By Delegate Trent Kittleman
Dealing with political loss is difficult. I’ve probably had more practice than most, being a Republican in Maryland. Eventually, the pain goes away.
The one thing I want to say, here, however, is that you need not harbor “fear” in addition to your pain.
I’ve heard a number of people – including friends and even close relatives – say that they fear what President-elect Trump might do or say as president based on the personality they saw during the campaign.
Don’t worry; he won’t.
I realize that my opinion may not automatically render you fear-free. But my expertise is communication. That means understanding what someone actually means, rather than taking his or her words literally. During the campaign, Mr. Trump engaged in hyperbole to get his points across –something a “seasoned politician” would not have done.
For those of you interested in exactly what Trump plans to do in his first 100 days, he laid that out in his Contract with the American Voter in Gettysburg on Oct. 22.
With respect to the issues that seem to cause the greatest concern, here is what he has said he will do and what I believe he will – and won’t — do:
Working with Congress:
OBAMACARE. “Fully repeal Obamacare and replace it with Health Savings Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines, and let states manage Medicaid funds.” He also plans to retain the provision regarding pre-existing conditions, and the provision allowing children to remain on their parents’ health care insurance. I believe that both of these provisions will be retained, as he promised on 60 Minutes Sunday, but with some common sense modifications.
- “[C]onstruction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall.” I believe that the “wall” will be physical in many places, and cyber in others. Trump will listen to advice from the experts who deal with illegal immigration along the Mexican border.
- I believe that “Mexico will pay for the wall” does not mean that Mexico will write a check, but rather that by redrafting treaties and negotiating other financial issues with Mexico, the United States will recover the cost of the wall.
- “[B]egin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country.” A President Trump will NOT deport non-criminal illegal immigrants, harming families that have been in this country for years. He will not advertise this fact because it is critical for other countries to know that illegal immigration will no longer be tolerated.
For those Republicans who are concerned that the president-elect doesn’t support conservative ideas, let me list just the proposals in his Contract with the American Voter that have been on my agenda for more than 30 years!
- A Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress;
- A requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated;
- A School Choice And Education Opportunity Act
- Redirects education dollars to gives parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice
- Ends Common Core, brings education supervision to local communities.
- expands vocational and technical education, and make 2- and 4-year college more affordable
For those Democrats who think that Republicans “don’t care,” here are several proposals in the Contract that clearly reach across the aisle:
- Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act.
- Allows Americans to deduct childcare and elder care from their taxes,
- Incentivizes employers to provide on-site childcare services, and
- Creates tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families.
- Veteran’s Health Care: provide veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice
We won’t always agree with each other or with President-elect Trump, but it is always impressive the way Americans survive such contentious elections then come together to be better than ever. Our political leaders are setting the right tone:
- Secretary Clinton gave an exceptionally gracious speech following the election.
- President Obama did the same, and immediately invited the President-elect to the White House where they met for 90 minutes — 75 minutes longer than Trump expected.
- Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, who refused to campaign or endorse Trump until the last several weeks, met with the president-elect and is “excited as a kid” according to one news report, at Mr. Trump’s victory.
- Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was among Hillary’s strongest supporters, made a point to say she would like to work with the president-elect on issues such as job creation.
- Republicans who lost in the primary have now come forward to congratulate the president-elect and wish him well.
Mr. Trump is doing everything possible to bring people together, and I predict he will be successful.
I predict that in four years, riotous protests such as the ones occurring over the last week, and the last number of years will be a thing of the past – because with a vibrant economy, everyone will be too busy working, making money, and enjoying their families.
And you can hold me to that!
Republican Delegate Trent Kittleman of Howard County represents District 9A in the House of Delegates.