Wednesday, November 23, 2016

November 23, 2016--Trump Tacking

I have many friends who have already given up on the Trump presidency even though there are nearly two whole months to go before he actually becomes president.

I share their concern but haven't as yet given up on him. Like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, I remain skeptical but am attempting to keep an open mind.

I have also tried to persuade these friends to do likewise.

But in general with that I am getting nowhere. They remain furious and even resentful about his election and what they have concluded he is about. Some acknowledge that the situation is literally making them physically sick. I've even had a few share their list of gastric and neurological symptoms.

Trying to be helpful, I've suggested we wait to see what he actually does. Will he choose Rudy or Mitt to be secretary of state? Perhaps that will be a litmus test for where he is and where he is headed.

It is a little strange, I admit, to be hanging my hopes on Mitt Romney. But so it goes.

Here, though, are a few things to keep in mind when deciding if it is or isn't time to give up on Trump.

As I write this--late afternoon Tuesday--this is what was being heard today from Donald Trump and his spokespeople--

He voluntarily acknowledged that his foundation has been involved in "self-dealing," including inappropriately spending foundation money to pay for an enormous portrait of himself. This fessing up likely to effectively end the investigation of the way it operates.

At his meeting with New York Times reporters and executives, Trump acknowledged that he is concluding that humans are contributing to global warming and that he will "take a look" at the Paris climate accords.

He announced that he will not call for further investigations of either Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server or the operations of the Clinton Foundation. "They have gone through enough," he declared. It was also learned that he has spoken further with Barack Obama about transition and policy matters.

And, influenced by his apparent pick to run the Pentagon, General "Mad Dog" Mattis, he expressed doubt about "the value of torturing terrorists."

In a video tape, in which he spoke about his agenda for the first 100 days, Trump did not mention Obamacare, the Wall, or immigration.

And he "disavowed" support from the alt-right white supremacists, expressing regret that he in any way has contributed to their "energizing."

Then, toward the end of the afternoon, before heading to Florida for Thanksgiving, word leaked that Mitt Romany was likely to be his choice for secretary of state.

Considering what else is at issue, this is not enough to change most of my friends' minds. But I would argue that it is a promising start.

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