In President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office the willingness to learn has been the most positive aspect of his early months. The level of difficulty has come as a surprise. “I loved my previous life,” he told Reuters. “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.” It’s refreshing that he has been so willing to admit all that he didn’t know before: that health care reform is hard, and that China can’t just end the threat of a nuclear North Korea by telling them to knock it off. Even more refreshing would be to be more serious and careful about what he says. This will not be easy: his greatest successes have been in marketing: selling his brand, his reality TV show and himself. Enhancing the facts, a little or a lot, works in his favor. That’s a tough thing to unlearn at 70. But the consequences of Presidential prevarication are far more serious, and the 452 false or misleading Trump statements totaled up by The Washington Post Fact Checker amount to spectacular indifference to reality. Eventually, the facts will catch up with him, and with us, as they always do. He has backed off his threats to pull out of NAFTA, second-guess NATO and provoke a trade war with China. But he must de-escalate dangerously high tensions with North Korea. Also regulations can provide vital protections, so we do hope he will not continue killing rules like limiting student loan fees and keeping Internet providers from selling our consumer data. We hope Trump will take some deep breaths and slow down; he does not need to be bold on every issue, every day. That leads, as it already has, to constant and equally bold revisions. Thoughtful, well prepared plans take more than a minute, and though off-the-cuff and away we go is his signature style, that won’t yield real progress. Then, he could turn to a plan to rebuild our infrastructure — remember jobs, jobs, jobs? This is the President’s best shot at a substantial, bipartisan win.
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