President-elect Donald Trump said ‘it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division’ but has shown little evidence of binding.
Donald Trump has done more since being elected to court Vladimir Putin than the 74 million Americans who voted for other presidential candidates—or the tens of millions who didn’t vote at all.
Many Democrats and Republicans alike argue that’s contributing to the incoming president’s historically low, and falling, approval ratings, and could set the country on course for a fractious four years of distrust and division while damaging the institution of the presidency.
Trump, who is most at home stirring and then surfing controversy, spent much of the 10-week transition revving up supporters still exulting in his win. He boasts in private and public about how he pulled off the upset, taking to Twitter to mock Democrats and anyone else upset that he won.
There was a thank you tour, but no listening tour. Visits took him to the heart of Trump country, but none to a state he didn’t win—unless those motorcades between Trump Tower and LaGuardia count. A few Democratic senators and mayors have been brought in for meetings, but none have been brought into his Cabinet.
Trump said in his victory speech that “it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division.” His time since then shows little evidence of binding, and he’s opened up new wounds along the way.
“Every time he opens his mouth, he is like death by a thousand cuts,” said Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wisc.).
Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-Texas) said “the outreach has been severely lacking to Americans of every background and political party so far.”
“The people of the country need to know what the president-elect’s plans are, and know what he’s thinking about,” Castro said, “to establish trust with the American people, and to establish a relationship with the American people beyond just a campaign and asking for people’s votes.”
Trump declared Sunday evening on Twitter that unity is coming. “For many years our country has been divided, angry and untrusting,” he wrote. “Many say it will never change, the hatred is too deep. IT WILL CHANGE!!!!”
That was a few hours after he wrote, “The Democrats are most angry that so many Obama Democrats voted for me,” digging in again at the opposition party on a list of Twitter victims that’s ranged from the people who protested in the streets in the days after he won to “Vanity Fair” editor Graydon Carter to “the so-called ‘A’ list celebrities” who turned down performing at his inauguration.