- - Thursday, January 19, 2017

The protesters trying to spoil the inauguration celebrations are only exposing themselves as emotionally incapable of coping with a Trump presidency, determined to do whatever they can to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.

Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore and some Hollywood stars are leading some of the protests, and nearly 70 congressional Democrats are boycotting the swearing-in ceremony. They simply can’t seem to recover from their shock and dismay at how the 2016 vote went. Even the confirmation hearings are filled with animosity as Democratic senators attack virtually every single one of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks.

It’s unfortunate the country is experiencing such an emotional divide, with some even questioning the results of the election and the legitimacy of our incoming president. The dissenters are pushing a destructive narrative that hurts the delicate balance of our democracy.

Some will argue that Mr. Trump started the fight with his words and tone. Others will say that Russians are to blame for torpedoing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

But come Friday, reality will set in for the protesters. Mr. Trump will be sworn in as the next president of the United States, and we will be entering into a new chapter in our nation’s history, whether Mr. Trump’s detractors like it or not. It’s time to move on.

Some wounds, perhaps, may never heal, as a deep national divide is exacerbated by social media and the mainstream media. But Mr. Trump will be in a unique position to deliver a unifying message for all Americans with his much-anticipated inaugural speech. However healing the message, it may fall on deaf ears if the protesters keep up their anti-Trump rants and refuse to give the new president and his team a chance.

Mr. Trump chose Abraham Lincoln’s Bible to take the oath of office — a deeply symbolic gesture. President Lincoln inherited a divided nation when it seemed the union might not survive. Despite his many detractors, Lincoln proved the right man at the right time, providing the inspiration for the nation to come together. In the depths of the Civil War, Lincoln offered a healing message in his Gettysburg Address, vowing that “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

More that 160 years later, America remains a beacon of freedom and democracy. It will take the work of all the people, Democrats and Republicans, to find common ground and forge a dialogue for the good of our nation.

For Mr. Trump, the message of unity needs to be front and center, especially during his first 100 days. He has promised significant changes and will pressure Congress to move quickly on his agenda.

He should be inspired by Lincoln’s vision of unity and, like a good salesman, work to convince voters that his intentions and willingness to fight for the common good are sincere. He cannot just go along with Washington’s stale way of conducting the people’s business.

Our new president needs to focus on this “new birth of freedom,” where ordinary people — and not the bureaucratic elite — claim the levers of power for the common good. The politicians are no longer in charge — that was the message sent from communities across the nation on Nov. 8. The protesters can keep fighting, but let’s all hope they can give Mr. Trump a chance to lead and find common ground to strengthen this great nation.

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.

• Mercedes Schlapp can be reached at mschlapp@123washingtontimes.com.

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