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Op-Ed: Awaiting the real TrumpElizabeth King explains why she is eager to see how Donald Trump’s presidency takes off. King hopes that he will bring long-awaited peace and prosperity to America: “His conciliatory messages and tone since he has been elected lead me to hope that this is the real Trump, one that can listen to others, learn from others and seek to unify rather than divide.”
Many people, especially those in the very liberal states, have protested Donald Trump’s win. Thousands demonstrated in 25 major cities on the first night after the election and protests, although smaller, were also held on the following night.
Due to the real divisiveness of the election campaign, it is understandable that many people are upset. The number of hateful far right-wing groups supporting Trump is also frightening. However, chants of “Not My President” are out of order. The election process has been completed and as a democracy, all citizens need to accept the results.
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The real question is: are the fears of many, especially people of color, justified? While most minority group members voted for Hillary Clinton, Trump did slightly better than Romney among both African Americans and Latinos. According to exit polls, 8% of African Americans and 29% of Hispanics voted for Trump. While these are not good numbers, it does show that, especially among Latinos, there were significant numbers of people who believed that Trump would be good for them.
How else to explain the success of an urban billionaire who captured the vote of the middle class and agricultural workers, generally a power base for Democrats, and lost the vote of the wealthy and big business. The financial situation for those in the middle class has not improved during the last four years and in fact, it may have worsened. These are people who needed to believe that someone was interested in them and seeking to improve their lot. Trump heard their voices and directed his campaign toward addressing their grievances.
Trump has pledged to be the president of all the people and I truly believe he will honor that pledge. Fixing infrastructure, developing new jobs and improving healthcare are projects that will benefit all Americans. Deporting illegal immigrants who have committed crimes is also to the benefit of all citizenry. Trimming America’s trade deficit is also a win-win.
Why then all the hateful rhetoric? Why the misogyny? Why the narcissism? It may be that this is the way Trump attracts attention, and attention, even if negative, is what’s needed to stay in the limelight either to promote business or to stay in the public eye when battling a very well-known challenger. The media hated Trump but they constantly reported on his activities and speeches.
Hype is often what’s needed to sell a product. A mild mannered pitch such as “buy my product because it’s good,” will fail to convince many buyers. Hyped products sell and selling himself and the promise of change is the way Trump sought to win the election. It succeeded.
Being president will be a new experience for Trump. He is neither selling himself nor a profit making venture. His job is to do what’s best for America and America means all its citizens. His conciliatory messages and tone since he has been elected lead me to hope that this is the real Trump, one that can listen to others, learn from others and seek to unify rather than divide.
Everyone thought that Obama’s election would herald an era free of racial and sexual prejudice, a kind of utopia where if not love, at least a period of live and let live would be established. Unfortunately, that did not happen and the American divide is as large, if not larger than ever, and race relations are at a low point.
I can only hope that this man of whom so many are fearful will defy the grim expectations and bring peace and prosperity to America, enabling all to pursue and achieve the American dream.