PILGRIM: Trump Should Call For A National Day Of Healing And Unity

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There is no way to spin the ugly reality: our nation is reeling. Over the last three months, we have been slammed by an unprecedented coronavirus, which has tragically killed over 100,000 Americans and caused U.S. jobless claims to surge past 40 million. Then, when we were on the verge of recovering from the pandemic, the nation was devastated by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. And now, for over a week, we are witnessing anarchists and left-wing activists loot and destroy buildings, while committing despicable acts of violence that have taken the lives of police officers and law-abiding citizens.

Given this trifecta of calamitous circumstances, it is time for President Trump to go big or to go home. Everyone reading this knows that nothing would make the liberals in the media happier than being able to write headlines on the night of the 2020 election telling the President: “You’re FIRED!” Their dream outcome becomes more probable each day that new tragedies unfold without a strong response from the White House — a fact testified to by Trump’s declining poll numbers.

Although the president’s current strategy of denouncing Democrats for their weakness in confronting violent rabble-rousers is accurate, it is not working. Yes, the American people want a strong, law-and-order leader in a time of crisis. But because of the undeniable racial overtones of the current protests and rioting, they also want a Uniter-in-Chief who brings us together when powerful forces are working hard to divide us. So that is what Trump should give them.

One bold idea that the Trump administration should seriously consider is to declare a Day of National Healing and Unity later this month. Doing so would benefit the nation and the president in many ways. First, it would show the American public, particularly suburban mothers who are a key constituency, that Republicans do have compassion for the less fortunate among us (contrary to what the media constantly claims). Second, a day of healing and unity would benefit the nation emotionally and psychologically by providing a legitimate opportunity to vent, to grieve or to peacefully demonstrate — while also serving as a reminder of what makes our nation great: the capacity to come together to overcome the challenges we face.

Third, announcing a Day of National Healing and Unity would allow Trump to dominate the narrative and would flummox his opponents. When Trump merely gives a speech that shows his compassionate side, the mainstream media typically buries the story. But a big, beautiful, patriotic Day of National Healing and Unity would be a story that not even the anti-Trump media could hide. During this occasion, Trump would be wise to surround himself with a diverse coalition of his supporters to counter the narrative that he seeks to divide us by race — which is actually the modus operandi of the Democratic Party and has been for years.

Fourth, by calling for a day of healing and unity to bring Americans together, Trump would defang and expose the left-wing anarchists bent on destabilizing the United States. Once the president has set aside a day to allow the nation to heal, to come together and to engage in peaceful demonstrations, anyone who continues to riot and engage in violent acts will be revealed for who they truly are — criminals who hate America and want to tear us apart. Even if more rioting were to take place after the president’s call for unity, Trump would come across as reasonable and presidential, and Democrats would be forced to scramble to justify the lawless actions of their people. Significantly, Trump would also have the public’s support to crackdown on the rioters once their true nature is exposed.

For these reasons, Trump should declare a National Day of Healing and Unity, during which workers and businesses can take the day off to honor the victims of the coronavirus and the loss of George Floyd as they each see fit in their own way. Doing this will allow Trump to burnish his leadership credentials and prove that he is capable of rising to the unprecedented challenges that we currently face. It would also afford him a visible platform at which he can give the public the message we need to hear. We are going through difficult and uncertain times and people are understandably concerned and feel threatened. But the president can remind us that Making America Great Again means overcoming the problems and challenges that we face — not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans. Such a message would resonate well with voters — especially suburban voters who want to see compassion and empathy from our leaders.

The truth is the American people want to see leadership in these turbulent times. Calling for a National Day of Healing and Unity would give them what they want while allowing Trump to present himself as a leader who seeks to unify us and to make us strong by blending strength with compassion. That will be an unbeatable combination in November come election time. So, Mr. President, it’s time to go big.

Nick Pilgrim is a trial attorney in the Washington, D.C. area who formerly worked for the United States Department of Justice as an award-winning federal prosecutor. He is the author of a new book, “Black Culture Matters: Why It’s Time To Stop Pretending Racism Is The Problem.”