- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 1, 2017

President Trump’s address to Congress was conciliatory, his tone was amicable, his message hopeful and unifying.

Inheriting leadership of a country with race relations at an all-time low and a new wave of anti-Semitic acts erupting across the nation, Mr. Trump addressed the problems head-on and unabashedly in the opening remarks of his speech.

“Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains,” Mr. Trump said. “Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a county that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its forms.”

Absent from the room was California Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters, who couldn’t bring herself to attend the speech for fear she couldn’t control herself. She’s called members of Mr. Trump’s administration “scumbags” and didn’t want to shake the hands of those across the aisle.

“The president is not going to say what I want him to say,” Ms. Waters reportedly told House Democrats of her reasoning of boycotting the event. “He’s gonna take credit for everything.”

I hope she was watching from home, to see and hear the olive branch that was being extended.

Mr. Trump spoke about creating jobs, supporting our veterans and investing in our military, building infrastructure, putting an end to the opioid crisis and providing expanded treatment centers, all of which Democrats support in one way or another. The key issue is whether they are going to work with Mr. Trump to solve these vexing problems, or remain the party of resistance.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sat sternly, licking her lips when Mr. Trump discussed his successes bringing back U.S. jobs by the likes of Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint and others. Could she not muscle enough effort to stand? For these are jobs for the American people — jobs her Democratic base wants and needs.

Snickering and sneers where heard from the Democratic side of the aisle when Mr. Trump spoke of draining the swamp, and the lobbying and ethics reforms he’s made during his short tenure as president. These reforms expanded on those made by former President Barack Obama during a time when Democrats, too, wanted to end government corruption.

Yet, there were signs of compromise.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin broke with his party and stood when Mr. Trump addressed the plight of coal miners, and nearly all of the Democratic members rose from their seats at the notion of using U.S. steel to build the North Dakota Access and Keystone pipelines.

Even Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren had to clap when Mr. Trump spoke about working with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to help women entrepreneurs gain a foothold in the economy.

It was clear last night that despite the headlines in the mainstream media and hyperventilating among the nation’s elite progressives, that our democracy is not going to end with Mr. Trump at its helm. Yes, there are issues that divide us, but there are also many programs that can unite us.

Mr. Trump challenged every politician in the room to dream big, to take on this nation’s toughest challenges and solve them together.

“The time for small thinking is over,” he declared. “The time for trivial fights is behind us.”

One can only hope so. For if this is to happen, Democrats need to stop being the party of resistance and be open to putting the American public first in a Trump-crafted agenda that takes on Obamacare, tax reform and infrastructure.

With 25 Democratic seats up for grabs in the 2018 election, 10 from states that Mr. Trump carried, compromise just may be possible, if they’re ready.

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