Will President Trump Keep One Of His Biggest Promises?

The president prides himself on keeping promises, but he's ignoring the most important one.

A Grain of Saul is a weekly column that digs into some of the biggest issues we face as a nation and as an international community in search of reliable data, realistic solutions, and — most importantly — hope.  

President Donald Trump is a man who prides himself on keeping his promises.

Throughout his candidacy, Trump repeatedly railed against politicians who didn't keep their promises while also vowing to unite the country if he were elected. Though many doubted his divisive, inflammatory campaign would turn into a uniting presidency, you can count me as one person who at least was holding out hope.


Instead, though, it seems that the same man who has tried to follow through on promises to "build the wall," "lock her up" or "protect our borders" has totally abandoned what was perhaps his most important promise: uniting the nation.

SAN DIEGO, USA - MAY 27, 2016: Anti-Trump protesters display their opinion about the wall while a Trump fan smiles at their efforts during a protest outside a Trump rally in San Diego. Shutterstock / Chad Zuber

"It's a movement like we've never seen anywhere in the world, they say," Trump said the night before his inauguration. "There's never been a movement like this, and it's something very, very special. And we're going to unify our country."

"The Bible tells us, 'how good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity,'" Trump said during his inauguration speech. "We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable."

"To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people," Trump said the night he won the election. "It's time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me."

And yet, this is the same man who just months later would call Democrats "un-American" and "treasonous" for not clapping when he wanted them to at a State of the Union address. He accused Democrats of not seeming "to love our country very much." He's lied that Democrats want "open borders" while also claiming it was their law separating children and parents at the border. He claimed, repeatedly, that Democrats want to "let MS-13 run all over the country."

Are these the words of a president trying to bring his people together? Are these the words of a president who pledged to be a leader for "all Americans," including Democrats?

I don't think so.

Trump supporters may defend his words as "tough talk," or "campaign rhetoric," or say they are justified because so many Democrats vehemently oppose Trump. And they'd be wrong. He is the president of the United States, the holder of the highest office in the land, and he is breaking the most important, fundamental promise he made, which is that he'd bring the country together. He's not just breaking it, either: he's categorically destroying it.

It's not like there aren't things he could be uniting the country around. Among the many issues Americans agree on are protecting DACA recipients, finding a way to lower health care premiums, addressing the opioid epidemic in a meaningful way, increasing the corporate tax rate (Trump did the opposite), instituting paid family leave and enacting a major program to strengthen infrastructure.

Instead, Trump has ignored those issues and focused largely culture wars like NFL players kneeling for the national anthem, criticisms of Hollywood, building a wall along the southern border, and forbidding people from seven majority Muslim countries from coming to America.

When candidate Trump promised to unite the country, many Americans didn't believe him. I wanted to. And I'm writing now to plead, again, with the president to keep his promise: unite the country. Find laws that the majority of Americans support and fight for them. Stop broadly attacking "Democrats" or "liberals." Stop waging wars against sports teams, athletes or actors. Focus on the things that can heal this partisanship.

Mr. President, if the task seems too great, that's OK. You wouldn't be the first president to fail to fulfill a promise, and you won't be the last. 

But the least you could try. 

Shutterstock / a katz


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