Given the diverse makeup of our community, Tukwila is significantly affected by President Donald Trump’s policies and executive orders. So, let’s take a look. Before the election, campaigns emphasized judgment and temperament. It was academic at that time. Now we have reality. President Trump should have acknowledged that he and his political advisers had little knowledge of the workings of government and acted accordingly. Learn on the job. Take some time to get up to speed; we understand. Instead, Trump pumped out multiple executive orders without sufficient thought. The roll-out of these orders was disjointed and confusing. The travel ban is the worst example. And really, what was the emergency?
Trump appears to have positive intentions but is unskillful in making them a reality. He appeals to our patriotism, our desire for a strong America and safe communities. To get us there, he takes us to our dark side; that part of us that is fearful or angry and willing to blame the other.
President Trump expects to get his way. One way to do that is to create urgency. Act now! The danger is around the corner. Another is to malign the reputation of those who disagree with him including members of the judiciary and elected officials. Critically, he considers the Fourth Estate — news media and the press — to be fake news and the opposition party. This attitude is dangerous. The Fourth Estate is our lifeline to information. Trump, perhaps unwittingly, is moving along a well-known path toward illiberal democracy or worse.
The most worrisome question in the long term is this: Can Trump discern reality from fiction? During the campaign and now as president, Trump continues to make statements that throw his credibility into question. Is he confused, not getting enough sleep or having a memory problem? Is he using marketing techniques to sell his product?
There is some recent evidence that he is getting a better understanding of his options working with co-equal branches of government. His foreign policy positions have become more coherent regarding eastern Ukraine, Crimea and NATO. I expect some good things from President Trump, because no person is all one thing. He will get some things right.
The election of President Trump offers some valuable reminders. You and I may enjoy lower prices on some products because a factory moved out of the country. But what about the communities in which the jobs disappeared? We must do better. The other reminder? Democracy does not sustain itself. It is a work in progress.
Tukwila Reporter columnist Chuck Parrish can be reached via email at email@example.com.