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Hard to Find Common Ground with Trump

Letter to the Editor

It’s been difficult to get a grip on our 45th president. I don’t mean a golf grip.

His first six months in office have been so different from previous Republican presidents there is no comparison. It is important to relate — on a personal level — to our president, something not possible with Donald J. Trump.

My living memory goes back to Dwight Eisenhower. Our family was not an Eisenhower fan because we were Democrats. At the same time, we talked about World War II and Eisenhower’s role in the D-Day invasion of France. It became the subject of our neighborhood play. We cut 34 some slack despite his Republicanism.

We began to like him after the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956. Our family was excited by the prospect of traveling via Interstate Highway because it reduced the amount of time it took to visit relatives in Illinois, Virginia, Tennessee and Florida.

Even with Republicans I disliked the most I have been able to find a connection. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act, Reagan worked with Mikhail Gorbachev to reduce the number of nuclear weapons, and I was willing to give George W. Bush and “compassionate conservatism” a chance before he invaded Iraq after Sept. 11, 2001. No such commonalities exist with Trump.

Barack Obama teed up the ball for the next president to lead at home and abroad. As a golfer, 45 should have known what to do. Indications are Trump has neither interest nor the capacity to be a world leader.

If there’s to be no personal connection my work will go on: protecting our interests in the commons, and in government of, by, and for the people.

Those are Democratic values that won’t fade regardless of who is president.

~ First published as a letter to the editor of the Solon Economist July 13, 2017.