a big mouth. That’s fine. Show her (and America) that our old image of you was correct. This new, monster/Hitler version is false. A campaign strategy. Maybe name a Democrat to your cabinet. An olive branch is much needed.
Remember, above all, you represent 100% of America. Not just the 47-48% that voted for you. At least make sure to appeal to the ~75% of Americans that aren’t on the political fringe.
Best of luck. Your success is our success. Make America Great Again.