So what now for the 66 million American voters who didn’t vote for Donald Trump and understand that he is unprepared and too unstable to be president?
Here’s a checklist of suggestions for your hopes and prayers.
▪ That the Trump of his victory speech is the real Trump only now emerging.
▪ That it was just “political talk” – sort of like “locker room talk” – when he said during the campaign that he would build a wall between Mexico and the U.S and deport 11 million immigrants, including children born as U.S. citizens; that we should torture military prisoners and kill ISIS families; that he would order a special prosecutor to pursue his opponent post-election; the he would “change libel law” to abridge freedom of speech; that we would deny all Muslims entry, start a trade war with China and consider withdrawing from NATO.
▪ That he was kidding when he said, about having a foreign policy adviser, “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain … I have a good instinct for this stuff.”
▪ That many conservative people with “very good brains” who abandoned him in disgust or fear during his campaign can be persuaded to risk working for him now.
▪ That he will listen to them and resist tired old failures such as Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani. They’re not change; they’re retrenchment.
▪ That when he said in his victory speech, “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division … as one united people,” he actually meant all of us – black and brown and white, Asian and Latin and European, gay and straight and transgender, Christian and Muslim and agnostic and atheist and Buddhist and Jewish, Republican and Democrat and Libertarian and independent.
▪ That when he cannot deliver on some of his promises, as inevitably happens to all leaders, he will accept responsibility and not look for scapegoats, cry that the fix was in or obsess about revenge.
▪ That he will find for his many potential federal court appointments conservative judges who respect precedent, are fair-minded and not ideological activists on the order of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
▪ That the man who says he never reads books and who demonstrably doesn’t know the Constitution will listen to the people who do.
▪ That he will recognize the weight of his every word as president and have responsible people fact-check before he speaks.
▪ That he will pay his income taxes as an example for the rest of us.
That’s not asking a lot, but even if a forgiving providence should grant all those petitions, I greatly fear for our nation and the world because he is such a deeply flawed man who is blind to any of his defects.
However, the cold reality is that 60 million other people did vote for him. May they never come to rue that day.
Davis Merritt, a Wichita journalist and author, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.