Trump’s chal­lenge is to unite the na­tion

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE -

Don­ald Trump faces the daunt­ing task of mak­ing Amer­ica whole again as the uniter-in-chief.

We know Don­ald Trump can cam­paign.

Now we’re about to find out if he can lead. And unite. And heal. It won’t be easy after what tran­spired Tues­day.

A coun­try hun­gry for change turned to a man whose fame rested in part on his abil­ity to in­form peo­ple, ‘You’re Hired,’ and of­fered this un­ex­pected man­date: You’re hired.

Will the bil­lion­aire real es­tate ty­coon — with no mil­i­tary or govern­ment ex­pe­ri­ence — be true to the com­fort­ing words he of­fered in ac­cept­ing the re­sults of a stun­ning tidal wave on Elec­tion Day, or will he re­vert to the bom­bas­tic rhetoric that car­ried him to the White House? Don­ald Trump be­comes com­man­der-in-chief of a frac­tured na­tion.

His shock­ing vic­tory re­vealed an Amer­ica that is an­gry and that has lost trust in its in­sti­tu­tions.

In its govern­ment.

In big busi­ness. In the press. Now Trump faces the daunt­ing task of mak­ing Amer­ica whole again. One of his du­ties im­me­di­ately be­comes healer and uniter-inchief. (That was also the task given to Barack Obama eight long years ago — and it’s clear now he failed.)

Trump will be helped in his mis­sion by a Repub­li­can Se­nate and House. Amer­ica ap­par­ently did not want that much change. They did not turn over con­trol of the Se­nate to Democrats, as ex­pected. The GOP also will again be the ma­jor­ity party in the House.

Here in Penn­syl­va­nia, proof of that resided just un­der the pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates, where Repub­li­can Pat Toomey, de­spite a months long dance around the tense ques­tion of whether or not he would vote for Trump, was sent back to Wash­ing­ton for an­other sixyear term. Toomey, who waited un­til 6:45 p.m. to cast his bal­lot and then sheep­ishly an­nounced to the press that he had in fact backed Trump, edged Demo­crat Katie McGinty by a ra­zor-thin mar­gin.

Trump built his cam­paign on that fis­sure in Amer­i­can so­ci­ety. Tues­day’s elec­toral earth­quake det­o­nated that fis­sure into a gulf sep­a­rat­ing a huge block of dis­af­fected Amer­i­cans an­gry at their elected lead­ers, their govern­ment and the in­sti­tu­tions they be­lieve had be­trayed them.

They sought change. They sought an out­sider, some­one not of the “elite” they be­lieve had spurned — in­deed at times mocked — them. They awaited an out­sider, an agent of change.

En­ter Don­ald Trump, a 70-year-old re­al­ity TV star who said what was on his mind, and didn’t es­pe­cially seem to care who he of­fended along the way.

He turned his vit­riol on an easy tar­get, some­one who epit­o­mized ev­ery­thing those un­happy masses loathed. En­ter Hil­lary Clin­ton.

You can make the ar­gu­ment that Trump turned Amer­i­can pol­i­tics on its head by de­liv­er­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton’s head on a plat­ter. She be­came the sym­bol for what so many in the na­tion de­spised. She was not a hero­ine look­ing to shat­ter Amer­ica’s fi­nal glass ceil­ing so much as a ca­reer bu­reau­crat who had so many trust and trans­parency is­sues.

Dur­ing his cam­paign, Trump re­peated one mantra over and over: Make Amer­ica Great Again.

We hope he’s right. But then, we never thought oth­er­wise.

We al­ways thought this was the great­est coun­try and democ­racy on Earth. We hope the pres­i­dent-elect sees the val­ues and be­liefs that Amer­ica holds at its core, a bea­con for all who seek refuge in its lov­ing arms.

Too of­ten dur­ing the cam­paign Trump in­stead veered into ugly rhetoric that of­ten stood in stark con­trast to the ideals that in­deed make Amer­ica great. You’re hired, Mr. Trump. Now be good to your word.

Now Trump faces the daunt­ing task of mak­ing Amer­ica whole again. One of his du­ties im­me­di­ately be­comes healer and uniter-inchief.

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