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Thursday, December 22, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

My one wish this Christmas season is that Democrats can find peace, move on — and finally accept the election results.

I wish they would understand that Republicans had to endure eight holiday seasons of a leftist president and we managed to survive and rebound even in the midst of a civil war within our own ranks.


After the rogue electors failed in their coup attempt to change the outcome in the Electoral College earlier this week, Democrats lost any hope of stopping Donald Trump from becoming our next president. Reality should be setting in, and Republicans can offer a model on how to cope.

Republicans can feel their pain, having lost two elections in a row themselves. Some establishment Republicans still are struggling to come to grips with the fact that Mr. Trump won the primary and beat the Clinton dynasty in the general election.

But the future is bright and hopeful. Economic confidence is at a 10-year high as President Obama leaves office. The Dow has reached an all-time high. Let’s hope this economic excitement will rub off on the Democrats. In this new political order, Mr. Trump is focused on his economic growth agenda where he can hope to find common ground with the Democrats. But will the Democrats be open to giving him a chance? My guess is that Mr. Trump will have no honeymoon and will have to be prepared to battle the mainstream media and the liberals from his very first day in office.

Normally, presidents pass on their wisdom and positive encouragement to the next commander in chief, but that’s not been the case with the Obamas. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama spoke about how painful the election was and how America will now feel hopeless. And despite Mr. Obama’s initial pledge to give Mr. Trump a chance and oversee a smooth transition, his words rang hollow when he proceeded to politicize the charges that Russia had hacked our election.

The postelection period has been one long therapy session for the Democrats, many of whom who remain in a state of anger and denial. Many Democrats hold on to the notion that the elections were rigged. Even Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, questioned if the elections were “fair and free” and believed the Russians were to blame for his candidate’s loss. Denial and unwillingness to accept reality will not help Democrats heal and move forward.

For weeks following the election, many Democrats have continued to place the blame on others for their loss, whether it’s the Russians or FBI Director James B. Comey. They can’t fathom how anyone would vote for Mr. Trump. Former President Bill Clinton even went as far as to tell a newspaper interviewer that Mr. Trump “doesn’t know much. One thing he does know is how to get angry, white men to vote for him.”

What Mr. Clinton fails to see is the real lesson from the November vote: that global elitism and identity politics lost and American nationalism and an effective economic message won.

It is important to understand that Mr. Trump, like Mr. Obama, created a movement and transformed a political party. While Mrs. Clinton was a safe pick for the Democrats, she couldn’t generate grass-roots enthusiasm and failed in her messaging, political strategy and ground game. Her campaign raised hundreds of millions of dollars, yet poorly allocated the funds and ignored local party activists’ pleas for help in key battleground states. Her career will likely never recover from 2016, but there comes a time when you pick up the pieces, learn from your mistakes, and realize that the old political playbook does not guarantee a win in the next election.

Mr. Obama is already talking about his next job as a kind of talent scout for his party, one who can help rebuild the Democrat’s depleted leadership ranks. The first fight will be the race for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, where Mr. Obama’s Labor Secretary Tom Perez is running against the controversial progressive U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota. The winner will help shape the Democratic Party for the next few years as it determines which direction it should go.

I hope the nation can find common ground in the days ahead and allow for a peaceful transition, which has been a critical and unique part of our nation’s history. This Christmas, I’ll be praying for peace on earth and good will to all. Especially for my Democratic friends.

Mercedes Schlapp is a Fox News contributor, co-founder of Cove Strategies and former White House director of specialty media under President George W. Bush.


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