For skeptical Americans, a debate over whether to give Trump a chance

9 February 2017
Linda Feldmann

After all, giving newly inaugurated presidents the opportunity to govern, and show what they can accomplish, is part of America’s great democratic tradition. Even former President Barack Obama, no fan of Mr. Trump, urged forbearance in the early going.

“Let him make his decisions,” Mr. Obama said soon after the election.

But the reality hasn’t been so simple. Trump is no ordinary president. And from Day One, Americans have responded to his insurgent presidency in no ordinary way, from deep satisfaction that the political establishment has been upended, to vocal resistance, street protests, and warnings of incipient autocracy.

By Day 10, Obama had already broken his silence, saying he “fundamentally disagree[d]” with Trump’s executive order temporarily curbing immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.

But some Trump skeptics say the smarter long-term strategy should be, in fact, to let him govern unfettered by his opponents’ obstructionism and constant outrage and then if his policies don’t pan out, Trump will have no one to blame but himself.