A few days after the November election, I wrote on Quora the following reason for why I am hopeful, even under the Trump administration. And today, on Inauguration Day, I still believe it’s true.
Should Donald Trump be trusted?
No, he cannot be trusted.
But that might be a good thing. I say this as a Clinton voter.
Here’s what I mean:
Trump can’t be trusted to be firm on any political position. He has claimed countless conflicting stances in the past, encompassing the entire political spectrum (for/against Iraq, for/against reproductive rights, etc.).
Having such an unpredictable President means that we, the American people, will feel compelled to stay vigilant in politics. We’ve already seen that this is a significant motivator for political engagement. Just take a look at the past couple of days — we’ve seen much more political engagement in the days following the election than ever before, especially among young people.
And that’s precisely why Trump’s untrustworthiness is a great gift for American citizens who commit to an active role in shaping their country — their efforts, whether liberal, conservative, or otherwise, will actually make an impact.
That’s right. You can be black, white, Hispanic, Asian, native, immigrant, LBGTQ, Muslim, Catholic, rich, or poor — and you can actually make an impact.
The downside, of course, is that if Americans let their collective guards down over the next 4 years, the result will be utterly unpredictable.
You see, Presidents never truly rule the United States.
The American people do. And it’s time we realize that.
In a way, President Trump may have been what the Founding Fathers intended.
(I will say that a lot of Trump’s past behavior is difficult to explain to kids. And my heart goes out to those of you that have personally faced bigotry in your lives both before and after the election. However, if public engagement since the election is any indication, I’m hopeful for a more active and informed American people.)