Donald Trump became the victor of the 2016 presidential election four weeks ago. While many Americans rejoice by the election results, others see only impending doom. Tens of thousands of protesters and rioters clogged the streets throughout the country, chanting, “Not my president.” Audience members of the popular Broadway production Hamiliton showed their dissatisfaction for Trump by booing at vice president-elect Mike Pence as he watched the show.
Like millions of Americans, Trump was not my choice for president. His lack of morality and public decency disturbed me. Privately, I viewed Trump as more of a billionaire playboy than as the Republican nominated presidential candidate.
I also privately applauded the editors of the Deseret News when they called Trump “to step down from his pursuit of the American presidency,” and in turn let a more virtuous leader stand in his place. I also agreed with Mitt Romney when he called the reality TV star “a phony” and “a fraud.”
Yet I accept Trump as president-elect of the United States of America. I don’t suddenly believe he is moral and upright in his personal life, but I do believe democracy has chosen.
I still disagree with some of his words, but I was surprised by his unusual sobriety in both his acceptance speech and in his 60 Minutes interview.
Of course, sobriety alone doesn’t constitute a good president, but maybe he’ll give us more good surprises.
President Barack Obama, who viciously opposed a Trump presidency, encouraged the public to remain open to the new president-elect and give time for him to adjust to new responsibilities.
“I think it is important for us to let him make his decisions,” Obama said on Nov. 14 in a press conference to the nation. “The American people will judge over the course of the next couple of years whether they like what they see.”
I don’t believe Obama was sacrificing his own political viewpoints or dismissing his own Trump concerns. He instead showed civility, graciousness and a willingness to look beyond himself for the sake of unity.
Romney set aside his differences to congratulate the president-elect.
“Best wishes for our duly elected president: May his victory speech be his guide and preserving the Republic his aim,” Romney said on Twitter.
I believe it is important for us as citizens of the United States to view the president-elect with an open mind. We are not going to agree with everything an elected leader does or says. We live in a democracy, so it’s normal to disagree with some of their decisions.
I disagree with the current president on Obamacare and social issues like gay marriage and abortion. However, I applaud Obama for his foreign relationships, especially the unity he began to instill between us and Cuba.
Like Trump, Obama was also not my candidate of choice for president in 2012, yet I still have found issues and shared beliefs that I can affirm and support.
President Thomas S. Monson and his prophetic counselors released a statement the day following the election.
“We invite Americans everywhere, whatever their political persuasion, to join us in praying for the president-elect, for his new administration and for elected leaders across the nation and the world,” according to the Nov. 9 First Presidency letter. “Praying for those in public office is a long tradition among Latter-day Saints. The men and women who lead our nations and communities need our prayers as they govern in these difficult and turbulent times.”
I’m sure Trump and I will disagree on some issues during these next four years; nonetheless, I choose to sustain him with my prayers and an open heart.