COLUMN: Think Mount Rushmore to unite the country, build respect

Let's reflect on what has made our greatest presidents great.

— -- On this Presidents' Day, let us reflect on what has made our greatest presidents great. First, they sought to unify the country and build up the bonds that linked all Americans to each other.

Second, they were respected by nations around the world as symbols of leadership and integrity. Look at Mount Rushmore and see that these are the values that are consistent across the four faces carved into the South Dakota stone.

So far he has done little to unify the country (expect possibly against him) and gain respect around the globe.

But there were some profound differences moving from that position.

So while Bush rose from his Election Day number by 14 points, Trump has fallen by 6 points! This difference goes directly to the way Trump has lead in the first four weeks.

So how could Trump have pushed his approval into the 60s and received a majority of U.S. support? If he had done the following five things differently, he could have retained his enthusiastic support of his voters and broadened his base.

1. Starting with his inaugural address and other speeches, he could have presented an uplifting and positive message that brought all Americans together with a shared vision and linked us all on universal values. In each speech he has given, however, Trump has appealed only to his base while alienating huge parts of our country.

3. Trump should have stopped tweeting the moment he got into the White House. Yes, Americans like to be entertained, but many of the folks who voted for Trump were concerned about him in the Oval Office and wanted to see him conduct himself in a more "presidential” fashion. His Twitter account has had the opposite effect of generating respect for the office.

5. Trump won the election, but he hasn't stopped talking about his victory margin and whining about why he lost the popular vote, which he blames on the "illegals" who he said voted in significant mumbers. He could have moved on quickly, and let go of any insecurity that he feels surrounding his win. And stopped blaming the media for his "ratings" decline among the public.

Can Trump now change the trajectory moving forward? Yes, but it is getting harder and harder as the opposition to him solidifies.

A week or so out from his addressing a joint session of Congress, Trump might pause for a moment and consider how he might use that speech in a way that shows him more humbly and open to bridging divides around the country. That speech is one huge opportunity to begin to change how the majority of America and the world see him. We all want to be united, but as leader of the free world, Trump needs to make some moves that build our confidence that he shares the same values as all Americans do.

There you have it.

Matthew Dowd is an ABC News analyst and special correspondent. Opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of ABC News.

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