COMMENTARY: For the first time in a long time the American people gave the Republican Party unprecedented power. It would be unwise of us to gloat or to be antagonistic to our detractors in a time that is usually meant for unity and healing.
The 2016 election was one of the most divisive in history, and our victory needs to be treated with care and restraint. As someone who was always skeptical of his candidacy, I’ve gotten to know a lot about the president-elect, and I know there are two sides to the man.
There’s the side of the president-elect who wrote in his book, The Art of the Comeback, that revenge is the best way to reclaim lost power. There’s also the man I saw at the Republican National Convention who welcomed the LGBTQ community with open arms and swore to protect them after the Orlando incident.
We need that second Trump now more than ever. The president-elect and Republicans in general have an obligation and opportunity to reach out to the communities that are scared and let them know that everything will be OK.
I remember when President Obama and the Democrats had the same opportunity in 2008 and 2012. They squandered it and led to the division that we saw on the campaign trail.
We need to learn from the Democratic Party’s mistakes. We must remember that it was not the traditional Republican base that lead us to these stunning victories. It was the forgotten man that our opponents left behind who believed in us.
If we truly want to make America great again, that starts with unity and healing. Let’s prove to the American people that we can govern and that their bet will pay off.
Samuel LeDoux is 1st vice chair of the Republican Party of Santa Fe County and was a delegate from New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July.