Finley: Trump gives cause to put panic on hold

Nolan Finley
The Detroit News

Could it be that Donald Trump won’t be the ogre so many people thought he’d be as president?

Trump’s first 10 days as president-elect offer some signs that he may prove the worst fears of his opponents, including me, wrong.

For starters, his post-election tone is markedly different than the boisterous, bragging demeanor he wore as a candidate. Trump, so far, is humble and soft-spoken, and appears to feel the weight of the office he just won.

In his CBS “60 Minutes” interview Sunday, Trump was thoughtful, restrained and respectful throughout. The interview with Leslie Stahl was revelatory for other reasons, and should calm the Henny Pennys who’ve been waiting for the sky to fall since Nov. 8.

Trump continues to walk back his more contentious campaign positions. The border wall may now be a strong fence. Instead of rounding up all 12 million undocumented immigrants, he’ll concentrate first on the 2 million to 3 million who’ve committed crimes and figure out how to handle the rest later (the same policy as the Obama administration’s).

He’s got no interest, he said Sunday, in reigniting the fight over gay marriage. And the man said to be his top choice for United Nation’s ambassador is the openly gay Richard Grenell.

Forget about those “lock her up” rally cries. Trump now calls the Clintons “good people” and says he has no interest in hurting them.

People who know Trump say he is a good listener and open to advice. That may explain how a scheduled 15 minute sit-down with President Obama turned into a 90-minute session and a modification of Trump’s views on Obamacare.

If his embrace of House Speaker Paul Ryan is an indication, there’s no purge coming of those Republicans who failed to give him their full support during the campaign. Ryan’s leadership in the Congress should keep lawmaking within the bounds.

Those convinced Trump is an anti-Semite should note he is bringing his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, into the White House as a sort of unofficial enforcer. And an adviser announced Trump will honor the pledge to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Muslims will be interested to learn the immigration ban plank of his campaign has vanished from his website.

He’s said to be considering Michigan’s Ronna Romney McDaniel as the first woman chair of the Republican National Committee in decades. That’s an olive branch to women, but also, in naming the niece of Mitt Romney to lead the party, it sends a signal that he hopes to repatriate those establishment Republicans who opposed his nomination.

Women might want to listen to his daughter and confidante, Ivanka Trump, who lists as her passions erasing the gender wage gap and expanding child care assistance.

One of my objections to Trump was that he is not a conservative. In fact, he could turn out to be the most liberal Republican to occupy the White House.

If he adopts his daughter’s agenda, and his own plans for huge spending on infrastructure and cutbacks in the defense budget, it may be Republicans who start wearing hard hats.

It’s early still. But Trump is offering cause to put the panic on hold.

Nolan Finley’s book “A Little Red Hen: A Collection of Columns from Detroit’s Conservative Voice” is available from Amazon, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble Nook.

Twitter: @NolanFinleyDN