For 15 years, Donald Trump ran a highly successful reality TV show. Now he's putting on a similar production as president. He's taken political debate out of Congress, and put it in the White House. And he's put it on live TV.
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Is that a good thing for America?
In my opinion, yes. Congress is not a debating chamber. It is a voting chamber. The public doesn't actually get an airing of the issues. They get a lot of talking points on C-SPAN.
What Trump has done is bring both sides in, and open up the debate. He's held bipartisan meetings on guns, trade, opioids and any other subject that comes up in the general flow of conversation. And it’s on live TV, daily. What's wrong with that?
For years voters have complained that Congress does nothing. "The do-nothing Congress" has been a long-running headline. The Trump show is an attempt to get something done; to end the deadlock with face-to-face debate where all opinions are aired.
Doesn't this offer the best hope of actually doing something on guns? Or opioids, and yes, immigration? Congress on its own didn't do much. Prodded by Trump from the White House, we may see some action.
Yes, the president changes his mind, a lot. Yes, he tends to agree with the last person he talked to. But he's a business guy, and he's treating politics like a board meeting. His objective is to bring both sides together and thrash out a deal. Get something done.
And like him or not, many people watch. It is entertaining. He is a great TV performer. And he's taken politics out of the congressional back-rooms and put it in your living room.
This is really different.