In our opinion: The country needs leadership that reunites

Americans have seen far too much of divisiveness and posturing in Washington. In order to truly accomplish great things in office, Donald Trump needs to demonstrate the ability to unite the nation.

President Trump has a list of things he touts as accomplishments during his first 100 days in office — a milestone that comes Saturday. Although some changes are positive, many involve executive orders, the very thing Trump and the Republican Party criticized Barack Obama for using.

Of the 32 things on his list, 23 were accomplished through executive order. Some, such as his travel ban to certain countries and the construction of a border wall, are tied up in court or require congressional action.

Real evidence of leadership — exhibited through the ability to craft and negotiate bipartisan solutions to the biggest problems facing the nation — remains as elusive as it was during the previous administration.

Large entitlements — Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare — remain on long-term collision courses with fiscal insolvency. Efforts to overturn Obamacare have stalled. Foreign policy questions remain a puzzle.

Effective leadership does not involve trench warfare against ideological opponents, hoping to score enough political points to win some future election. It involves the difficult give-and-take that avoids brinksmanship and results in solutions that often move agendas forward in stages.

Trump’s largest accomplishment so far — the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch — came about only after Senate Republicans changed the rules in order to avoid the need to capture Democratic votes. While the Democratic Party shares blame for that decision, it appears that little, short of strong leadership from the White House, will likely reverse this trend toward endless partisan standoffs.

Our hope is that Trump will begin to unite the nation to tackle its most intractable issues. He faces an opportunity to reverse the current partisan trajectory this week as an impasse over the budget threatens a government shutdown. News…

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