Trump must unite divided country, restore faith in system of government

Finally, one of the most divisive presidential election campaigns in history is over. Now comes the task of restoring Americans’ faith in government to serve us, not special interests and big-government bureaucrats.

Donald Trump’s victory in the election Tuesday was a clear indication that many Americans do not believe our government serves our best interests.

But the electorate was divided badly. It is no exaggeration to note that had Trump faced a more moderate, believable Democrat, he might well have lost.

That means his top priority must be reconciliation — reminding Americans that we agree much more often than we are divided. It is imperative that the harsh rhetoric of the election campaign be put behind us.

Trump made that clear in his victory speech early Wednesday morning. “It is time for us to come together as one united people,” he said. “It’s time.”

“I pledge to every citizen that I will be president for all Americans,” the president-elect added.

It is important that Trump not follow in the footsteps of President Barack Obama in one critical way — abuse of executive power. Regardless of whether the policy is good or bad, there is a right way and a wrong way for it to be pursued.

Obama often has chosen the wrong way, using executive orders and other tools of White House power to override the wishes of the people as expressed by our representatives and senators. Liberals in Congress have blocked attempts to check the president’s grab for power.

It will be even more blatant during the next couple of months, as Obama attempts to set some of his initiatives in concrete so solid neither his successor nor Congress can break it up.

One of those initiatives has been Obama’s war on coal and affordable electricity. Trump has vowed to reverse it.

Doing so should be among the new president’s top priorities after he is sworn in. On his first day in office, Trump should issue an executive order suspending all work by the Environmental Protection Agency on the so-called Clean Power Plan.

Later, Trump can kill that plan entirely and with it, other government programs that would drive up the cost of electricity and leave our nation more dependent than ever on foreign oil.

The key to success for Trump as president will be restoring Americans’ faith in our system of government. Working with Congress, Trump can demonstrate that it still is our best option.