January 1, 2017 – Donald Trump issued the following tweet on the last day of 2016: “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”
The man who is about to become President of the United States continues to exhibit a mean-spirited, thin-skinned, narcissistic and vindictive character.
Trump sees the world in terms of personal wins or losses, enemies or friends, supporters or critics.
He hasn’t yet figured out that a president holds a position of public trust that transcends personal animus. A president is supposed to represent all Americans, including those who voted against him and may continue to oppose him.
In a democracy, those who fight against a president’s policies are not his personal enemies; they are political opponents and critics. A democracy depends on the freedom to oppose those in power, without fear of reprisal, without being denigrated or labeled an enemy.
Happy New Year, Mr. Trump. You have 20 days in which to learn how to act as a president. All of us – even those who oppose your policies and worry about your character – sincerely hope you do.
ROBERT B. REICH is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fourteen books, including the best sellers “Aftershock”, “The Work of Nations,” and”Beyond Outrage,” and, his most recent, “Saving Capitalism.” He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, INEQUALITY FOR ALL.