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Feehery: How Trump can turn the protests into parades dedicated to making America great again

Feehery: How Trump can turn the protests into parades dedicated to making America great again
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The smart politician, when he sees a mob coming his way, gets in front of it and turns it into a parade.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump MORE needs to turn the worldwide protest movement and turn into a parade, a parade dedicated to making America truly great again.

Can Donald Trump, who has been vilified by the left and by media (redundant?) as an uncompromising racist, an anti-Semite, a fascist, a dupe for Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinScarborough says he'll never return to Republican Party after GOP supported Trump Will Biden choose a values-based or transactional foreign policy? Russian vessel threatens to ram US warship in disputed waters in Sea of Japan MORE, and worse, lead the country to a better, more unified place?

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He’d better try, or he is going to lose the election.

Trump has some accomplishments as president that are largely forgotten in the current racially- charged world we live in. He signed into law criminal justice reform over the objections of conservative allies. His economic policies lowered black unemployment to historically low levels. He has pardoned high-profile African Americans who were wrongly imprisoned.

But what specific steps can the president take now to unify the country?

First, he can listen. He can convene a meeting of prominent African American leaders and listen to what they have to say about the state of race relations and how to move forward. Have Condi Rice lead the discussion.

Second, he can take action, based on some of their recommendations. Does policing in America need to be reformed? Yes. Should it be defunded? Of course not. If the president, working with the Congress, can sign legislation that mends, but not ends, policing in America, it would be a victory for him and for the country.

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Third, he can challenge corporate America to be an agent of positive change. We hear a lot from C-suite executives about how they want to end racism, but it usually ends with a donation to an advocacy group that wants to do away with capitalism. How about if the president leads corporate America with a different strategy, based on investment, job-training and encouraging supply chains to move back from China to our most challenged neighborhoods? And how about we change tax law to give American companies incentives to provide stock grants to employees, even hourly employees, as part of their compensation?

Fourth, the president should appoint a commission to study more deeply health disparities that are endemic in America. Why are some communities so much more impacted by COVID-19 than others? Are these outcomes fixable? Do environmental factors play a role? Are there particular steps that can be taken to lift up the most-disadvantage communities to make them lead healthier and more productive lives?

Fifth, the president can stress that this is not a zero-sum game. Taking steps to help black Americans, especially those black Americans who live in our most troubled neighborhoods, is not a threat to white Americans. The talk about white privilege is not productive. It is the product of university salons and an intelligentsia that has lost its way. I know plenty of white Americans who don’t feel particularly privileged, who struggle every day to put food on the table and who are desperately afraid that a major health crisis that can put them out on the street.

Yet, because of slavery’s long legacy, black Americans have particular challenges that need to be addressed. Addressing those challenges in an aggressive way -- improving education, dealing with health disparities, fixing the criminal justice system, ending the war on drugs, giving workers more access to capital and wealth -- is good for everybody. It is a win-win and it will help move America forward in a stronger, healthier way.

Finally, I think the president should talk about integration as a positive good. I am not calling for forced busing or even government action. Just the idea of getting people of different colors, different faiths and different political philosophies together to better understand one another as human beings. We need to end ghettoes of all kinds and move forward as one community and one country. We are stronger together when we know each other better. The best way for the president to end these protests is to turn them into parades.

Feehery is a partner at EFB Advocacy and blogs at www.thefeeherytheory.com. He served as spokesman to former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), as communications director to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) when he was majority whip and as a speechwriter to former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).