A wish list for Trump

I’ll accept our 45th president, but I’d like to offer a few suggestions for the next four years

President Elect Donald Trump
President Elect Donald Trump

The presidential term of Donald Trump begins this month and, frankly, I’m relieved the election — and the season of meanness — is behind us.

However, I suspect the anger and angst, the rancor and recriminations still linger. I’ve been as guilty as anyone of hanging on to the resentments of the past six months.

At one point, I was thinking I didn’t want to get together for dinner with a couple who didn’t vote the way I did in the presidential election.

What would we talk about? How would we behave in the aftermath?

I realized it would all be fine if I managed to act like a grownup. We’re good people. We share common values. We generally respect each other. We all care about this country.

It’s time for me and all good citizens — including those in Washington — to let the resentments go.

May President Trump and his allies forgo the gloating and focus on the business of governing that lies ahead. That’s going to require some new moves in this dance of democracy.

The November election, and the primaries that preceded it, were as much about punishing career politicians as choosing a president, as much about “throwing the rascals out” as bringing The Donald in … to the White House.

I hope President Trump understands that and will act accordingly.

To that end, I’ve got a few suggestions, a wish list, that falls somewhere between Pollyannaish and apocalyptic.


Willingness to make a deal ought to be one of the defining values of the Trump Administration, from the man who wrote the book (The Art of the Deal).

Folks will quickly tire of the angry and aggressive Trump, the bluster and the bully. They could use more of the hopeful, insightful and thoughtful version.

Experienced staff

I hope President Trump appoints experienced government bureaucrats to oversee at least some of the agencies.

Government experience is extremely helpful in making sure things work. Medicare works. The Social Security Administration works. FEMA now works, thanks to the dismissal of its disastrous director, Michael D. Brown, following the agency’s slow response to Hurricane Katrina.

President George W. Bush learned the hard way that appointing an outsider like Brown — the former commissioner of the Arabian Horse Association — didn’t necessarily qualify him to run a federal emergency-response organization.

A little bit of government experience “ain’t” so bad.

Infrastructure, jobs

President Trump can get started by making a deal with his infrastructure plan to rebuild America’s highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools and hospitals.

He thinks private investors can be persuaded to foot the bill, without government spending, in return for tax credits.

I believe Democrats will roll their eyes over the financing. But they must like the idea of creating jobs — higher-paying construction jobs — in their backyards.

A compromise ought to be found somewhere in the middle ground between Capitol Hill and the White House.

Climate awareness

As long as I’m “dealing” and dreaming, I hope President Trump reserves the right to change his mind, alter his stance, back off his promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act and “cancel” American participation in the Paris climate accord.

Climate change is real and 98 percent of the world’s scientists can tell the President the globe is warming — and that reducing carbon emissions can slow it down.

Forward movement

Several million Americans, I’m willing to bet, would tell him they like Obamacare’s provision preventing insurers from refusing coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.

Mr. President, Tinker, trim and deal. Don’t repeal.

When I was younger, I was more certain in my beliefs. The issue was black or white. I thought you stuck to your guns, come hell or high water.

Now, at twice that age, I’m not as certain I possess the ultimate answer to anything.

I’m more interested in getting something done than going under with my self-righteousness intact.