By Jim Edsall
Please be assured that the majority of people who voted for Donald Trump mean well.
Most simply want a better job, or better wages, and believe that it will only come from a growing economy. 95 million Americans are currently out of the work force. Nearly 50 million are on food stamps. Unemployment among African-Americans ages 16-24 is nearly 20%. GDP has not been over 3% for a single year in the last eight years. Trump’s economic plan seeks to create growth by lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15% in order to draw manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. He is for an incremental increase in the minimum wage. Like Bernie Sanders, he is strongly opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that would ship even more jobs overseas. His first priority is rebuilding America’s infrastructure, and he is already negotiating with Congress for that spending bill. Increased economic growth would be good for everyone.
We want health insurance premiums to stop rising. A $300.00 ObamaCare subsidy does little good if your premium has gone from $600.00 up to $900.00. My premium is now $1100.00 per month for just my wife and myself. Trump wants to repeal and replace ObamaCare, keeping the best parts of it including no cancellation for pre-existing conditions, and letting young adults up to age 26 remain on their parent’s coverage, while also working to decrease costs by allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines. And, he is for federal block grants to the states so they can expand Medicaid and other health care programs.
We are concerned about national security. ISIS has promised to infiltrate the Syrian refugees seeking entry into the U.S. At first, Trump called for a complete ban on new Muslim immigrants “until we know what the hell is going on.” That was extreme, but he backed off of that in favor of “intensive vetting”, meaning you don’t get to come in unless we can do a thorough background check.
Trump at first said he would deport all who have entered the U.S. illegally, but has since backed off that position. He says first we will secure the border with a combination of an actual wall and virtual wall, and deport those who have committed other crimes in addition to being here illegally, and then have a national conversation about the remaining undocumented immigrants, possibly implementing a guest worker program for those who register to work and pay taxes.
Early in the campaign, Trump said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” This was unkind, and far too broad brush. But, tragically it is true that many undocumented immigrants have committed crimes while in the U.S. As reported on July 8, 2015 by CNN: 121 murders between 2010 and 2014, and over 73,000 in prison for serious crimes. We need to do a better job of enforcing the border.
Many African-Americans heard Trump’s comments and concluded that he is a racist. Yet, African-Americans who worked for him have attested to his fairness. And, Trump has strongly advocated for school choice for African-American families so their children will not be trapped in poor inner city schools. He also supports economic empowerment zones, providing tax breaks to help build minority businesses.
Many gay Americans decided that Trump must also be anti-gay. Yet, Trump invited Peter Thiel, the founder and CEO of PayPal, who is gay, to speak at the Republican National Convention where he received a standing ovation. At the convention, Trump decried the massacre at The Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and personally asked the LGBTQ community for their support.
Some fear that Trump will be a war monger, a danger with his finger on the nuclear trigger. They said the same thing about Ronald Reagan in 1980. But, Trump opposes foreign entanglements unless it is a matter of vital national interest. He plans to rebuild the military, promoting a policy of “peace through strength” as did Reagan, who won the Cold War without firing a single shot.
To those who are initially opposed to Trump, distrust him, and want to plan how to stop him if he attempts to become an imperial president, first let me say I am glad you are now interested in how to control a president who acts outside his constitutional bounds. President Obama repeatedly circumvented Congress unconstitutionally — declaring the Senate in recess so he could appoint members to the National Labor Relations Board, changing ObamaCare more than thirty times, and issuing executive orders suspending deportation of 6 million undocumented immigrants without Congressional authority. You will be glad to know that the system worked to hold him back. The federal courts set aside President Obama’s actions each time he was taken to court by the Congress or the States.
The same would be true with Trump. If he acts outside his constitutional authority, the Congress and the States can sue him in federal court. And there are legislative remedies. If he tries to pass unreasonable legislation, the Democratic minority in the Senate can filibuster when they have at least 41 Senators. Members in both houses of Congress can work together to pass bills that they believe will implement better policies, and they can override a presidential veto if they have a two-thirds majority. Lastly, they can bring articles of impeachment if he actually commits “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
That said, I believe it is grossly unfair to already decide that such actions will be needed. Trump was not my first choice. So often, I shook my head during the campaign. But, I believe the American people should attempt to unify behind the duly elected president, as President Obama and Hillary Clinton have called for us to do. Trump has humbly asked his opponents for advice and help, and has called for unity. I believe we should give him our prayers, our help, and our support.
As the Good Book says, “First let us pray for kings and all who are in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life” (1 Timothy 2). And remember that our true hope is in Jesus, who will never leave or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
November 15, 2016
P.S. Many of us were voting more for Mike Pence than for Donald Trump. At least some good judgement was shown by Trump in making Pence the head of his transition team, replacing Chris Christie. There is good reason to hope that Pence will help Trump find highly qualified people of good character to work in the government. Trump also showed good judgement in hiring Kellyanne Conway, who just became the first female campaign manager of a successful presidential campaign, breaking that glass ceiling. I hope that the rest of the article shows that through his outreach to African-Americans and gay people, which I believe to be genuine, Trump may not be the racist homophobe he has been portrayed to be. And, he may not be a xenophobe for wanting to better secure the border. His goals of improving the economy for everyone, making health care more affordable, and actually rebuilding our infrastructure (he is a construction guy) all suggest some good character as well. There seems to be reason for hope in all of this. If he miserably fails us, I believe there are enough members of good character in both parties who will use the judicial and legislative means available to keep him in check, and even remove him from office if they must.
I believe our prayers for him and for our nation will make all the difference. As Proverbs 21:1 tells us, the Lord can turn the heart of a king as a river. May the Lord bless our nation, and direct Trump to do His good will, in Jesus’s Name. Amen.