Donald Trump has been elected to replace President Barack Obama as the top representative of all American citizens. Where the election of political elite Hillary Clinton would have solidified the gains of affluent women, who are far from the disenfranchised of this country, in the field of politics, Donald Trump’s started his bid for Presidency with the promise to empower all the men and women of the United States, even though he is a wealthy elite himself. While Trump’s victory defies his underdog status, as well as widespread displeasure with his behavior throughout the campaign, history will judge his Presidency on how well he represents all of the American People and how well he leads the effort to address the numerous issues the American People face as a country.
Although voter turnout was relatively strong and voters chose not to elect Hillary Clinton, President Donald Trump must now go to work for all the American People, including those who did not vote for him and those who opposed his bid for Presidency. That is the nature of the job. Trump has achieved victory in the interview process; however, the fact that he has been hired as the President means he now has the responsibility to serve all of the American People. To do this, he must listen to the voices of all Americans across the political and socioeconomic spectrum then work with Congress to execute the will of the American People. In other words, he must govern based on consensus instead of creating and attacking enemies.
The November 8th voter was democratic, yet voter displeasure highlights the ill-democratic elements of the American political system. Despite deeply entrenched voter apathy and a traditional lack of civic engagement, there were voters who chose to abstain from supporting any candidate. There are many who say there is no such thing as an “abstain” vote and others who claim nonvoters cannot complain, but voter participation only legitimizes the rule of the elected. Despite the obsession Americans have with voter turnout, a democracy requires people to do more than simply vote for one candidate or another. Democracy requires citizens to participant in government on a regular basis and, most importantly, dissent when government representatives do not represent the interests of citizens.
Just as President Obama and Congressional Democrats misinterpreted their 2008 victory as a green light to pursue a Left-wing agenda, President Trump and Congressional Republicans face the same risk. It is important to remember that 2016 was not an endorsement of Donald Trump and Republican public policy priorities. It was more a repudiation of Hillary Clinton and, to a lesser extent, a check on Left-wing policies. Donald Trump was able to become President, because the DNC used its influence to prevent viable alternatives to Hillary Clinton and actively promoted a political elite who displayed an I-know-best attitude and refused to take responsibility for her misuse of power when in government. With his often disparaging reactions to criticism and dissent, Trump faces the prospect of similar backlash should he prove himself a hypocrite.
Donald Trump has a choice: he can either try to force his rule onto the country based on what he believes the country needs or he can seek to execute the collective will of the American People. Right now, the majority is a collection of minority political factions who find their views and public policy priorities in conflict. While there are numerous differences in how these factions might use the power of government, they do share common interests as Americans. To learn where Americans can and will come together in order to properly govern, Donald Trump needs to listen, especially to those who disagree with him. The 2016 Election spent little time discussing public policy options. If Donald Trump wants to be a successful President, he must now do so.
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