Bringing the classroom to order
I read with interest the many articles, columns, and social media comments over the last several days that spoke with great regret, or in other cases unmitigated joy, about the "failure" of President Trump to quickly and easily nix Obamacare. I see the entire affair rather differently – and this for several reasons.
The first is how the unfolding of things illustrated how silly have been the charges and fears that Donald Trump is some sort of Attila the Hun – a man looking to seize power and do away with our nation's democratic and republican ideals. For, in fact, he demonstrated just the opposite qualities: flexibility and willingness to work with Congress and a demonstrated understanding of where the responsibilities of the executive branch leave off and those of the legislative branch begin. This is something the nation had almost forgotten under the sorry reign of King Barack.
Secondly we saw – and what a refreshing change! – once again a president who sees himself as a representative of the people who elected him, not of a political party. "Winning" for the Republican Party was not key. Standing by what he promised the people was. (That the media somehow did not/do not see this – or, as likely, do but wish to squelch it – has been rather amazing.)
And in Trump's doing both the above, something else was lit up in bright lights: the degree to which the president's own amazing words at his inauguration are really true – that we "are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people."
The Democrats to a man refused to support undoing Obamacare – this despite almost universal recognition that it has hurt the American people, and hurt them badly, that it was built on falsehoods and outright lies.
The Republican Party, on the other hand, demonstrated how empty its party promises have been. After nearly eight years of complaining and fault-finding, Republicans were not prepared to act on the people's behalf – only to talk and squabble among themselves.
Political pressure – greatly added to by the sniping and sneering of the media and the various party elites – did not deflect the president an iota. He was willing to bend, but not fold, on what he understood the people needed and/or from what he himself promised.
Instead, he swallowed his pride – something his critics told us he would never do – and simply walked away.
Legislative responsibilities belong to the legislature. President Trump has placed the ball back in their court – just where it should be.
No, the story does not end here. In a sense, it just begins. That is exactly as it should be.
If we blot out the noise and stand just a bit above the fray of the moment, something becomes very clear: we have a man – a true leader – standing above the boys. We will now see him, step by step, take control of the unruly classroom and bring it to order. And that for all our sakes.