Over the weekend, liberal and conservative pundits alike were falling over themselves to implore us to give President-Elect a chance. A chance to do what, exactly, is terrifying to think about. But let’s assume the best. Let’s say we do give Mr. Trump a chance to prove himself. What would that look like?
Here’s a list of actions Trump could take before his oath of office to prove that he’s serious about governing as a president for all the people. Note that this is not all-inclusive, and there are still pages of policy proposals that I’d vociferously oppose him. These are just the issues that go above-and-beyond mere political disagreement.
- Validate the ongoing protests with something like, “I respect their right to organize and their passion for our country’s future. I am their president too, and I hope to earn their trust in the coming years.”
- Confirm that his stupid fucking wall was a pipe dream, and that any border enforcement will be much more reasonable.
- Repudiate his running mate and confirm that LGBT rights will be protected in a Trump administration.
- Revoke his promise to ban and/or register Muslims on the basis of their religion or nationality. Confirm that, while we will “extreme vet” anyone who enters regardless of origin, everybody who wants to come here will have the opportunity no matter their race or religion.
- Unequivocally condemn the acts of violence and hatred against Jews, Muslims, women, gays and racial minorities that have occurred since his election.
- Confirm that the US will remain a staunch ally to NATO, and that a Trump administration will categorically oppose the use of nuclear weapons.
- Promise that, under a Trump administration, torture of enemy combatants will never occur.
- Promise that not a single person will lose health coverage as a result of ACA change or repeal.
- Assure us that he will accept the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server and apologize for the abhorrent threat to jail her.
- Apologize for demonizing journalists and ensure an open a free press.
- Follow up on his campaign promise to disallow lobbyists in a Trump White House.
- Take back his call for a nationwide stop-and-frisk.
Why, as an opponent of Trump and everything he stands for, am I comfortable giving him this chance, especially given that most of them are highly reasonable requests that every other Republican candidate would have no issue fulfilling? Because he’ll never accomplish a single line of it. In fact, he’s already gone against several of them. He told hate criminals to “stop it,” but only along with the caveat that he didn’t think any of it was actually happening. He condemned the protests against him before offering a milquetoast walkback. He’s already hired several lobbyists on his transition team and defended the move because ‘gradual steps are needed.’ And worst of all, he’s hired Steve Bannon, a literal white supremacist, to be his chief adviser.
In the first seven days since the election, he’s already proved himself to be every bit as vile as his campaign. As far as I’m concerned, we’ve already given Trump his chance. Fascists don’t get a second one.