Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Pull For The New Pilot?

I've read a lot of folks say that we need to root for Trump now. He's the pilot of the plane, whether you like him or not. Stuff like that.

I'll root for him if he does good things. If he appoints smart, thoughtful people to positions of authority. If he places tremendous value on science and our climate. If he is inclusive in his actions, words and attitudes towards all our citizens. If he actively promotes the American values of freedom of speech, press and religion. If he is properly wary of autocratic regimes throughout the world. If he keeps his business interests separate from his administration. If he values women's rights. If he represents America in a civil way domestically and internationally. If he seeks to subdue the ever-present danger of violence and the easy proliferation of weapons throughout our country. If he seeks to help middle and working class folks who are having trouble finding a new way in a world of free trade and automation.

If he doesn't do these things....if rather he seeks to suppress women's rights, marry his business interests with his administration, further marginalize the vulnerable, say uncivil things, appoint people who value ideology over science, act like a weak-minded bully and empower the worst among us, embarrass America internationally with his tendency to be unprepared, further enrich the entrenched wealthy and turn his back on the working poor, admire and ally with autocrats, persecute his political foes.....etc. etc.

If he does these things instead, then I hope he fails spectacularly. And I hope that we will learn to never let such a person even come close to being president again. I just hope that folks don't get hurt in the process. I really, really, really hope that folks don't get hurt.

David Brooks, who has earned a lot more of my respect through this cycle, rightly pointed out that civility and decency, a couple of the many things that Trump lacks, are not just nice things to have when you can get them. They are foundational qualities for our union. We can't get far without them.
So should we root for Trump? That's up to him. And it doesn't look good at all so far.

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