WFA president Julaine Appling pens op ed to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 13, 2017:
My stock answer to those who ask me what I think about President-elect Donald Trump and the coming four years is, “I’m cautiously optimistic.” I am prepared to give President Trump the benefit of the doubt on this journey of making America great again.
I believe as a result of this past election, America has been given yet another opportunity to right some wrongs and to get back on track in important areas. The question is how will we use this opportunity? Millions of Americans said with their vote that they are tired of what we’ve had the last eight years. We are hopeful real change will happen — good changes that will make America great again. In light of that, here are my hopes for our new president and his administration.
I hope President Trump understands married dad and mom families are the foundation of our communities, state and nation. I hope he exemplifies what Ronald Reagan expressed in his executive order titled “The Family.” This order — written exclusively for members of his administration, not the entire country — required that any administrative program or policy at a minimum did no harm to families. I hope President Trump always will look for ways to strengthen families, affording them the opportunity to remain or become independent of government. Independent families truly thrive — and thriving families will make America great again.
I hope President Trump respects the Constitution and its limited government. Conservatives want less government, not more. Parents’ rights need to be respected, not restricted. Businesses, especially small businesses, need less regulation, not more. State’s rights need to be restored, not wrested away. Government needs to get out of the way so our American initiative can flourish as we make America great again.
I hope our new president appoints to all levels of the federal judicial system, including the U.S. Supreme Court, men and women who exercise judicial restraint, set aside personal agendas and don’t try to judicially rewrite the constitution. A judiciary acting within its constitutional boundaries works to make America great again.
I hope President Trump will listen both to those who agree and those who disagree with him as he formulates policy, both foreign and domestic. Listening does not mean a person is compelled to agree with any given opinion or to act as someone urges. But it does show respect, interest and willingness to learn and to consider other opinions and ideas as we work together to make America great again.
I hope President Trump will understand the president sets the tone for the nation. Standing on principle, telling the truth, and combatting lies needs to be done if America is to be made great again; but it needs to be done, from the White House down, reasonably, responsibly and respectfully.
I hope President Trump will send a clear message in word and deed that he understands and respects religious freedom as provided in the Constitution and is willing to protect the right of people to live and work in accord with their religious beliefs. In respecting our “first freedom,” we make America great again.
I hope President Trump reflects in his policies, appointments and positions a core belief that a compassionate and great America values all human life from the moment of conception through natural death.
I am cautiously optimistic my hopes will be fulfilled. If they are dashed, despite my best efforts to see them become reality, I am encouraged that in this Grand Republic “we the people” get to speak again in four years.
NOTE: Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling was a guest panelist Wednesday evening, January 11, participating in “A Nation Engaged,” a live pre-inauguration community conversation, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The forum was put on by National Public Radio (NPR) and Wisconsin Public Radio. Similar panels were also held in Sacramento, Houston and Raleigh-Durham this same evening.
During the forum, community leaders were invited to speak to the questions: What are your hopes for the Trump Administration? What should the country know about your community? The moderator also took questions and comments from the audience during the one-hour panel.
The program will air nationwide on NPR on Monday, January 16.