Guest Editorial: Trump deserves a chance to leadDonald Trump. Photo by Gage Skidmore, obtained via Wikimedia Commons
By Gabriel Sterling
Well that wasn’t expected. For the 58th time in our nation’s history, the people have spoken and we have chosen a President. Donald J. Trump wasn’t my first choice, nor – I am sure – was he the choice many who will read this (I was a Rubio guy in the primary).
Now it is up to all Americans how they choose to react as we move forward. Hillary Clinton, the morning after the vote said it well.
“We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.”
I think what I am seeing from those that supported Secretary Clinton is a “fear” of what will come.
We have learned that our nation is likely more divided than many may have supposed. Legendary journalist Tom Browkaw has referred to our politics as being “tribal.” Instead of “we the people” it’s “we the African Americans, we the angry white men, we the Hispanics,” with different groups pitting these constituencies against one another.
In doing so there are times that genuine “fear” is generated as to what one side will do to another if “they” get into power. In the era of 24-hour news and social media these ideas are released into an echo chamber that reinforces itself.
Let me help calm the waters and settle your mind. No one is coming for you. The election of Donald Trump does not mean America has decided it’s open season on you or anyone you know. His election was brought about by people like you. They are mothers and sons, daughters and fathers, rich and poor, the middle class and the jobless. Realize that Trump got more Hispanic votes than Romney did. He got the highest share of the African-American vote for a GOP nominee since 1976.
His election is a reaction to the feeling that is held by many that “the system” isn’t working for them and their families. Clinton was the living embodiment of that “rigged” or “broken” system. This comparison of Clinton versus Trump did not play well for her nationwide, but most especially in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan. If you want to understand the issues being faced by many rural and suburban families and communities I highly recommend the book “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance.
My main point is, we are all in this together. We can fight over issues, but we need to build up our institutions that provide stability no matter who the President is…even if it’s Donald J. Trump.
I am more optimistic that we will see some positive changes that will help all of us. Most notably, I think we will see major healthcare reform and will scrap the horrible Affordable Care Act, which is neither affordable nor does it provide adequate care. But in that reform the best parts will likely be kept. People with pre-existing conditions will still be covered.
Like Obama voters in 2008, Trump voters want to see change. And to remind you again of what Hillary Clinton said. “We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.” We’ve survived all the presidents of the past. We will survive this President, and maybe even thrive.
Gabriel Sterling is a Sandy Springs City Councilman and a lifelong Republican.