Even though it takes time to assume Presidential power, less than two weeks from election night, some Donald Trump supporters are already growling their wants will not be delivered by Donald Trump.
As the difficult task of building an administration team finally moves into high gear, there are those in his camp fearful his campaign words were mere rhetoric, like his predecessor. Worse, they are frightened he will succumb to conventional thinking on some important issues.
While Trump has not given them any reasons to doubt his commitment, they and the hostile press have found some actions to be whispers of doubts.
One thing worrying them is that the few days after the election, there has been a falling away of long-time supporters like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Some distractors attribute his demotion to Trump’s anger at the sitting governor letting two subordinates take the blame for a political dirty trick. Whatever the reason, Christie and others long linked to Trump are no longer driving efforts to fill cabinet and White House posts.
Having said that, what concerns supporters most are Trump’s comments in the days after the election. Among them, is the comment he made about keeping two aspects of President Obama’s healthcare plan—namely — continue demanding insurance companies accept enrollees regardless of medical conditions and allowing children to remain under parent healthcare insurance policies up to age 26.
Both of these are hugely popular with Americans.
More importantly, some supporters were concerned he will backtrack on other parts of his candidate demands. In particular, they worry Trump will be softer on illegal immigrants, foreign trade and in his Supreme Court nominations.
Pressure on him from opponents and the national press did not succeed during the election, and it is hoped will not budge him as President.
From the opposition, particular attention is being paid to his nomination of long-time supporter Stephen K. Bannon, a nationalist media mogul, to a top White House position. Critics have called him a “racist” among other things. One of Trump’s earliest confidants, Bannon has been skewering Democrats and liberals of all stripes for years. Yet he enjoys Trump’s confidence and is expected to be his strategist alongside Republican National Party Chairman Reince Priebus.
If he does not cave on this issue, it augurs well for future Presidential actions.
Ironically, while Priebus is the consummate Washington insider, Bannon represents the angry outer fringe that helped propel Trump to the White House. Working together, they can accomplish much but will need time to get things in the administration running smoothly.
There are vocal voters and commentators who want rapid, large-scale change and are not prepared to wait long before skewering Trump as he seems to be considering how best to proceed.
Their impatience was evident in the two years the Republican Party controlled both the House and Senate leading up to this Presidential election. It took those 24 months to fully understand and use the levers of power and to work against an opposing party President.
The success in maintaining control of both Congressional houses speaks well of their efforts.
The effectiveness of their learning curve can be found in the Senate’s ability to extinguish President Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court. Without actually taking up the nomination, they thwarted his attempt to pack the court and enables Trump to make the nomination. This was a display of power not possible two years earlier.
While an experienced businessman, Trump still must learn the ways of Washington with an entrenched, and, for the most part, hostile bureaucracy anxious to keep its privileges.
One thing on the minds of many Trump voters is the large set of regulations imposed by President Obama’s appointees. Happily, many were done by the Presidential pen rather than by acts of congress, therefore making it easier to change or eliminate. But here to, Trump must tread carefully being surer rather than quicker.
Hindering him as well is the lack of gracious losing by left-of-center Democrats who have fueled demonstrations across the nation. This will make his job of bringing this nation closer together harder, but not impossible.
He is buoyed by a third of Latino voters who marked his ballot and the highest number of Black voters who supported him than any other Republican candidate in decades. With these as starting points, Trump has a greater chance of success than any President since Ronald Reagan.
President Obama campaigned on the idea he would bring Americans together. Upon entering the White House, he promptly forgot and adopted a policy of lecturing rather than leading.
Donald Trump has a chance to lead a more unified nation but needs time to do it constructively.