Many Democratic-aligned pundits and politicians have greeted Trump’s election by wishing him the best and arguing that he must be given the chance to show the country what kind of president he will be. There has been soul-searching, yes, but also calls for unity in the wake of the most divisive election in recent memory. Even Bernie Sanders’s statement on Trump’s election suggested possible collaboration between the left and Trump—though it was most notable for its pledge to challenge any action by the Trump administration that is “racist, sexist, xenophobic, and anti-environment.”
Sanders, of course, is still in the Senate. Harry Reid will not be, come January 20—he’s retiring after a long and distinguished career. His statement on Trump’s election is an absolute barn burner. Here’s a slightly condensed version:
White nationalists, Vladimir Putin and ISIS are celebrating Donald Trump’s victory, while innocent, law-abiding Americans are wracked with fear – especially African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Muslim Americans, LGBT Americans and Asian Americans. Watching white nationalists celebrate while innocent Americans cry tears of fear does not feel like America....
If this is going to be a time of healing, we must first put the responsibility for healing where it belongs: at the feet of Donald Trump, a sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate. Winning the electoral college does not absolve Trump of the grave sins he committed against millions of Americans. Donald Trump may not possess the capacity to assuage those fears, but he owes it to this nation to try.
If Trump wants to roll back tide of hate he unleashed, he has a tremendous amount of work to do and he must begin immediately.
Reid can go out swinging because Reid does not have to work in any capacity with the Trump administration. But this nevertheless strikes me as the right tactic with Trump, asserting that he did not win a mandate, that he lost the popular vote, that his campaign was illegitimate because it was fueled by “bigotry and hate.” In any case, Harry Reid will be missed.