Editorial: For Donald Trump, Godspeed: for the nation, let us heal

 
The Daily Herald Editorial Board
Updated 11/10/2016 12:50 PM
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  • In his victory speech Wednesday morning, President-elect Donald Trump calls "for us to come together as a united people."

    In his victory speech Wednesday morning, President-elect Donald Trump calls "for us to come together as a united people." AP Photo/John Locher

We have, as we expressed in this space two weeks ago, strong reservations about Donald J. Trump.

Today, we hope we've been wrong.

Today, we wish him Godspeed.

He will be our 45th president, and we all have a stake in his success.

For the doubters -- and we count ourselves among them -- we hope he can prove to be more able than they thought he could be.

For 17 months, Trump has surprised all his skeptics and we hope he surprises once more. For 17 months, he has done better than expected and we hope he does better than expected once more.

It is dangerous to attempt 24-hour analysis of history's momentous events, so as we wipe the sleep from our eyes, we'll avoid trying to do so today.

It's also a bit simplistic to summarize the explanations in a quick paragraph or two. The story of Donald Trump's triumph is more complex than that.

Like so much of the nation, we were -- still are -- stunned by his unconventional victory.

But to say we were caught off guard, saw no hint of it, well, that's not true. We devoted a lengthy passage in our endorsement editorial to the great frustrations of Middle America, the millions who felt unheard and talked down to.

Our opposition to Trump was not an opposition to that message but to Trump as the message bearer.

There will be much to say in the days ahead about the concrete issues baked into this election, and we will share our modest advice.

But for now, our greatest concern is the division within our nation, the shouting that overwhelms hearing.

Already on this, the day after the election, we've heard some disappointed supporters of Hillary Clinton attribute her defeat to bigotry, to minimize the size of the disaffected revolt by noting Clinton's place in the popular vote.

Please, we offer this kindly: You're not listening. Both are points to be made but to turn them into shorthand is to miss the message. The uprising of the populace was more than that and bigger than that.

We have to learn to listen to each other if we are to repair the divisions among us.

We have to listen.

That is the fundamental message all sides must take from this election.

In a concession speech Wednesday that was more eloquent and inspiring than any she'd delivered in her campaign, Clinton advised, "We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead."

In his victory speech early Wednesday morning, Trump sought to reassure.

"It is time," the president-elect said. "I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be a president for all Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I'm reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country."

That is an encouraging start. With no small bit of anxiety, we as a nation will bear witness to where it leads.

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