For the sake of progress, let’s move on

February 14, 2017 — by Ryan Kim

“Dump Trump!”

“Say no to racism!”

“Hate has no place in America!”

These are but a few of the signs at worldwide protests and marches in reaction to President Trump’s inauguration and policies. Meanwhile, thousands of Americans wearing “Make America Great Again!” hats stormed Washington, D.C., in late January praising the new president on his bold plans to “reconstruct” our country.

The division between Trump supporters and opponents shows how much the country needs to reunify. If the inability to compromise from both sides lingers for the next few years, any progress will be hard-won, if not impossible.

 

The multiple government shutdowns and filibusters during the Obama administration demonstrate the futility of striving for progress by merely protesting against one’s opponents. That doesn’t mean Democrats need to befriend every single Trump supporter.

Like in all things political, voters have multiple reasons for choosing their politicians. Most Trump supporters are not alt-right racists. Compromise can be achieved with more moderate Trump supporters, who either felt like they had no realistic alternative or had their reasons for their political choice.

Change comes slowly but steadily through compromise. Enough support from even a few moderate Trump supporters and non-Trump citizens alike will show Trump that his ban on immigrants is neither popular nor right for America’s progress.

Protesting in itself is not a terrible idea. It provides dissenters a unified voice and shows the government the people’s opinion on certain policies, creating a pathway for change. However, with two such separate factions of ideas between Trump supporters and liberal protesters, each group will push in their own directions and away from compromise. The result would be a decisive victory for one party or another, not a resolution incorporating points from both.

Democrats don’t have to agree with everything Trump says; their goal is to agree to policies they can live with and minimize the damage his more extreme ideas would inflict.

 

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