American elected a president who promised change. It’s time to start encouraging him to make changes that benefit everyone.
ALTHOUGH it won’t be easy for some, it’s time for Americans to get used to the sound of President Trump.
We must now accept his presidency and press him to follow through on his promises to grow the economy, strengthen America and revitalize its middle class.
This will require faith and engagement. This editorial board, which endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, and other citizens will be challenged to look beyond Trump’s rhetoric — and troubling tweets — to assess actual policy changes by his administration.
Changes that should be encouraged include the increased antitrust enforcement Trump called for during his campaign. He notably opposed AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner because it would concentrate too much power in a single company.
This scrutiny of mergers is appropriate for a populist president: they reduce choices for the public and usually lead to higher prices and fewer jobs.
While Trump’s foreign policy pronouncements have been distressing, especially the isolationism touted during his inauguration speech, America may benefit from a firmer stance toward China’s mercantilism.
For trade-dependent Washington state, it’s disappointing that Trump appears hellbent on trade wars and opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But our dealmaker in chief should pursue new and better trade agreements that are needed to sustain and grow industry and jobs across the country.
More infrastructure investment is a worthy goal, as long as the public remains the primary beneficiary of such spending and owner of its critical assets.
Addressing violence in cities like Chicago is another good goal of Trump’s — if it’s done with modern, enlightened policing, and not an excuse for oppressive tactics and disproportionate incarceration of minorities in for-profit prisons.
Trump’s policy moves on such fronts must be evaluated on their merits, without being prejudiced by Trump’s personality and past behavior.
This is especially hard given the unacceptable misogyny and malicious behavior Trump demonstrated during the campaign.
Even so, that does not relieve us of our civic duty or elected officials — of both parties — of their obligation to pursue solutions and compromise.
The parallel is with those who refused to accept President Obama and obstructed him at every turn. Obama deserved an open mind and a chance to prove himself and at this point, so does Trump.
Accepting the Trump presidency does not mean giving him carte blanche, endorsing his bad ideas or forgiving poor behavior. It’s about making the most of the situation.
Vigilance is needed to prevent the Trump administration from diminishing essential rights and liberties, or further disrupting international order that has prevented world war for 70 years and improved global health and living standards.
Patience is needed, to give Trump a chance to prove whether he will live up to his better promises and develop a coherent and viable strategy to improve the country.
We don’t yet know whether Trump will bring a fresh perspective or give in to the special interests and Beltway insiders he vowed to clear from the swamp. Optimism on this front is harder, given all the lobbyists, ideologues and tycoons on Trump’s transition team and cabinet list.
At the same time, there are flickers of moderation. Trump has hinted that he’ll be less extreme about climate change, health-care reform, immigration, the Iran nuclear deal and prosecuting Clinton.
These minor drifts to the middle, away from bombast and toward reasonableness, should be coaxed along like the first sparks when building a campfire in the rain.
Trump may go low, but the rest of us need to go high, and show our novice leader the best way forward.
Americans elected a president who promised change. It’s time for us to engage and encourage President Trump to make those changes for the greater good, while holding him accountable to his promise of prosperity and greatness for all.