Op-Ed

Election results speak more of unity than divisiveness

President-elect Donald Trump, with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, addresses supporters at an election night event in New York.
President-elect Donald Trump, with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, addresses supporters at an election night event in New York. Washington Post

Democrats are experiencing a shock in response to what they perceive as an uneducated mob — the populists — taking majority democratic control. Who are these people? The assumption is that they are racist and bigoted. They are neither. In fact, they are rather boring. What many don’t realize, is that they want what most people want:

They want the federal government to behave like an adult. This means a real plan to reduce the national debt, controlled sensible immigration, no illegal immigration and higher economic growth to create the jobs they need to fulfill their personal goals for an improved life.

They want to live in communities that find the right balance between protecting human rights but also give them the freedom to act and behave according to their beliefs.

But though some Americans are still processing the election result, the first question many asked is “What?” Here is some insight into four of the most important:

What? Less government?

Many Democrats see all progress as requiring more government and more regulations. Total government spending in the United States is about 40 percent of GDP. The country now has a $20 trillion national debt. Populists correctly point out that the private sector creates all the wealth that the government spends. The private sector wants the federal government to learn to live within its allowance (no deficit spending). Liberal progressives cannot deal with having to make the hard choices of what to cut back.

What? Profit is good?

Democrats say the only thing that business people care about is maximizing profits. Profit is a measure of how efficient you are in attracting and serving customers.

Maximizing profit maximizes national wealth. Maximizing profit maximizes government revenues. Maximizing profit is where the capital comes from to invest in and create new businesses. Maximizing profit is good.

What? Not white and uneducated?

Liberal progressives cannot accept that many African Americans, Latinos and other minority groups and religions voted for Donald Trump. How could these minorities vote for a white, uneducated populist movement? Perhaps the answer is that it is not a white uneducated populist movement. Rather it is people of all backgrounds who want their government to move toward generating a surplus, to create economic growth and to have a pragmatic foreign policy. In fact, these populists want “to make America great again.”

What? Make America great again?

The United States has an outstanding record as a multicultural society in creating a high standard of economic well-being and human rights. The country’s mix of government with free-market capitalism is an engine for progress.

The election was about many issues. Each voter had his or her own list. However, the result can be best summarized by three statements:

▪ Federal government, get your act together. Come up with a plan to reduce the national debt. Enforce the law or make new ones but do not willfully disrespect laws. Re-engineer your vast array of laws, regulations and bureaucracies to deliver efficient and accountable government services.

▪ Back off in attacking who I am and my family’s values. Get off this social justice, ethnic-group obsession. We are all Americans. Treat us equally and speak to us as one class of people with the same aspirations.

▪ Supreme Court, interpret our existing laws. Do not usurp the role of state legislatures by creating new laws.

Dick Sim is the author of “Freedom to Argue: We the People Versus They the Government.”

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