Best wishes or wishful thinking?

I have been contemplating whether Donald Trump can be a successful president - grasping for straws perhaps. I have found a real rationale to give me hope.

Trump in not in anyone's debt; he is beholden to no one. The president-elect does not owe any debt of gratitude for his victory to any of the typical stakeholder groups that almost all other presidents have been constrained by. He was not significantly helped by the Republican Party, the big-money donor class, or the media. And, while his lack of a core political philosophy and ideology may be viewed with suspicion by many, it allows him to do what he does best - to be pragmatic, a deal-maker, and a compromiser who can make things happen.

Yes, I am being wistful. I am looking for ways to assuage my inherent fears. But, as President Obama said so graciously, Trump is our duly elected president, and we should extend to him our wishes to be successful for the good of our great country - and I do.

|Ken Derow, Swarthmore

Must reverse the hate

The morning after Election Day, I realized a majority of my fellow Americans despises me. I am a woman. I could be LGBTQ, Hispanic, Muslim, or African American. I could have a prisoner of war flag on my lawn or a Gold Star in my window. All have been targets of derision voiced by Donald Trump and seconded by everyone who voted for him. No reason can justify or diffuse the impact of their vote.

I accept Trump as president-elect because I love our country and respect our democracy. When he takes his oath of office, I will renew my oath of tolerance. I will speak up with calm resolve and refuse to allow my silence to ever again be taken for complicity.

Let us all use these four years to bring about true change. Let us make America great - not again, but for all time and for all people.

|Mary Beth Collier, Philadelphia

Can't walk back campaign talk

Although he didn't vote for Donald Trump, columnist Michael Smerconish stands ready to "afford him the dignity and respect befitting someone who assumes the highest office in the land" ("Hoping the nation has a compromiser in chief," Sunday). Although an admirable sentiment in a normal election year, getting the majority of Americans - who didn't vote for Trump - to share this intention would require an incurable case of mass amnesia. After all, it was Trump, as birther-in-chief, who afforded our current president no such measure of respect.

Elections have consequences, but so do campaigns. I watched how Trump conducted himself. I listened to the words he spoke. Trump gaining my respect is as likely as Mexico paying for his mythical wall - it will never happen.

|B.J. Enright, Limerick, bje101@comcast.net

High price of morality

I hope all of the people who opted not to participate in the presidential election, such as Michael Smerconish, are happy with the results. Knowing that only one of two people could be elected, they either didn't vote for a presidential candidate, voted for a third-party candidate, or wrote in a person. In other words, their perceived higher moral standing was more important than the good of their country. This nonaction is appalling.

The results are in, and we will live with the outcome for at least four years. It has been said that people get the government they deserve. Sometimes, we must live with the government other people deserve.

|Ralph D. Bloch, Rydal, ralphdbloch@yahoo.com

Electoral College - nay or yea?

The federal election of 2016 has again proven that to select our president via the Electoral College is a major mistake and a waste of time and money. Let us accept the winner of all the votes.

The Electoral College has become outdated. Let us call on our legislators to propose and ratify a constitutional amendment and bring the country up to modern times. We should elect our leaders by counting all the popular votes. That's the way the world works, and that's the way America should work.

|Sy Levy, Plymouth Meeting, hifisy@comcast.net

We should thank the Founding Fathers for their wisdom with regard to the Electoral College. They foresaw a representative democracy as a more stable form than a pure democracy - sometimes referred to as mob rule - in protecting the rights of the minority. Smaller states cannot be overwhelmed by the larger states.

Hillary Clinton supporters are irate that she won the popular vote by at least 1 million votes. But, subtract California's results, and Trump would win by 2 million. The Electoral College works for a United States of America.

|Bob Craig, Jamison

Trump's broken promises

President-elect Donald Trump has already disappointed me and others. He may not repeal Obamacare and will keep parts of it. He's not going to build the beautiful wall along the entire border with Mexico, but a fence. He's not going to round up the 11 million illegal immigrants and send them back. He's not going to put Hillary Clinton in jail. He admits that Obama was born in America. What else?

|Richard Billings, Cherry Hill