Originally Published: December 28, 2016 6 a.m.
To say that Donald Trump’s election victory was an extraordinary and unprecedented event would be the understatement of the century. It makes Truman’s 1948 win over Dewey look somewhat commonplace.
The repercussions here are enormous, but so are the opportunities. It’s got everyone – mostly in the media – shaking their heads asking what happened? How could Trump possibly have won? How could so many experts and strategists have misread the sentiments of the voting public. The media and other pundits simply cannot wrap their heads around this.
Those dumbfounded over the election results have overlooked the eight years of suffering that President Obama’s economic and other failed policies had produced.
Trump’s win was also a message to the political establishment that has grown corrupt and too far removed from the needs of people they were elected to serve.
During the early morning hours of election eve, a group of tired and flabbergasted TV anchors gravely reported that the election had been called, and Donald Trump would be the next president of the United States. The electorate had made their wishes known, a move that was unexpected but long overdue.
This is hardly the time for bickering and recriminations, rather it’s the time for looking to the future. What does a Trump presidency mean for the country, and what responsibilities does this election bring to his opponents and supporters alike? What should be his prioritized agenda?
First of all, Trump’s opponents must accept the fact that the American people have rendered their verdict on his suitability to be president. The Constitution requires only three qualifications for office: age, residency and citizenship. The founders trusted the voters and the Electoral College to decide the rest.
Then the blame game began.
The Democrats first blamed the FBI for their defeat. Then Russia. Then the electoral college, and finally wound up blaming angry white people.
The president-elect’s adversaries are screaming foul and have used every trick in their playbooks to scuttle his inauguration or delegitimize his presidency, including a failed effort to trigger a revolt in the electoral college.
After blasting Republicans for years over blocking Obama’s radical agenda, Dems’ are gearing up for their turn as the opposition party. And it’s going to get ugly. Trump’s cabinet picks must have Senate approval along with a Supreme Court nominee. Some 100 judicial slots must be filled.
Trump’s comment about “draining the swamp” in Washington resonated with the electorate; however, he has abandoned the phrase. It was used metaphorically to advise that major changes are forthcoming.
His bombastic temperament has irritated members of both parties. As he progressed from candidate to nominee then president-elect, his personality leveled off to a pleasant gentlemanly demeanor.
It’s now up to Trump’s most vicious critics, both Dem’s and Republicans, to come to grips with reality and to make the best of it, rather than trying to sabotage his presidency to prove their point. Unfortunately, based on recent Twitter remarks, that doesn’t look too promising.
Trump’s people must be keep a close eye on their new president. He has broad demographic appeal, but his ideology is still being defined and he has a tendency to tack left. His priorities are to end Obama’s eight-year economic slog. With the right policies in place, the economy will grow much faster than it has been. Tax cuts – particularly on the corporate side- are next. Obamacare will be eventually scrapped.
His staff must temper his anti-free trade instincts to avoid a trade war. During the campaign, he repeatedly claimed he favored free trade and he should be held to those words.
As the sun sets on the Obama Administration, the American people have voiced grave concerns over several deficiencies that require immediate attention.
Our foreign policy is a mess, especially with Israel, our only ally in the mid-East. Mr. Obama has left the country weaker, less respected and more vulnerable around the world. As president, Trump must rebuild alliances as well as the armed forces. To his credit, he has surrounded himself with an impressive well-qualified cabinet and insightful team of advisers who know how to navigate through the mess that Obama is leaving behind.
Trump has defied everyone who claimed that his campaign would implode. This gives reason to believe that he will defy his critics once again and become a good, if not an exceptional president.
For the sake of the country he must be given the opportunity to do so.
C.R. Shoemaker is a retired Marine Corps officer and Prescott resident.