What President-elect Trump Can Do to Help Unite the Country
President-elect Donald Trump promised to be president of all Americans when he spoke to his supporters after surprisingly winning the presidency last week. I hope he is sincere about those intentions, although some of his recent appointments and actions give me serious doubts. At any rate, if he is truly serious in wanting to heal the wounds of a divisive campaign, I will give him some free advice on how to do so.
Speak to all Americans
Earlier this week, President-elect Trump announced that he was going on a victory tour of sorts. He should be applauded for wanting to get out and meet with people from across the nation, the only problem is that he will only be visiting states that he won. I would ask Mr. Trump to visit people in the blue states and listen to their concerns and why a Trump administration makes them anxious, nervous, or even scared.
Perhaps instead of going on a victory tour, the President-elect should embark on an apology tour. President-elect Trump said so many offensive things to so many people during the campaign that I am not sure that I could list them all even if I wanted to. A few, however, were more deplorable than most, and he should apologize for them publicly.
He owes the Khan Family an apology for publicly attacking them when they expressed their concerns about remarks and attitudes that Mr. Trump made and had towards Muslims. He should apologize to Mrs. Khan specifically for making assumptions about her, based solely on her religious beliefs and backgrounds.
He owes Serge Kovaleski, the disabled reporter he publicly mocked during his slanderous tirades against Muslims. He shouldn’t stop there though. He disrespected all Americans with disabilities with actions, and they should all hear the words “I’m sorry” from Mr. Trump.
He owes the Muslim-American community an apology for spreading the false story that some were celebrating the 9/11 attacks. He continued to fan the flames of hate and fear, long after these stories were debunked. He owes Muslims around the world an apology for continuously stoking fear of refugees and proposing that they should all be banned from the freedoms our country can offer them.
He owes the millions of immigrants that live in our country an apology, especially those from Mexico, for calling them rapists and murderers. He owes Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the judge overseeing the Trump University lawsuit, an apology for insinuating that he couldn’t be impartial because of his ancesry.
He owes the students he defrauded with his fake “university” an apology for preying on their weaknesses and scamming them out of the money they worked so hard for.
He owes all the contractors and vendors he stiffed an apology. He should not only apologize to them but pay them, with interest, the money he owes them. If he’s as rich as he claims he is, he can afford it.
He owes the victims of sexual assault an apology for continuing to normalize efforts to discredit accusers and not take them seriously and for perpetuating the idea that rich and powerful men have the right to demand satisfaction from women solely because they are rich and powerful men.
Stop Appointing Bigots to Positions in Your Administration
It is hard to take seriously the president-elect’s claims that he wants to unite the country, when many of the people he surrounds himself are bigots. Take for example, Mike Pence, the person he chose to serve as Vice President. He couldn’t have chosen somebody more anti-LGBTQ if he wanted to. Some of his greatest homophobic hits include saying that gay couples signaled “societal collapse”, opposing a law that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace, opposing the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and advocating for federal funds to be used for those “seeking to change their sexual behavior.”
And then there’s Steve Bannon, Trump’s choice for his chief political strategist. Bannon was an architect of Trump’s campaign to appeal to Americans who harbor white nationalist views and who made conservative news outlet Brietbart.com, the voice of the alt-right movement.
Trump’s choice for attorney general, Alabama senator Jeff Sessions is so racist that a Republican controlled senate blocked his appointment to a federal judgeship in 1986. The reason? He allegedly called the NAACP and ACLU “un-American” and “communist-inspired” while saying that he used to think that members of the Ku Klux Klan were fine until he found out they smoked pot.
By doing these things, Mr. Trump could start building bridges. I won’t get my hopes up though. Everyone knows he prefers to build walls.