Editorials

Our hopes for a Trump presidency

The Observer editorial board

Donald Trump gives an election night speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York.
Donald Trump gives an election night speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York. AFP/Getty Images

It is morning in America, but a cloudy one.

The financial markets have been jumpy. The world is shaken. Progressives are talking about leaving the country, now that Donald Trump will be our next president.

We’re not.

We’re choosing to hope.

We hope that Donald Trump realizes the office he will occupy is bigger than the person who sits in it.

We hope he surrounds himself with smart and capable people who can guide him and help him understand what he often didn’t during his campaign – that our Constitution places limits on that office.

We hope Congress and the courts will remind him of those limits, particularly when it involves foolhardy policy like building a wall on the Mexican border or dangerous notions like making Muslims prove they share American values.

We hope President Trump doesn’t blow the world up.

We hope that Trump remembers the voices that helped sweep him into the office – not the corporate titans, but the struggling working-class Americans who believe they’ve been forgotten in the global economy.

We hope Trump doesn’t bow to others who saw his candidacy as something else – an opportunity to return to a whiter shade of America.

We hope President Trump is successful in his pledge to go big on infrastructure building as a form of blue-collar stimulus.

We hope Trump and Republicans also remember the vulnerable when they follow through on repealing Obamacare, and that their “market-based” replacement doesn’t eliminate coverage that millions of uninsured Americans received.

We hope that the president might actually be an earlier incarnation of Donald Trump, the one who not long ago believed in a woman’s right to choose, sensible curbs on guns and a progressive tax system. That kind of president, with his populist support, could break through gridlock on gun control measures that most Americans want.

We hope and expect that Democrats will continue to champion progressive issues, but not to the point where they reflexively condemn anything a President Trump proposes. For the past eight years, that divisive approach from Congress has paralyzed our country, our courts, and brought rise to an anger that further divided us.

We hope Democrats fulfill their obligation to consider and consent to President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination, so long as that person is someone who is capable and experienced on the bench.

And specifically, is not Ted Cruz.

We hope that Trump, who craves approval, will try to prove wrong the majority of Americans who told pollsters he wasn’t temperamentally suited to be president. (Although we don’t know what polls he, or we, should believe at this point.)

We hope that when bad news arrives at the Oval Office – as it does for all presidents – that he has a cabinet and advisers who can restrain the authoritarianism that surfaced in his campaign.

We pray for that restraint, and for American Muslims, if the bad news is a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

We hope, on this new morning, that our new president will be something greater – and something less dangerous – than he’s shown us thus far.

We hope we were wrong about Donald Trump.

And that we are right about our country.

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