Will the Real Donald Trump Please Stand Up

November 10, 2016

This article is not going to talk about the raw and real emotion of this election, as that is well documented elsewhere. In the past few days many of my friends have reached out to me for answers. Why did his happen? What do we do next?

 So this is me being rational and open minded. There is a possibility that this won't be as bad as we fear. But what would that take?

This article is not going to talk about the raw and real emotion of this election, as that is well documented elsewhere. In the past few days many of my friends have reached out to me for answers. Why did his happen? What do we do next?

So this is me being rational and open minded. There is a possibility that this won't be as bad as we fear. But what would that take?

Some days on the campaign trail we saw Decent Trump, kissing babies or even holding up an LGBT flag. Other days we saw Mean Trump, name calling and bullying people all around him.

Because on the campaign trail he was a chameleon, a caricature. While most politicians modify their message for the audience, this man was a performance artist. One could also call him a snake oil salesman but perhaps that is unfair. Or not.

As things got more intense, it was Mean Trump who seemed to always be on the campaign trail. Firing off mean tweets at all hours of the night. Spending valuable days off-message retaliating against people who called him out for his behavior.

When it mattered most in the end, Mean Trump prevailed. When our kids were paying most attention, Mean Trump is what they witnessed. Unlike other scandals that make adults recoil, the biting and degrading words, and the petulant behavior are things that children pick up on directly.

So no one should be surprised that in the days following his election we have seen children using Mean Trump's own words to taunt their school mates. My own small kids knew that would happen.

But we have also witnessed graffiti and taunting among grown adults, empowered to bring forth their inner (or not so inner) bullies. Evidently they aren't "just words" to his followers.

President Obama says that the office of president amplifies who you are at your core...so which Trump is at his core: Mean Trump or Decent Trump?

 Some of us are willing to heed the words of Hillary Clinton and hold an open mind to the President-elect. We are watching and listening for signs that Decent Trump will rise to the enormity of the role and put Mean Trump back in the costume box.

 If President-elect Trump wants us to believe that he will be the president for all Americans, and it is "very important to him", then Decent Trump needs to show up and call for an end to this bullying and hate speech that he empowered. Decent Trump needs to understand that real humans get hurt by his words.

 If President-elect Trump wants us to believe he is serious about making Washington work better, then Decent Trump needs to show up ready to learn what he does not know. This is the flip side of electing an outsider is that he will have a lot to learn, not only about issues but about the politics of governance. Governance is about serving all the people, not just those who are more profitable to your brand or your success.

Decent Trump could be a deal maker, forcing compromise among entrenched party leaders in Congress, so long as he is as willing to call out his own party leaders (as he did in the primary).

 Decent Trump could be the voice that upends and calls out the special interests, ensuring government puts people before lobbyists, so long as he recognizes that Reince Priebus is in fact a special interest.

 Decent Trump could bring more efficiency to government, so long as he realizes that the critical difference between business and government is that those at the bottom are in fact your problem now (and serving their needs isn't always profitable).

 Decent Trump's straightforwardness could cut through entrenched and historical conflicts and bring people together to see new ways ahead, so long as he respects the historical and cultural pain that typically underlies these hardened positions.

 Decent Trump should not put Steve Bannon anywhere in his administration. Putting this purveyor of hate and lies - the man who cultivated Mean Trump - would absolutely signal that he is not going to be the president for the majority of Americans who voted for Secretary Clinton.

 Hillary Clinton implored us to continue the fight for what is right. However the nature of the fight depends on which Donald Trump shows up for work in the Oval Office.

 Let's hope Decent Trump can use his power for good.

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  • commented 2017-01-28 15:10:15 -0500
    It is now January 28, 2017. Donald Trump and Mike Pence have, in just 8 days, played out the very worst of his campaign style. There isn’t a decent" Trump.
    Challen Armstrong