We must work with President-elect Trump for U.S. success


Ben Tellefsen

President-elect Donald Trump may have won the electoral college, but he lost the popular vote by a lot.

Ballots are still being counted in some places, but currently Hillary Clinton has received at least 2.5 million more votes than Trump. She’s also received more votes than any U.S. presidential candidate in history besides Barack Obama.

For that reason, Trump has no mandate to enact his proposed ideas. If Trump were a normal politician, the best way to deal with him would be obstructing him in the same way that Republicans have with Obama for eight years —despite him winning two elections overwhelmingly.

But Trump is not normal. He has shown himself to be ignorant of how government works and to be without a moral or ideological compass.

Anyone who believes that Congress will work to stop Trump has obviously already forgotten the events of the election.

After calling Trump’s attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel “the textbook definition of a racist comment,” House Speaker Paul Ryan proceeded to endorse him.

Since the election, Ryan has shown little willingness to criticize the President-elect, instead gearing up to use Trump for his own agenda, privatizing Medicare and Social Security. And although the 48 Democrats in the Senate do have some power, numerous laws will still end up passing through the Republican-controlled Congress.

For all these reasons, those opposed to Trump must work with him, offering him any advice and constructive criticism he is willing to receive, as well as trying to find common ground on issues. Because if the opposition doesn’t work with Trump, despicable characters will. Many already are.

Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn and Jeff Sessions are all cabinet members or advisors that Trump has proposed, and none of them inspire confidence. RNC chairman Reince Preibus and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner will also likely be in Trump’s administration, and while neither are suspected to have bad intentions, neither have had experience working in government.

I don’t know whether Trump is in his heart a racist or a sexist. But I do know that Trump is a petty man who can easily be manipulated by people like Bannon, or worse, by foreign actors.

A person with control of the military, international relations, judiciary appointments, and the entire federal bureaucracy cannot be surrounded only by people who aren’t disgusted with his conduct.

Former and currently serving Democrats (and Republicans who opposed him during the campaign), especially talented policy experts, should take a job in his administration or offer him counsel if he will accept it.

I don’t like Trump, but I want him to succeed — not in enacting his campaign promises — but in doing his job decently for four years. Our country depends on it.