Anna Rhoads ’18
The president elect, Donald Trump, has in the past come out supporting very controversial and extreme ideas. Whether it was a ban on all Muslim immigrants or sending his opposing candidate to prison, he has not been shy with his radical views. However, after snagging the presidency and appearing in his first post-election interview, his ideas seem to have taken a shift. On Nov. 13, Lesley Stahl interviewed Trump on “60 Minutes” and found that his plans were much less extreme than before.
One very controversial plan that Trump had was to build the wall. In June, 2015 during his candidacy announcement speech Trump stated, “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” Not only was the wall itself an immoral idea but his plan to make Mexico pay for it was even more radical and frightening. Considering that the country is made up of immigrants from various generations and how we pride ourself in being tolerant and open to all ethnicities the wall just went against our principles. However, when Trump was asked if he would really build this wall during the interview, Trump said he would settle for a fence along with a wall. Not only is this different from what he said before but it also shows his willingness to listen to others, in this case the GOP lawmakers who proposed the plan. Although a fence is not ideal it is one step closer to the principles we pride ourselves in.
Another plan he shifted gears on was dealing with immigrants. Before the election results, the Washington Post claimed “Trump wants to deport everyone currently living in the US illegally, a number the Pew Research Center estimated to be above 11 million last year.” But during his interview with Stahl, Trump stated that “what we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, we have a lot of these people, probably two million, it could be even three million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate.” Going from a plan to kick out all immigrants to one that focuses on criminals is way overdue. Nonetheless, I’m thankful he is is softening his ideas for the sake of all innocent and righteous immigrants.
Lastly, it was well known that Trump had plans on sending his opponent Hillary Clinton to ether prison or another trial. This was first brought out during their town-hall debate when Clinton said, “You know it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in this country” and Trump intervened by saying “Because you’d be in jail.” Although Trump made it clear he supported her being sent to prison or back on trial, during his interview with Stahl he made it seem like this was way out of the picture. He said things like “Hillary called and it was a lovely call” and “She is very strong and very smart.” Trump seemed to hold tremendous respect for Clinton during the interview, something he lacked during the campaign. Later on in the interview when asked if he would consider having a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton over her emails or plan on putting her in jail Trump responded with “I don’t want to hurt them. They’re, they’re good people. I don’t want to hurt them. And I will give you a very, very good and definitive answer the next time we do 60 Minutes together.” Although the president elect did not give us a sure answer it is clear that his opinions of Clinton have greatly changed and that after winning he may back off of his plans against her. Sending someone who has already spent time going through the justice system is a big deal, but his more recent actions show him easing on this specific plan.
These are far from the only examples of Trump’s change in plans and along with the rest, they can give us good insight on what Trump’s presidency will be like. It seems that after winning Trump has softened some of his more extreme plans and was possibly presenting himself as more radical for the sake of his campaign. Although only time will tell, the “60 Minute” interview with Trump presented a much more peaceful and realistic president-elect.