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Fecteau: Trump’s Pivot

Sunday, September 17, 2017

 

Donald Trump

President Donald J. Trump is working with the same Democrats he vilified in the past and embracing a more moderate stance on certain key public policy issues. I am not complaining; he is getting stuff done after all, and that means something in times like these.

Thus far, Mr. Trump worked with Democratic leadership to reach an agreement for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients. These protections will shield young people and adults from deportation. It should be noted; the Trump administration did put these minors in danger of deportation to begin when it rescinded the program, but that changed – strangely.

It was also recently reported that Mr. Trump will not pull out of the Paris Climate Accord – an issue championed by Democrats and the world community – after all. The Paris Climate Accord is important to reduce carbon emissions, the main contributor to climate change. This is a huge win for everyone, but more importantly our world.   

As I wrote about previously, Mr. Trump also worked with Democrats in Congress to pass a bill that extended the debt ceiling and provided aid to those adversely impacted by the hurricanes (upsetting a number of Republicans and conservatives in the process). This is something I didn’t think was even possible months ago.

President Trump is acting almost presidential. He does have the occasional outburst or rant on Twitter (e.g. against Ms. Hillary Clinton), but he seems to be able to cross the aisle and work with members of the other party.

This is refreshing. While I oppose Mr. Trump politically, I am happy to see him working together with Democrats, and members of the global community to make our world a better place. I am not sure what is motivating Mr. Trump – sick of the establishment Republicans or the new staff in the White House – but Mr. Trump is pivoting more towards being a president than a simple reality television star.

I still disagree with Mr. Trump’s controversial politics and history. I am shocked by his cozy relationship with Russia, and the lack of condemnation of white supremacy. I wish he would release his tax returns already, and his history with women is sickening and embarrassing.

As a country, we need a president disposed to unify, not divide us; willing to mend fences, and produce imperfect, but needed change that our country so desires. We cannot keep blaming each other for the problems in our country, and around the world; we need to work together.

However, that is far from the divisive Mr. Trump, but I’ll a divisive deal maker over an alienating zealot any day. Mr. Trump seems – at moment anyway – willing and able to negotiate with his critics and competitors, working out deals I didn’t think were possible. I hope this is the pivot we’ve all been waiting for, a turn from being a flamboyant reality television star to a leader of our country (and an adult!).

Mr. Trump is not the president I hoped or voted for, but perhaps, he can become the president we need in such times of toxic political gridlock, someone who can – surprisingly – work with the other side to solve our most pressing problems.

 

Matt Fecteau ([email protected]) of Pawtucket, Rhode Island was a Democratic candidate for office in 2014 and 2016. He is a Master of Public Administration candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and an Iraq War veteran. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewFecteau   

 

Related Slideshow: RI Democrats React to Trump Withdrawing from Paris Climate Agreement

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Gina Raimondo

RI Governor

I am deeply disappointed that the President has decided to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. Republicans and Democrats alike recognize that the Paris Agreement is about so much more than climate change. It’s about opportunity, stewardship and America’s standing as a global leader. 

President Trump’s action will not deter Rhode Island from taking necessary steps to address climate change. Our action at the state level will create new jobs and attract new investment in the green economy. 

We’ve set a goal to secure 1,000 MW of clean energy resources and double the number of clean energy jobs by 2020. Ocean State families and businesses are on the front lines fighting climate change. I will continue toward with the General Assembly and partners in other states to protect our environment and advance clean energy alternatives, while creating new opportunities for our workforce in the process. 

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Jim Langevin 

U.S. Congressman

President Trump’s ill-considered decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement puts the future of our entire planet at risk. The withdrawal represents an abandonment of pledges to protect our environment and risks undermining the entire accord, which includes nearly every country on earth. In addition, the President’s action cedes Unites States leadership and means losing a seat at the table to negotiate global agreements in our country's best interest.

The Obama Administration made significant progress toward slowing the rapidly warming climate by negotiating the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce greenhouse emissions on a global scale. Unwinding these commitments represents another assault by President Trump on the health of the public and the planet. His Administration continues to deny climate change despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that shows this is an ongoing human-caused crisis.

Rhode Island is on the front lines of sea level rise, and our citizens will ultimately pay the price for inaction today. Communities like my hometown of Warwick are particularly vulnerable to the storms and floods that come with climate change. Warming seas have chased our traditional catch out of our fisheries and threaten to decimate our beloved Ocean State coastline. Abandoning the Paris deal, the culmination of a multi-year effort by world leaders, is an abdication of our responsibility to leave the world a better place for our children.”

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Sheldon Whitehouse

U.S. Senator

“Donald Trump and his children said just a few years ago that climate change was ‘irrefutable’ and its consequences ‘catastrophic and irreversible.’ They were right. There is no denying the growing threat of rising seas, warming global temperatures, and melting glaciers and ice sheets. 

But we can still avoid the worst if we quickly reduce carbon emissions. That is why ignoring reality and leaving the Paris Agreement could do down as one of the worst foreign policy blunders in our nation’s history, isolating the U.S. further after Trump’s shockingly bad European trip. 

Trump is betraying the country, in the service of Breitbart fake news, the shameless fossil fuel industry, and the Koch brothers’ climate denial operation. It’s Sad. 

America’s biggest corporations and investors urged the President to stick with international efforts to address the climate threat. They and all of us will now have to proceed with a seriousness of purpose commensurate with the threat, knowing of this President’s grave defects. 

If you haven’t joined an environmental group, join one. If your voice needs to be heard, get active. If you are a big corporation with good climate policies that has shied away from engaging politically, it’s time to engage. And if you’re a university that teaches climate science, it’s time to stand up for your scientists. Whoever you are, help end climate denial and take action.”

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Jack Reed

U.S. Senator

“President Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris climate agreement is a blow to the environment that makes us a less secure nation. Our military, which spends every hour of every day thinking about how to protect Americans says climate change is a problem and a real threat multiplier. Indeed, climate change is an established part of the military’s threat and risk assessments.

The United States should continue to be a leader when it comes to protecting the planet; instead, the President is abdicating this responsibility. President Trump is unwisely putting the United States alongside Syria and Nicaragua in declining to be part of the Paris agreement. 

The American people deserve better.” 

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David Cicilline

U.S. Congressman

The President’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement is a terrible mistake. It will diminish American leadership in the world, undermine our ability to create good-paying jobs, and contribute to the further degradation of our environment. 

It is very disappointing that we now know, without question, that the President of the United Sates is a climate change denier. His decision today ignores the overwhelming scientific consensus regarding the serious consequences failing to address climate change. 

The only thing President Trump will accomplish by this decision is to set the United States and world back decades in this fight. I have no doubt that future generations are going to wonder what the hell we were thinking today”

 
 

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