No time ma­chine for prom­ises

San Francisco Chronicle - - OPINION -

Re­gard­ing “Trump’s quest for unity likely to fail” (Jan. 18): Jonah Gold­berg is right that the in­com­ing pres­i­dent will not prove to be a uni­fy­ing fig­ure, quite the op­po­site, but Gold­berg dodges the true rea­sons why. Putting aside for a mo­ment the is­sue of Don­ald Trump’s enormous ego, shad­owy ethics and his propen­sity for play­ing loose with the truth, his cab­i­net is com­posed en­tirely of peo­ple with ex­treme view­points that are di­rectly at odds with large swaths of the pop­u­la­tion.

Dur­ing the cam­paign, he promised mil­lions of frus­trated and anx­ious vot­ers a time ma­chine that would take the coun­try back to another era, when fac­to­ries were full of well-paid work­ers in­stead of ro­bots, when there was lit­tle worry over in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion or en­vi­ron­men­tal de­struc­tion and when every­one knew their place in so­ci­ety. When the time ma­chine fails to de­liver, I ex­pect some peo­ple will sur­mise that they’ve been had, re­alien­at­ing another large group. The Repub­li­can Congress can be counted on do­ing what the Democrats would do in their po­si­tion; bully the op­po­si­tion, over­reach and deepen the di­vide. I’m not sure what comes next, but unity is not in the fore­cast.

Bill Hilde­brand, Sun­ny­vale

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