Here’s how Democrats should respond to Trump’s win

Roundup
tags: election 2016, Trump



Jonathan Zimmerman teaches education and history at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of "Campus Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know."

Donald Trump was gracious in his acceptance speech Wednesday, extending an olive branch to Hillary Clinton and her disappointed liberal supporters. And here's what we should do in return: accept it.

That doesn't mean accepting whatever Trump says or does, of course. If he follows through on some of his outlandish threats — such as banning Muslim travelers or building a wall along the Mexican border — we will need to fight him, tooth and nail.

But it does mean that we should give him credit, for rallying big swaths of the country to his side. With zero campaign experience, Trump managed to defeat one of the most accomplished politicians of our time. That's an historic achievement, any way you cut it.

Most of all, though, we liberals need to try much harder to understand the millions of our fellow citizens who cast ballots for Donald Trump. As a philosophy, liberalism calls on each of us to use our reason and knowledge to critique our country and our world. And we have been decidedly illiberal in our frequent caricature of Trump supporters as bigots and ignoramuses.

Yes, Trump has spewed vile racist and sexist rhetoric. And yes, he told brazen lies throughout his campaign. But nearly 60 million Americans voted for him, about the same number as voted for Clinton. And if you think every single person who backed Trump is a racist buffoon, you need to get out more.  ...




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