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Truce or consequences.

December 7, 2016

As President-elect Trump moves forward in weighing his options for important administration posts, particularly for Secretary of State, it seems as though no one has noticed the election is over.

For good or ill, for better or for worse, Donald J. Trump is the 45th President of the United States.

Somehow, that hasn’t seemed to sink in, certainly  with the opposition but now even with some of his supporters.

Through no fault of our own, we, the people have been conditioned to expect a certain pro forma sort of Chief Executive.

It’s odd that a nation that has historically so prized individuality is now so shaken by the reality of a man who most assuredly came to office as an American original.

Surely, after watching this man throughout the primary and general election seasons, no one seriously thought he was going to be a cardboard cutout of the “”ideal” President.

It was nearly impossible to get him to deliver ‘presidential” speeches, and he almost came too late to the realization that to be President, he had to play one on TV.

It wasn’t that his core principles differed between the “real” Donald Trump and the stage-managed version, but it was crystal clear that the country and indeed the world wasn’t ready for a candidate who simply says  what he means.

In the interview with Matt Lauer, President-elect Trump said something that should perhaps have received more attention, although on such a partisan show as “Today”, it was underplayed.

He said “It’s not about revenge.”

Even though it seems odd to people who are still fighting the Civil War, and even to those who can’t forgive a bad call in a football game from two years ago, it is time to move forward.

There is a difference between combat and revenge. If you run afoul of the President-elect now, it will be for something you do, now.

Just as the Japan of 1941 is not even remotely the same country in 2016, there is a sharp line of demarcation  between fighting for the job of President, and actually doing it.

Although much of the Time Magazine Person of the Year article noted accurately that America is a divided nation, President-elect Trump didn’t run on a platform of keeping it divided.

As proof of that, there is the matter of the Cabinet interviews.

Cabinet member picking is the current spectator sport of the political world. Both sides sound remarkably the same from the bleachers.

“O-o-o-o-h,  he’s talking to Mitt Romney!  How in the world could he even consider the man who was the face and voice of the Dump Trump movement!?!”

Um, how about because the election is over, he won, and it isn’t about revenge?

Mitt Romney and his fellow 2012 rival,  Utahn Jon Huntsman, have run for President.

Presumably they did so because they actually cared about America. They also have considerable overseas experience, especially in the Chinese sector.

It will be fascinating to see which person, if any, of the people the media thinks is on the shortlist actually makes the final cut.

Given that the final two or three will have acceptable resumes, it is likely to turn on which one will give President Trump the best mix of fealty and independent thinking he is hoping to achieve.

The best any new President can do is pick the best players for the starting lineup.  That doesn’t mean that there is no bench from which to choose going forward. Given the wide variety of people transiting the lobby of Trump Towers, it’s likely he will have a very good idea of who’s on that bench.

In the meantime, it would be nice, if novel, for the media and the Twitter crowd to enter into the peace talks.

There is not the chance of a snowball in hell that President Trump will make the right move every single time.

Life happens. Just like the outgoing 44th President, we will have the opportunity to rate this President through the lens of history, and we will live through this term, just as we have managed to live through the last two.

But it might be nice if this country as a whole could at least call a truce for a little while. Not that it’s likely to happen, but it would be nice.

However, if that’s not your schtick, remember the words of Admiral Yamamoto upon learning of the successful raid on Pearl Harbor on this day in 1941.


From → op-ed

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