ELECTIONS

Juan Williams: Clinton legacy deserves better than bitter, angry supporters

FILE -- President Obama waves as he walks from the Oval Office to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

FILE -- President Obama waves as he walks from the Oval Office to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

I am depleted after that election, feeling worried and upset. A friend called to ask me about the people who would vote for someone with a quick temper, a history of racist statements, crude comments about women and no experience in government.  

I told him I too am beyond shocked by the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. 

This has truly been the most painful, depressing, divisive election of my lifetime.

That is why for me the healing can't begin soon enough.

I would suggest to Americans – including me -- who voted for Secretary Clinton, as well as Trump voters, that we begin the long, slow, difficult healing process by looking to our common history.

President Obama, speaking from the White House, hit the target when he said it is necessary for all Americans, Democrats, Republicans and Independents, to give the president-elect the “presumption of good faith.” 

In that spirit, I would suggest to Americans – including me -- who voted for Secretary Clinton, as well as Trump voters, that we begin the long, slow, difficult healing process by looking to our common history.

There is no historical equivalent for Trump.

The closest might be Ronald Reagan. He was the former governor of California and had been involved with conservatism long before he ran for president. But to his critics Reagan was dismissed as a right-wing B-list Hollywood actor who had been divorced before he was elected president of the United States.

Similarly, Trump is dismissed as a celebrity from his reality television show and a man on his third marriage known for making offensive statements.

Like most of my colleagues covering politics, I was skeptical of Reagan and didn't vote for him in 1980. Yet covering his White House, I gained a respect for the man and the way he brought people together despite my sustained disagreements with his politics. He famously knew how to share a drink with Democrats, win friends and make a deal.

I hope that Trump can follow the Reagan model. 

I will not do what some conservatives - you Rush Limbaugh - did after the election of Barack Obama by openly hoping for his failure before he has a chance. Immediately after President Obama’s first election, Sen. Mitch McConnell vowed not to work with him for the good of the nation but to block him from a second term. 

That is not for me.

I am a Christian, a dad and grand-dad and a proud American first and foremost. I am an American before I am a Democrat, and before I am an author and a political analyst.

I will pray for President-Elect Trump and root for his success on behalf of the American people even as – at least for today – I shake my head over the fact that Trump lost the popular vote but won the presidency because he won the Electoral College.

I appreciate what President-Elect Trump said in his victory speech last night and sincerely hope he means it when he says he want to be president of all the people. 

"Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division," he said. "I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all of Americans, and this is so important to me."

Then Hillary Clinton lifted the spirits of Democrats by saying that as much as it is an American value to offer support to the new president – even if we opposed his election – it is also important to defend, “respect and cherish” the values of respect, inclusion and common sacrifice that we celebrate as hallmarks of America’s exceptionalism and greatness.

The United States has endured worse and we will endure under a President Trump. Keep the faith.

Juan Williams currently serves as a co-host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) "The Five" (weekdays, 9-10PM/ET) and also appears as a political analyst on "FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace" and "Special Report with Bret Baier."

TRENDING IN OPINION