President-elect Donald Trump stunned the nation Tuesday, winning a divisive campaign against Hillary Clinton that left America split ideologically. With such a political divide to bridge, the question now facing Donald Trump is how this first-time politician can unite the country.
Healing the political wounds created by the 2016 presidential election will not be an easy task, and Donald Trump may need to take radical steps to unite the country moving forward. While highly improbable, taking any of these four steps would help America unite under a Donald Trump presidency in the coming months.
End The Call To Deport Illegal Immigrants
Donald Trump made building a wall and deporting illegal immigrants a central theme in the 2016 presidential campaign. In an August speech, Donald Trump said deporting illegal immigrants was the first thing he would do when he took office.
"Day One, my first hour in office, those people are gone. And you can call it deported if you want. The press doesn't like that term. You can call it whatever the hell you want. They're gone."To unite the country, the president-elect can certainly continue to build his wall, but Donald Trump should end the call to deport the millions of individuals in the country without the proper documentation. The Washington Post pointed out the economic disaster deporting millions of illegal immigrants would have while estimating the government would absorb billions of dollars in expenses.
In addition to economic damage, the Pew Research Center unearthed sociological damage as it found that 66 percent of the 11.1 million illegal immigrants living in America in 2014 have lived in the country for more than a decade. These illegal immigrants have laid down roots, started a family, and now account for five percent of the workforce. Deporting members of or the entire family could disrupt communities, robbing the country from its chance to unite.
Keep (And Overhaul) Obamacare
Another plank of the Republican's platform, Donald Trump pledged to repeal and replace Obamacare -- the Affordable Care Act -- with a better plan once he took office. According to CBS News, getting rid of Obamacare was part of his plan for his first 100 days.
That was until Donald Trump met with President Barack Obama earlier this week as the two sat down to discuss Trump's transition to the White House. Since meeting with the healthcare bill's namesake, the president-elect's position has softened as he has agreed to review his stance on the controversial bill.
"I told [Obama] I will look at his suggestions, and out of respect, I will do that."To unite the country, however, Donald Trump should consider amending the current law as an "olive branch" to Democrats who like the bill, the New York Times suggested. Two of the key provisions that both Democrats and Republicans alike support are covering individuals with pre-existing conditions as well as allowing children to stay on their parents' plan until turning 26.
Obamacare also remains intensely popular among the uninsured, as more than 11.4 million individuals are expected to take advantage of the November open enrollment period, CNN reported earlier this week. To unite the country, Donald Trump should convince Republicans to overhaul Obamacare instead of repealing it in a bipartisan gesture both parties could support.
Find Bernie Sanders A Cabinet Position
After a divisive campaign, few moves would help unite both parties and the country as would Donald Trump naming Bernie Sanders to a cabinet-level position in his presidential administration. One such position Bernie Sanders could fill is Secretary of Education. According to Politico, Donald Trump has not considered many individuals for this position as he's struggled with what role it will play in his administration.
Precedent exists for United States presidents to name members of the opposing parties to their administration, according to Politifact. Barack Obama named three Republicans to cabinet-level posts in 2009 (although one ultimately backed out just days later). Donald Trump could easily add Bernie Sanders to that list, helping to unite the country by selecting a politician so many Americans identified with during the Democratic primaries.
There's no evidence supporting the assumption Bernie Sanders would accept a cabinet-level position should Donald Trump offer one to the United States senator. While vowing to oppose Donald Trump on certain matters such sexist and anti-environmental issues, Bernie Sanders struck an otherwise conciliatory tone with his congratulatory statement to the president-elect Wednesday.
"Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media. People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids -- all while the very rich become much richer. To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him."
Pardon Hillary Clinton
Donald Trump promised during the second debate to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state under the Obama administration. Even Wednesday morning after the election, Donald Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway would not rule out the possibility according to the New York Post.
This move may sound like the most radical one of all, but Donald Trump could do more to unite the country with one symbolic gesture than taking every other step altogether. Issuing Hillary Clinton a pardon for any crimes committed -- despite FBI director James Comey's insistence none occurred -- would prove Donald Trump wants to unite the country, The Hill's Brent Budowsky wrote in a recent article.
"Championing a pardon for Hillary Clinton would be a healing move, a historic gesture and a profound early move to demonstrate that Donald Trump wants truly wants to be the president of all the people, in word and deed, for a nation that desperately hungers for unity."The only thing that might prevent Donald Trump from performing this symbolic act to unite the country and heal its wounds is that Barack Obama also can pardon Hillary Clinton, Politico explained. Typically, outgoing presidents often offer clemency for multiple individuals, and precedent exists to excuse Hillary Clinton from anything that has happened from her time as secretary of state, events surrounding the Clinton Foundation and even her speeches at campaign stops.
What policies -- radical or otherwise -- do you think Donald Trump should try to unite the country after the 2016 presidential election? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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