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All Bricked Up

If Humpty Dumpty tumbles off Donald Trump’s wall, he may not have much of a fall. The President-elect has diminished the scale of the wall he pledged to build along our border with Mexico. There will be some portions of wall, but also some stretches of fence.  When fences won’t work, maybe he’ll try a few traffic cones. Or a crossing guard. Trump has reminded us quite early that his promises and proposals were only suggestions.  He is walking back his first and most famous promise –  the Great Wall of Arizona. Trump left his Friday meeting with President Obama looking ashen, his florid orange cast turned a washed-out gray. His shoulders are slumping from their usual military school bearing.  The Oval Office surely aged him, and he does not occupy it yet. 

Modest Proposals

Trump readily admits now that he boasted many outrageous plans in his campaign solely to get elected. He didn’t plan to undertake many of the things he proposed or even to win, for that matter.  He was surprised to escape the gravitational force of  the primaries and planned to throw his support to Chris Christie. At the time of the convention, his son approached John Kasich to offer him effective control of the government in a Trump-Kasich administration.  Trump fancied himself in more of a ceremonial role, like a Greeter at a Trump Casino.

A Tired Tycoon

The realities of the toughest job in the world have quickly borne down on him.  The robust 70 year-old globetrotter has looked distinctly low energy. Asked about Obamacare after leaving his Oval Office meeting, he observed that some parts of the health plan were worth keeping, Trump-speak for pieces that cannot be removed without catastrophic impact. You can’t reinstate the pre-existing condition exclusion without replacing the coverage because no insurance carrier will carry those high-risk cases voluntarily — or affordably. The health plan Trump characterized as a disaster, he now finds that he can’t easily get away from it. In fact, he had to admit that parts of this disaster were actually worth keeping. 

Mixed Messages

Some other early flip-flops: He’s making himself available to the press again. He’s receptive to coaching  from President Obama, his nemesis. He considers same-sex marriage settled law and won’t go after it.  

To be sure, Trump hasn’t retreated from nominating a Supreme Court Judge who is openly pro-life. He intends immediately deport undocumented immigrants with a criminal record. He’s chosen Steve Bannon as his chief strategist, a man aligned with White Nationalism and the racial and ethnic hatred in which it traffics. Reince Priebus, the GOP party chairman, has been elected to the all-powerful chief of staff position. Neither Trump, Bannon nor Priebus has held a government post of any kind.

One week after the November Surprise, we don’t know much more about Trump’s true plans and beliefs. It is clear, however, that he is a man sobered by the sudden realization that running a government is a monumental undertaking, one which he did not expect.

© 2016 The Revolted Colonies