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Fecteau: Trump’s Pivot

Sunday, September 17, 2017

 

Donald Trump

President Donald J. Trump is working with the same Democrats he vilified in the past and embracing a more moderate stance on certain key public policy issues. I am not complaining; he is getting stuff done after all, and that means something in times like these.

Thus far, Mr. Trump worked with Democratic leadership to reach an agreement for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients. These protections will shield young people and adults from deportation. It should be noted; the Trump administration did put these minors in danger of deportation to begin when it rescinded the program, but that changed – strangely.

It was also recently reported that Mr. Trump will not pull out of the Paris Climate Accord – an issue championed by Democrats and the world community – after all. The Paris Climate Accord is important to reduce carbon emissions, the main contributor to climate change. This is a huge win for everyone, but more importantly our world.   

As I wrote about previously, Mr. Trump also worked with Democrats in Congress to pass a bill that extended the debt ceiling and provided aid to those adversely impacted by the hurricanes (upsetting a number of Republicans and conservatives in the process). This is something I didn’t think was even possible months ago.

President Trump is acting almost presidential. He does have the occasional outburst or rant on Twitter (e.g. against Ms. Hillary Clinton), but he seems to be able to cross the aisle and work with members of the other party.

This is refreshing. While I oppose Mr. Trump politically, I am happy to see him working together with Democrats, and members of the global community to make our world a better place. I am not sure what is motivating Mr. Trump – sick of the establishment Republicans or the new staff in the White House – but Mr. Trump is pivoting more towards being a president than a simple reality television star.

I still disagree with Mr. Trump’s controversial politics and history. I am shocked by his cozy relationship with Russia, and the lack of condemnation of white supremacy. I wish he would release his tax returns already, and his history with women is sickening and embarrassing.

As a country, we need a president disposed to unify, not divide us; willing to mend fences, and produce imperfect, but needed change that our country so desires. We cannot keep blaming each other for the problems in our country, and around the world; we need to work together.

However, that is far from the divisive Mr. Trump, but I’ll a divisive deal maker over an alienating zealot any day. Mr. Trump seems – at moment anyway – willing and able to negotiate with his critics and competitors, working out deals I didn’t think were possible. I hope this is the pivot we’ve all been waiting for, a turn from being a flamboyant reality television star to a leader of our country (and an adult!).

Mr. Trump is not the president I hoped or voted for, but perhaps, he can become the president we need in such times of toxic political gridlock, someone who can – surprisingly – work with the other side to solve our most pressing problems.

 

Matt Fecteau (Matthew.Fecteau@gmail.com) is a Master of Public Administration candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and an Iraq War veteran. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewFecteau   

 

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