I think too many of us have been reacting too much to what President-elect Donald Trump says — and has said — when we ought to be just taking notes and saving our energy for those moments when he actually does something.
Those days and decisions are certainly coming, but after nearly a full week of post-election pronouncements, there is a lot of daylight developing between the Trump who campaigned at rallies and the Trump who is racking up miles walking back previous bold statements and promises:
▪ President Barack Obama was not only born in the United States, he might know a thing or two and Trump might seek his counsel in the future.
▪ “Repealing and replacing Obamacare” now looks more like “revising and replacing Obamacare.”
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▪ “The Wall” on the Mexican border now may have some “fence” segments where appropriate.
▪ Engaging a special prosecutor to go after Hillary Clinton for alleged misdeeds is being put off for now because “I don’t want to hurt them, they’re (the Clintons) good people.”
▪ Vows to prosecute “the establishment” have been tempered to the point of naming GOP Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus as his new Chief of Staff — though he also named the controversial Steve Bannon to an inner-circle post, which has riled some.
I am guessing there is going to be a lot more walking back to come as Trump absorbs and better understands the gravity and complexity of his new job. A couple more meetings with Obama and — who knows? — Trump might find sometime for the outgoing president to do in his new administration.
I am not saying that Trump morphing now is all bad — I’m just saying we should not be surprised. Trump the pragmatic deal-maker may be rapidly replacing Trump the bombastic campaigner.
Football provides an analogy. On the gridiron the guy with the ball employs a lot of head-fakes and deceptive moves in order to get down the field to the goal line. Tacklers are trained to look past all the upper body gyrations and trickery and aim for the belt area of the body because the ball carrier can’t go anywhere without a torso.
Politics bounces like a football and people like Trump employ a lot of rhetoric during a campaign before pushing the button on action. I’m not saying we’re going to like any or all of his policies after he qualifies them in order to make them happen. Let’s keep our eye on the belt-line of his actions.
For those of us who are willing to try, we might reduce our angst by reserving judgment until Trump stops talking and starts making actual decisions.