Donald Trump is going to be president of the United States. If only the United States were truly united.
Our republic is being sorely tested. An “informed electorate” is not informed. Trump lied his way to victory. He will not bring manufacturing jobs back to America. He will not resurrect King Coal. He will not revive America’s steel industry. He will not build a wall to keep Mexicans out of the U.S.; one already exists in Texas. He will not ban Muslims from entering the U.S.; it is likely against the U.S. Constitution to do so. He will not deport 11 million illegal immigrants; they do all the jobs white Americans will not take. He cannot sue his way out of this job, and he will not be able to bankrupt his way to success.
He could be the worst president we have ever seen. He is a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobe and a demagogue. Trump is ignorant of world affairs, the Constitution and the truth. He perpetuated lies about Hillary Clinton. She is innocent of any misconduct, nevermind criminal wrongdoing, involving Benghazi (numerous congressional investigations found no evidence of wrongdoing), email misuse (the FBI closed that case) and any “scandal” involving the Clinton Foundation and foreign governments.
Clinton is guilty of being a woman, a successful U.S. secretary of state and a successful U.S. senator, who compassionately and effectively advocated for the very people who elected Trump.
Yes, there will be a revolt. There will be a revolt when Trump supporters realize bitterly that the man they elected president will not deliver on jobs, the wall, raising their standard of living and punishing their enemies in the multicultural world that has left them behind. Voters will turn to Democrats or a third-party candidate during the 2018 midterm elections.
Republicans from radio demagogues Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Howie Carr to GOP leaders such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich created the climate for Trump to galvanize white voters in opposition to President Barack Obama and lie about his achievements. The stimulus program did save America from falling into an economic depression. Democrats and Republicans saved the auto industry. The economy is doing fine. American restraint in foreign affairs has helped stabilize the world. The effects of the Bush tragedies in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to tear the Middle East apart. Look at Kansas if you want to see a smaller scale version of America run by Republicans. Cutting taxes alone does not prosperity make. Even Ronald Reagan raised taxes.
Can Trump be a unifier for America? It is extremely doubtful. If his campaign is any indicator, he will be a divider. He perpetuated the racist screed that Obama was born in Kenya. He said the election was rigged when voter fraud is virtually nonexistent. He denigrated Muslims, Hispanics, nonwhites, war heroes and women.
Trump has a lot to prove. He needs to unite this country and show he understands and respects the Constitution and the rule of law. His worst promises are to repeal health care for 20 million Americans by getting rid of the Affordable Care Act. He could appoint to the U.S. Supreme Court a conservative justice who is hostile to abortion and may erode women’s control over their own bodies. He will embolden the oil industry to continue to pollute and jeopardize the survival of our planet. He will pursue reckless policies on trade that could destabilize the world economy.
Change has immense consequences for those who want change for change’s sake. I hope Trump moves into the political mainstream and makes sound decisions to benefit all people. He says he wants to represent everyone. He needs to prove to me, both parties and every American that he can be a responsible leader, not a demagogue who believes the lies and distortions that got him elected.
Mac Herrling is a writer, photographer and artist. He lives in Orland.