November 9, 2016

November 9, 2016 | Commentary on

The People Have Spoken: Change Must Start Now

Last night, the American people soundly rejected the failed liberal policies of Hillary Clinton and the broken legacy of President Barack Obama.

Instead, they elected a candidate who vowed to restore their jobs, protect their borders, strive for peace, respect the Constitution, and make their country great again.

Early on in the campaign, Clinton chose to ignore policy and focus on personal attacks. Federal overspending, failing schools, tax hikes, illegal immigration, and other issues Americans care deeply about were thrown aside for a personality-driven campaign.

But the public did not like the person behind the personality. The dealings of the Clinton Foundation revealed disturbing allegiance to global elites, while leaked emails showed her campaign’s contempt for the priorities and faiths of regular Americans. To top it off, the voters could not stomach electing a candidate repeatedly investigated by the FBI for mishandling classified material.

Donald Trump’s campaign was divisive to many Americans, and upended the conventional wisdom of nearly every talking head and professional politician in the country. But he spoke to the concerns of a people too often ignored by the mainstream media and ruling elites. He offered a vision of a secure nation, of policies which promote opportunity for all, and an end to dysfunctional big government programs like Obamacare.

And America chose.

This year, we saw millions of Americans rekindle their political passion in opposition to massive unconstitutional government and in defense of a nation that values the prosperity of its citizens over the interests of foreign powers. Conservatives cannot afford to extinguish or ignore this flame; we must tend it, grow it, and keep the watch fires of liberty burning, side by side with our allies, new and old.

The Trump White House promises to be a place where pro-growth, pro-liberty, and pro-life ideas get a fair hearing. It is now the happy task of conservatives, like the hundreds of thousands of members of The Heritage Foundation, to ensure that those ideas lead the way.

Every new administration needs to be reminded of its purpose, held to its promises, and kept on the right track. That’s what we’re preparing to do here at The Heritage Foundation.

For months, we have worked with the Trump transition team to ensure they have the best staff and best institutional knowledge of the executive branch. A Trump administration will need to make 5,000 new federal appointments; conservatives are working to ensure appointees are people who will serve the Constitution and protect the rights of all Americans.

Heritage has also released the Mandate for Leadership series, offering the new administration a path to balance the federal budget, a comprehensive policy agenda, and a guide to presidential and Cabinet-level priorities to achieve a conservative long-term policy vision. It should be a cornerstone of the 2017 agenda for the White House.

There is also important work in the days and months ahead to unite the conservative movement so that we can build a nation where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.

Making these advancements a reality is going to be a challenge, but nothing could be more challenging than the last eight years we’ve weathered. We have the opportunity to bring morning to America once more. I hope you will join us.

About the Author

Jim DeMint President
President's Office