Without endorsement from major newspapers, without support from the political class, without leading in polls, and withstanding late campaigning by the popular President Barack Obama, Donald Trump turned blue states red and dumped Hillary Clinton by the wayside.
Clinton was a focus-grouped candidate (remember the Listening Tour?) with a fake cause (first woman president). She was cynical, contemptuous, and corrupt. She had even cheated on debate questions. Yet George Clooney, Bruce Springsteen, and LeBron James backed her. And she had at least $700 million.
People looked beyond her rhetoric, though, and beyond the glitz. In the grossness that is Donald Trump they saw the possibility for last-minute change before America tears itself apart.
As Shelby Steele wrote in the Wall Street Journal on election day, “Societies, like individuals, have intuitions. Donald Trump is an intuition.”
Let’s hope intuition is right. Meanwhile, here are a few suggestions for President-elect Trump and his administration:
- Repatriate corporate wealth. Trillions of dollars are waiting offshore as corporations avoid the punishingly high tax rate. Declare a tax holiday for bringing back this wealth. Lowering the rate will encourage American corporations to stop merging with foreign ones and moving their headquarters. The construction of new factories should be incentivized.
- Lay off the quantitative easing and the Fed’s manipulations. Let the economy breathe.
- Remove roadblocks to development and growth. In California, for example, there should be desalinization plants and affordable new housing options. And rather than a wall, let’s build a pipeline from the Gulf of California to the Salton Sea, which without a new inflow of water is an environmental disaster waiting to happen.
- Stop subsidizing inefficient green energy and transportation. The promise to develop oil and gas resources is a good thing, but there also needs to be corresponding increases in delivery and refining capacity. Ethanol subsidies should be reviewed as well.
- Can something be done about huge payouts in lawsuits? Everybody is affected as insurance premiums keep rising. Because you’re not beholden to trial lawyers as campaign contributors, it should be possible to advance reforms.
- Don’t feud with reporters—it’s undignified.
- Feature Melania, who is formidable in her own way.
- Above all, as long as you’re being blunt, please be bluntly truthful. Even when a mistake is made, it’s easier to own up. The truth commands respect.
As for the social mess, with racists and anarchists running amok, may economic prosperity serve as a unifying force, lifting all Americans, and may you and your administration come through with the deft leadership that’s required. As you said, “We’re going to get to work immediately for the American people, and we’re going to be doing a job that hopefully you will be so proud of your President. You will be so proud.”
May you be right about that, too.