The 2016 presidential campaign has been relentlessly negative. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and their campaign teams, surrogates and supporters, have been bashing each other with zeal. That may be electoral politics as usual, but it doesn’t bode well for governing the country, or having Americans united on important issues around the world, once the election is over. Accordingly, here is an admittedly fantasy scenario of how Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could come together at their next debate over one simple question, without sacrificing their principles:
The question is the variant of “what is one good thing you can say about your opponent?” The debate moderators should ask that question, and here’s what each candidate should say:
Hillary Clinton: Donald Trump is great at promoting himself, and at building his brand. He’s also good at getting things done, such as hotel projects, and generating publicity for these things. I hope that when the election is over, Donald can use those talents to work with me on some of the big problems facing America. There are some areas where we seem to agree. For example, during our first debate, Donald agreed with me that we need better relations between communities and the police, and that people on the terrorist “no-fly” list should not be able to purchase guns. These are tough issues that need to be worked on by the different stakeholders coming together for a common purpose, and coming up with practical solutions. I hope that’s something Donald can do with me when this election is over.
Donald Trump: Secretary Clinton and I don’t agree on many things. But I know that she has been in public service for most of her adult life, since law school or even before that. Again, while she has made decisions that I don’t agree with, I have no doubt that Hillary Clinton loves this country and has worked hard to improve things based on her philosophy of government and her values. She’s smart, tough, and she’s gotten some things done, such as children’s health insurance in the 1990s and assistance for New York City and our first responders after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I just wish her philosophy was more like mine. Then we’d really get along great.
Will this fantasy scenario come to pass? Will Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have a love fest, or even a moment of togetherness at one or both of their next presidential debates? It’s unlikely, but it sure would be nice.
Photo by Bill B, used under Creative Commons license. https://is.gd/tbra0S