Our Opinion: Giving Trump a chance on Martin Luther King Jr. Day


Martin Luther King Jr. Day arrives accompanied by a Donald Trump controversy. Why should today be different from any other day?

Liberty University, a private evangelical school in Lynchburg, Virginia, has invited the controversial Republican presidential candidate to host its Martin Luther King Jr. Day convocation. "It wasn't like we said, 'Let's go find someone who would be anti-Martin Luther King," said Liberty Senior Vice President of Student Affairs Mark Hine in response to the backlash against the choice of Mr. Trump and the plans of some students to organize protests today.

Actually, the school did find someone who could be construed as anti-Martin Luther King given the comments Mr. Trump has made demeaning blacks and minorities, and more generally, his celebration of wealth and his indifference to those not fortunate enough to be born into it as he was. However, Liberty is not a publicly funded university, can invite who it likes, and free speech trumps (or "Trumps") censorship. The protesters can exercise their similar right.

Maybe Mr. Trump will surprise us, as in did in last Thursday's Republican presidential debate, when he eloquently took apart rival Ted Cruz's "New York values" remarks. Senator Cruz, with his relentless demeaning of anyone not in his (partially Canadian) circle, comes from a mean, intolerant place that is contrary to American values.

So let's give Mr. Trump a chance to rise to the occasion. If he fails, everyone else can have their say.


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