Obama and Trump trade places, and a nation awaits the unknown

If you are reading today’s Our View, then at least one prediction of what a Donald Trump presidency would condemn this country to has not come to fruition.

The republic has survived Days One and Two, though the doomsayers would argue that the indefatigable Trump is on a rare vacation so he has not had time to start a nuclear war. There are only 1,458 more days to survive, or — dare we suggest it? — double that should Trump seek and win re-election.

Trump is perhaps the most unpopular president ever at the time he takes office, with an approval rating of just 37 percent as he moves into the White House; for comparison’s sake, President Obama was getting a big-old hug by about 80 percent of this nation when he moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in 2009, and remains quite popular as he leaves Washington, D.C.

He does so with a mixed legacy.

While this country has added jobs for a record 75 straight months, 8 million more people fell below the poverty line under Obama, and 13 million more now depend to some degree on food stamps. Obama figuratively fired the shots that killed Osama bin Laden, but radical Islamic terrorism, three words the 44th president just couldn’t come to say, seems scarier today than ever before. His signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, provided health insurance for 20 million more people, but did not arrive as advertised, and is itself in need of hospice care.

Perhaps most disconcerting, is that the same nation that elected our first black president eight years later seems more divided by color lines than in decades, and maybe longer.

But Obama leaves after eight scandal-free years, and on Friday, even as his successor told the world that America under Obama had lost is greatness, he managed a smile and left with the grace and dignity that Trump lacks.

While predictions of Trump’s presidency run from A to Z, we believe it will mostly be D, as in different than any we have seen in your lifetime, no matter how many generations it spans, and P, as it will push forward populist ideals.

Trump’s mantra of “America First” has resonated following a president who was always apologizing on her behalf.

The conservatives will be disappointed when Trump goes on a spending spree, trying to rebuild this nation’s crumbling infrastructure, with special attention to our highways and schools. There will be much more for liberals to hate, including Trump’s unwillingness to acknowledge climate change, his plan to mine for more coal, his pledge to shore up the borders, his dismantling of Obamacare, and his promise to rebuild the military.

His recklessness, whether calculated or not, and his early morning Twitter sessions will keep people all across the aisles at times amused, befuddled and even in fear.

Trump has demonstrated that he intends to blow up the Washington, D.C., establishment, using a hard-to-argue logic that the politicians and those they bow to — certainly not Mr. and Ms. Middle America — made this mess, and not only can’t be trusted to clean it up, but probably don’t even know where that chore would begin.

That, we believe, is promising. And while most politicians rarely deliver on their promises, Trump seems more believable when making his.

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