President Trump has yet to show he can work well with others - Mel Maurer: Speaking from the middle

WESTLAKE, Ohio -- As a political junkie, "a mouthy moderate," I have long wanted to see what a successful businessman/businesswoman could do as president. Now, in the back of my mind, I hear, "Be careful what you wish for." The president, at least by...

President Trump has yet to show he can work well with others - Mel Maurer: Speaking from the middle

WESTLAKE, Ohio -- As a political junkie, "a mouthy moderate," I have long wanted to see what a successful businessman/businesswoman could do as president. Now, in the back of my mind, I hear, "Be careful what you wish for."

The president, at least by his claims, has had great success in business, but we can't be sure if that's a fact or an "alternative fact."  Given his penchant for exaggerating almost everything - including crowd sizes - his actual business success is questionable and his refusal to open his tax returns doesn't help. Given all of that, it's very difficult to believe anything he says. His initial actions in keeping his campaign promises are encouraging, although for me, there are some that need more consideration before keeping.

Along with all his bravado are some good ideas, but his "spoiled child" immaturity in handling anything he doesn't agree with could mean he will only create more problems than he solves. He made more enemies than friends in the days leading up to his inauguration, squandering great opportunities for some much-needed unity.

Mel Maurer is a Lincoln scholar.Mel Maurer 

The president does want to do a good job; however, his definition of "good" and the public's may differ. Ultimately his success will depend on how well he can work with those in government here and abroad - nothing worthwhile can be achieved without cooperation. It's worrisome that he has yet to show he can work well with others.

Trust must be earned and he has yet to earn mine, but I do plan to give him time to do so.  

Mel Maurer, a retired executive, now spends his time as a writer, public speaker, performer, teacher and political historian. He is a Lincoln scholar, a member and past president of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable, and lifetime member of The Lincoln Forum.

About this project: As part of an effort to bring a greater diversity of voices to bear on timely issues, Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer are reaching out to 18 published letter writers every few weeks -- five who appeared from their letters to be conservatives, five liberals, and eight who wrote in apparently neutral ways about issues. For this installment, we asked for brief commentaries either on Trump's words versus his actions or on the $140 million Quicken Loans Arena upgrades in Cleveland. Eleven of the 18 said they would write; all had submitted their essays as of Tuesday morning. We also received a Trump essay mailed in by one person we'd reached out to in the prior round, for 12 essays in all -- two on the arena upgrades, which we posted separately, and 10 on President Trump. Several of the letter writers whom we contacted did not wish to write on either topic and asked us to reach out to them with another set of questions as the project continues, which we will do.

Questions or comments? Contact Elizabeth Sullivan at esullivan@cleveland.com

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