The world that still doesn’t understand the success of Donald Trump was shocked again last night, not just with his upset victory over Hillary Clinton, but with his gracious victory speech that called for unity and a new beginning in Washington. They forget that Trump has always been gracious in victory.
Trump should continue with this approach: he should be both strong and humble. After all, not only is it his duty as president to work towards representing all Americans, but he doesn’t have enough Republican senators to break a filibuster and therefore will need to build bridges both within and outside of his party. He will have to use his skills for negotiation to make real progress for our country.
Americans also expect to see real progress and change, and Trump needs to build on his relationship with the public by updating them on his progress and challenges, proving that Washington is accountable to them.
Trump can undo great damage by reversing some of President Obama’s executive orders immediately. But bigger policy changes will require building bipartisan agreement with which we have a major problem. To repeal Obamacare, for example, he needs a reality-forcing event. Administering the program in accordance with law needs to be done without the extra-legal shifting of funds to insurance companies that the Obama Administration has used to band aid the program together. Also, Congress should remove its special exemption so that both Democrats and Republicans have a deep personal interest in repealing and replacing the law with something affordable, accessible, and one that gives choice and control to the people.
Trump can also make huge progress by growing and revitalizing the economy, not only through tax policy but by prioritizing regulatory reform. Our current system is hopelessly out of date: a disorganized accretion of decades of costly, often ineffective regulatory rules. Trump could appoint a series of special committees, agency by agency, to recommend streamlining those rules and making them principled and outcome-based, something would could draw in bipartisan support.
While Director Comey, who, having lost the faith of the FBI, should resign or be fired, Trump must keep personal distance and clearly trust the rule of law. He must eschew the practice of retribution in the matter of the Clinton Foundation and Mrs. Clinton.
Trump’s win, by definition, is a stunning repudiation of the Acela Corridor and its agenda. Draining the swamp and pushing a reform agenda that restores both our economy and our trust in our institutions will be a top priority, and so will rebuilding our defenses as we refashion social welfare programs that help people move up the economic ladder and help them to dignity rather than dependency.
By embracing the right priorities and tactics, Trump will unite the GOP, win the support of some reform-minded Democrats, and put the country on a better path.