Now that we are five weeks into Trump's transition to the White House, we have enough perspective to offer some thoughtful comments. I am not one of those who say Trump is not my president. According to the rules, he won by a comfortable margin in the Electoral College. I reluctantly support him and wish him well, but still fear that his character flaws and foibles augur poorly for the country.
But first, if the GOP is serious about uniting all of us, it should stop promoting those blue and red maps that show Trump territory dwarfing Clinton's. Corn and cacti don't get to vote. People do, and more than 2.3 million of them favored Clinton over Trump. Enough said.
I do find it troubling that Trump is skipping most of his national security briefings in favor of continuing his egocentric "thank you" tour. It's become apparent that he deeply misses the public's adulation and is in need of a regular "fix." This is not a judicious use of time, no matter how smart he thinks he is. The Oval Office calls, and he can't fake it as he did in the debates.
I am thankful to Paul Ryan for holding tutoring sessions with Trump on the Constitution. I hope Trump will realize he has been elected head of the executive branch and not CEO of the United States, where his minions have to obey every whim and command. I also hope he is learning that he cannot jail his political enemies or deny citizenship to flag burners, and he cannot bar certain reporters from his news conferences as he did with his rallies. The Constitution and the Supreme Court consider all of these transgressions serious "no-no's."
Trump continues to bash globalism, trade agreements and their effects on the American worker. It is puzzling that a man who has business interests in 20 countries should disparage international connectedness. He has also outsourced the manufacture of Trump-branded shirts to China, Bangladesh, Honduras and Vietnam, and invested in a partnership with a company in Turkey that makes luxury furniture for the U.S. Why didn't he worry about the impact on North Carolina's textile mills and furniture factories then? Watching what he does and not listening to what he says should be the abiding rule.
If the past few weeks are any indication, Trump is not going to stop his impulsive, petty and vindictive tweets. That means someone close to him has to take his phone away. I don't want an ill-thought-out tweet to embarrass this nation or possibly trigger an international incident with the Chinese, or even worse, North Korea's volatile leader.
I agree with Sarah Palin that Trump's generous incentives to the Carrier Corporation to keep 800 jobs in Indiana were nothing more than crony capitalism. Besides, he had promised to punish the exporting of American jobs and could easily have done so since Carrier's parent corporation, United Technologies, is dependent on lucrative military contracts. So much for the "Art of the Deal."
Some of the saddest aspects of the transition are the growing signs that those who entrusted their fate to Trump and the GOP will soon learn they voted against their best interests. The dismantling of Obamacare and the planned cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security should sting enough to make the moves potent arguments for a return to the party that created these essential programs in the first place.
Much has been written about Trump's hollow promise to "drain the swamp" in Washington, but his incoming Cabinet is full of alligators like Goldman Sachs alums Steven Mnuchin, Steve Bannon and Gary Cohn. Aren't these the people that Clinton gave speeches to and Trump railed against? Talk about bait-and-switch. And, of all candidates, is Elaine Chao, wife of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, really the best choice for secretary of transportation? Her appointment smacked of a quid pro quo for McConnell's blocking the release of Russian hacking proof before the election.
A November 2015 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that nearly seven in 10 Americans agreed with the statement that "I feel angry because our political system seems to only be working for the insiders with money and power, like those on Wall Street or in Washington, rather than it working to help everyday people get ahead." As the French say, "The more things change, the more they remain the same."