Give Trump a chance

Cecil Whig - - & - Jay Am­brose

— You had gone through elec­tion night, stay­ing up late, switch­ing from chan­nel to chan­nel, learn­ing about the Florida vote, the Ohio vote, see­ing the tear­ful faces of panel mem­bers on PBS and fi­nally learn­ing that yes, in­deed, Don­ald Trump had won the elec­tion.

It’s a shock with a good side: Hil­lary Clin­ton did not win. Then you learn Trump is go­ing to give his vic­tory speech. Heaven help us, you think.

But no, he did not come out and say lock her up. He ac­tu­ally made kind re­marks about Clin­ton, how she had so du­ti­fully served her coun­try, for in­stance. He called for unity, just as both Clin­ton and Pres­i­dent Barack Obama would the next day. He seemed hum­ble. He seemed pleased but se­ri­ous. He seemed pres­i­den­tial.

Let’s hope he stays there. He just might if he sur­rounds him­self with bril­liant peo­ple and lis­tens to them. If he does not, our demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tions will likely only let him get away with so much. He does have some good pol­icy ideas that have evolved from ear­lier sim­plic­i­ties, though you have to worry about trade and the wall and whether he will be pru­dently wise on for­eign pol­icy.

Keep in mind, how­ever, that there were lots of wor­ries with Clin­ton, too, such as her con­vert­ing the Supreme Court into a left­ist oli­garchy. That just won’t hap­pen now. The Con­sti­tu­tion lives an­other day.

Trump’s cam­paign was a some­times mean-spir­ited clown act, but guess what? The cam­paign of his ri­val was not that dif­fer­ent and we got some­thing dis­rep­utable from too much of the press at the same time.

We had all kinds of ed­i­to­ri­al­iz­ing in news sto­ries, and equally as bad were too many TV jour­nal­ists fo­cus­ing on poll­sters whose tech­niques may have to be aban­doned for more ef­fec­tive crys­tal balls the next time around. Of course, even the best of polls do not see very far ahead, and so why was

WASHINGTON

it that so much time was spent day af­ter day an­a­lyz­ing them while a host of is­sues im­por­tant to the na­tion went barely men­tioned? At the same time, Clin­ton was avoid­ing press con­fer­ences and for­ever hud­dling with fat cat con­trib­u­tors. She fo­cused more on at­tack­ing Trump than ad­dress­ing is­sues, had her own dal­liance with vul­gar­ity in the rap­pers she in­vited on stage with her and spent three times as much as Trump on mostly nasty TV ads.

Here is one thing Trump did that counted a lot. He ad­dressed low-ed­u­ca­tion, low-in­come whites whose des­per­a­tion is sig­naled by an in­creas­ing death rate that has much to do with drugs, al­co­hol and sui­cide. He did not prom­ise them free­bies. He promised them jobs of a kind that have not come their way for a long time. These are peo­ple who have been ig­nored by many in Washington and who are clearly dis­dained by not a few high-and-mighty left­ists. They are ac­cus­tomed to prom­ises, not ac­tion. They also hap­pen to vote.

It is not true, how­ever, that Trump got few votes from the col­lege-ed­u­cated. With­out their help, and the help of many women, some mil­len­ni­als and Lati­nos, he would not have won. He re­ceived their help in part be­cause of the cor­rupt al­ter­na­tive, peo­ple sick and tired of the past eight Obama years, and such vis­i­ta­tions as Obamacare. What Trump did not do in his cam­paign was much ad­ver­tis­ing or much es­tab­lish­ment of a ground game. Was it in­ep­ti­tude, or were we learn­ing that the old way of things is not the suc­cess­ful way of things?

What Trump needs now is self­con­trol and ca­pa­ble aides as well as crit­ics and po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents who give him a chance to prove he is not Ar­maged­don with golden hair.

Jay Am­brose is an colum­nist for Tri­bune News Ser­vice. Read­ers may email him at speak­to­jay@aol. com.

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