The inauguration of a new United States president is a time – however briefly it might last – for a nation to come together to celebrate the peaceful transfer of power and the shared optimism for better days to come.
The 2016 presidential campaign was often bitter and divisive, and fingers can be pointed in all directions when identifying the culprits. From a fractured media establishment to hyper partisanship that too often punishes compromise and rewards acrimony, voices of reason and respect have a difficult time fighting through the clutter.
President Trump may seem an unlikely figure to unite the nation. His bluntness, political incorrectness and unbridled ego too often serve to ignite the passions of those who are already predisposed to oppose him personally and reject his policies generally.
And yet, this is the man who wrote “The Art of the Deal” and who has taken particular pride as a businessman throughout the years in bringing people together to make agreements. If he can apply those same talents to Congress and the nation, it would be his greatest achievement.
Politics is the art of compromise, an art that is no longer appreciated in many political circles. To achieve lasting accomplishments, President Trump will need cooperation from both parties. In so doing, not everyone will be happy with the concessions that they will have to make along the way.
But our nation needs progress on a number of fronts – the economy, fighting drugs and crime, rebuilding our military, combating terrorism and addressing hot spots around the world. Making headway in those areas cannot be merely a Republican or Democrat effort.
It has been suggested that although he won the presidency as a Republican, Donald Trump is in reality the ultimate independent outsider. As such, he may have a unique ability to reach across both aisles.
The Times-Gazette was noted and, in some cases, ridiculed by some national media outlets for being one of just six newspapers in the entire nation (and the only newspaper in Ohio) to endorse Trump for president. We stand by that endorsement, but we also express our hope that Trump will seize the moment.
He can do so by rising above partisanship, rancor and his own hubris to exhibit the skills he developed as the ultimate dealmaker, finding ways to bring lawmakers from both sides of the aisle together, reach out to a divided nation, and truly make America great again. Our new president deserves our prayers, and the chance to prove himself up to the task.