By agreeing to a three-week end to the shutdown, Trump showed leadership and his commitment to country over politics

On Friday, President Trump announced a three-week temporary end to the partial government shutdown.  The "agreement" did not include funding for a border wall.  While some Republicans might ultimately view this as an act of cowardice on the president's behalf, this conclusion would be an understandable, yet unfair, emotional response.  President Trump vowed that he would not cave to the Democrats, who have continued to refuse to fund the wall.  In agreeing to re-open the government for three weeks, the president has kept his word with regard to the border wall and has shown the American public that he places country over politics.

Cropped from Fox News via YouTube.

The agreement to re-open the government was not a sign of weakness.  Rather, it was indicative of a president who cares about the people in the country who have not been paid as well as the country's national security.  According to Fox News, hundreds of thousands of workers were furloughed or working without pay, and some had missed their second paycheck.  Moreover, the shutdown was impacting various aspects of the nation's security. 

Every former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, including former White House chief of staff John Kelly, sent a letter to the president and Congress on Thursday asking them restore the department's funding.

"DHS employees who protect the traveling public, investigate and counter terrorism, and protect critical infrastructure should not have to rely on the charitable generosity of others for assistance in feeding their families and paying their bills while they steadfastly focus on the mission at hand," the letter said.  "This is unconscionable."

One of the president's primary duties is to protect the nation and its citizens.  In this case, President Trump's willingness to compromise and to temporarily re-open the government showed exactly how much he cares about the country and its citizens.  Trump could have continued to play hardball with the Democratic Congress, many of whom continue to refuse to fund the border wall.  However, unlike some of his Democratic colleagues, Trump realized that the risk to the nation's critical infrastructure and national security, as well as the pain and difficulty that many American workers have had to endure, was worth more than petty politics.  As a matter of fact, during his speech, Trump thanked the various federal workers and their families for their extortionary devotion.  Trump stated:

You are fantastic people.  You are incredible patriots.  Many of you have suffered far greater than anyone but your families would know or understand.  And not only did you not complain but in many cases, you encouraged me to keep going because you care so much about our country and about its border security.  Again, I thank you.  All Americans, I thank you.  You are very very special people.  I am so proud that you are citizens of our country.

In 1974, Senator Jacob Javits, a third-term Republican who was seeking re-election, was accused by some on both sides of the political aisle for being too willing to compromise.   

"My opponent makes fun of me for being the Great Compromiser," Javits said, responding to his opponent on the right.  "Well, compromise produced the War Powers Act.  Compromise produced pension reform.  Compromise produced legal services for the poor and cancer research.  Compromise has to be.  You can't have great, pious beautiful ideas but no performance."

Senator Javits's statement in 1974 is equally applicable today.  Fortunately for Republicans and the country, President Trump understands the important role that compromise plays in negotiations.  Throughout the recent shutdown, he made various offers to congressional Democrats in an effort to re-open the government, each of which was rejected.  By way of their blanket rejections and bad-faith negotiations, Congressional Democrats came across as insensitive, petty, and selfish.

While some Republicans (and those who support the president) might feel let down or upset with the president's decision on Friday, this reaction might not be fair for several reasons.  First, President Trump did not give up or cave on the border wall and still has the right to declare a national emergency if congressional Democrats fail to act in good faith and approve funding for the wall.  Second, President Trump's decision stemmed from his personal compassion for those who are suffering and his responsibility as president to place country over politics.  By agreeing to temporarily re-open the government, he solidified funding for a variety of critical departments and workers, put the pressure on the Democrats to negotiate in good faith regarding the border wall, and maintained his commitment to build a wall through bipartisan support instead of declaring a national emergency.

President Trump made the right decision on Friday and showed true leadership.  As president, his first duty is to the country and its people.  Congressional Democrats now have two choices.  They can either agree to fund the wall or allow petty partisan politics, greed, and bad faith to drag the country into another shutdown.  Trump has done his part.  Congressional Democrats have three weeks to do theirs.      

Mr. Hakim is a writer, commentator, and practicing attorney.  His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, The Western Journal, American Thinker, and other online publications.

Twitter: @ThoughtfulGOP