As supporters of Hillary Clinton, we were surprised and saddened by Donald Trump’s victory.
But, the American people have spoken through our electoral process. They wanted change and that is why Trump won.
Therefore, we will accept the results even though we are not happy with them. It is time to do what we can to move past disgruntlement and to work as Americans to bring Americans together rather than to divide them.
President –Elect Trump made that point in the opening of his acceptance speech in the early morning of November 9 when he said:
“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division; have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.”
President Obama reminded us
“We have to remember that we’re actually all on one team …We’re not Democrats first, we’re not Republicans first, we are Americans first. We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country.”
Near the end of her speech, Secretary Clinton said;
“I count my blessings every day that I am an American. And, I still believe as deeply as I ever have, that if we stand together and work together, with respect for our differences, strength in our convictions, and love for this nation ….our best days are still ahead of us.”
As responsible and concerned citizens, we need to heed and follow the advice of Secretary Clinton and President Obama. We need to stay involved and not withdraw from the playing field.
America was built on the can do spirit. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer than anticipated and the road is a circuitous one. But, that just means you push ahead. You continue the journey.
As Secretary Clinton said quoting scripture in her concession, “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”
The peaceful transfer of power is one of the defining characteristics of American democracy. That is why President Obama called Trump to congratulate him on his victory and invited him to the White House to begin that transfer on November 10 just two days after Election Day.
The President and President-Elect met for more than ninety minutes. After their meeting, they held a brief joint press conference.
In that session, President Obama said they he and Trump had an “excellent conversation”. He stated “…My number one priority in the next two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our President-elect is successful.” He went on to say to Trump, “If you succeed, the country succeeds.”
In his comments, Trump stated, “Mr. President it was a great honor being with you and I look forward to being with you many, many more times.” He also indicated that he would seek ongoing “counsel” from Obama.
Before meeting with Obama, Trump reached out by phone call to Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the minority leader in the Senate with whom he has had a long-standing relationship.
The right tone is being established and the stage is being set for a positive transition and the transfer of power. Time will tell how all of this will play out in terms of Trump’s actions and agenda for the nation.
At this point, we will not speculate on what Trump might do or say as President. As the primary and general election campaigns and during his brief period as President-Elect have shown, Trump speaks for himself and can be unpredictable. No one can or should speak for him but him.
Having said that, in his acceptance speech, Trump pledged he would rebuild “our crumbling infrastructure.” He has stated numerous times that, among things, he plans to build a wall on America’s southwest border, repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, create millions of jobs, and renegotiate trade deals.
We will learn a lot more about his priorities for the nation in the period between now and his inauguration on January 20 and in his first 100 days in office.
We expect to agree with some of them and to disagree with others. We will make our voices heard on those matters at the appropriate time.
In the evenings for the first two days after the elections, thousands of protesters came out in streets and cities across the country to protest Trump’s election. That is their right as Americans.
Many of them carried signs that said and chanted “Not My President.” He might not be their President but he is our President. For better or worse he is the leader of this nation.
Shortly before the election, the New York Times ran an article based upon interviews with Trump supporters in which they threatened protests and even a “revolution” if Hillary Clinton was elected. That would have been their right as well as well as long as the protests and revolution was peaceful.
We are living in fractious and divisive times. Donald Trump is the President Elect of the United States of America even though it appears that Hillary Clinton will win the popular vote.
Trump has promised to be the President for “all of Americans” and to “reach out’ to all those who did not support him for their “guidance” and “help so that we can work together and unify our great country.”
As citizens, we deserve to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. We need to engage in what psychologists call “the willing suspension of disbelief” for a reasonable period of time to see what will happen.
We need to let hope float and to give this change a chance. That’s the deal we would propose for the deal-maker. It’s a fair deal.
If the practices do not align with the promises, we need to hold President Trump accountable. As a constant critic of the current counter-productive political and governmental system and process, we are certain that he would want it no other way.