Against all odds, Donald Trump has won the election and will become the 45th president of the United States after appealing to Americans fed up with the status quo.
But now that it has happened, those who opposed him must recognize his victory and pledge to work with him to make his presidency as successful as possible. We urge this because this nation and its institutions must endure, and because the disaffected Americans to whom Trump spoke responded in numbers unforeseen. Their choice must be honored.
This outcome also places a grave responsibility in the hands of a man who has no record of elective experience. Having expressed contempt for the government he now must head, Trump must find within himself what has eluded him to this point: the maturity, judgment, discipline and humility needed to lead the world’s remaining superpower.
Trump must recognize well before he assumes office in January that many Americans believed him when he said he would be their voice. Many voted for him not because of the vile speech he directed at immigrants, Muslims and women, but despite it. They are people who believe their jobs have been lost to bad trade agreements — who feel left behind and without influence in a system that seems wedded to the elites.
Trump never did get around to detailing just how he would change the system, tackle entrenched power, and get back jobs lost to globalization or mechanization. Now he must, or risk becoming a figurehead while factions in Congress fight to fill the void.
For the good of the nation he would “make great again,” Trump must turn to the hard work of building national unity and the relationships needed to carry out an agenda. He will soon find out that he cannot go it alone, that successful presidents must build coalitions, and that there are limits to executive power.
Trump will learn what every president must: There are no easy days in the White House, no small problems that will cross his desk. It is a job that takes everything a president has to give, then demands more.
We wish him success, for the nation’s sake.