Donald Trump’s victory last night stunned prognosticators.
America spoke and demanded change to the status quo. After an exhausting election season marked by stress and cynicism, today should be about optimism.
This paper called for Trump to step aside. Although we will never condone the behavior and comments we condemned, today we congratulate him on a stunning victory won against tough odds.
Now it is incumbent upon Mr. Trump to show he is up to the task of leading the most powerful nation on earth.
Two-thirds of Americans, according to exit polling, still question whether Trump is “honest and trustworthy.” An even greater margin still believes he is temperamentally “unfit” to serve in the office to which America has elected him. Mr. Trump must overcome weaknesses exposed during his campaign and lift himself along with the nation.
Millions of voters who supported other candidates are undoubtedly disappointed with this outcome. Yet, Americans should accept the results gracefully and now work to support the nation’s newest leader.
In turn, Mr. Trump must act immediately to bandage the country’s wounds, ameliorate America’s animosities, restore the nation’s trust and prove he can do the work required.
During this campaign, there were enough scandals to turn a tabloid into a tome. The rhetoric has been unprecedented in its divisiveness. Paradoxically, the electoral victor will enter the White House with low favorability.
Nonetheless, Trump has captured America’s attention in an unprecedented way, and the electorate has chosen him to change how Washington works. Consequently, it is Trump who has both the opportunity and the responsibility to bridge the nation’s profound political divide.
It is no longer the time to relitigate Mr. Trump’s weaknesses. It is time to help him rebuild the nation.
We trust that Trump and his transition team will understand the need to work across divisions of party, class and race in order to address the country’s most pressing policy problems.
As we have said before, the economy needs to lift more Americans from poverty. Terror must be thwarted. The national debt must be addressed by reforming social security and Medicare. Additionally, immigration policy, health care, taxation and defense all require close attention. If Trump can address these issues fairly he will go a long way to regaining public confidence.
We congratulate Mr. Trump on his victory. We pray that he will approach this office with soberness, honor and dignity. As he does so we hope wounds will mend and the country will work together to solve the pressing problems that have held the nation back from greater growth and prosperity.