Patience is a (political) virtue

Published 9:25 am Friday, May 5, 2017

I admit I clearly was not born with the patience gene.

As a kid my mother was always saying to me, “Patience, patience, patience.”

Today my wife Colleen is always saying the same thing, “Mike. Patience, patience.”

It’s no use.

For example, when I go to a movie I hate standing in line.

It’s always just driven me absolutely nuts. Now at least I can have my son go online and buy the tickets before we get there.

Whenever there’s a line at a restaurant, I just turn and walk away.

When my friends just look at me, I tell them, “God didn’t give me patience and I’ve never prayed for it.”

I bring up my problem with patience because it’s the same problem conservative talk radio people and TV commentators have with the lack of big accomplishments in the first hundred days of the Trump Administration.

I understand their pain — and impatience.

We all want market-driven, patient-centric, flexible health care reform. We all want a simpler, smarter tax code. We all want an end to the warring and killing of innocents in the Middle East.

Our trouble is, too many of us conservatives want to see everything happen yesterday, not tomorrow or the next day.

I think Donald Trump thinks much the same way. As a businessman he’s been going through a sharp, steep learning curve.

He’s quickly found out, on the job, that the business of Congress is politics, not about getting things done quickly.

When you’re a businessman you can make instant decisions, get things done in a flash and move forward to the next goal.

But Congress doesn’t work like that and never will. It’s the same for conservative talk radio and TV commentators. You’re supposed to be done with whatever it is you’re trying to do on their schedule — and your not.

The reality is, I think President Trump has done a terrific job in his first hundred days — especially considering everything he tries to do with Congress is being hampered by the Democrats or the way Congress does business.

Look at all the good executive orders he’s signed on the Keystone pipeline construction and things like reducing government regulations.

He’s found the only way to get things done quickly for now is through executive orders and he’s cranking them out. He’s also signed some smaller bipartisan bills that Congress has sent him.

It’s the titanic struggles over health care and tax reform that are going slowly, mainly because on the biggest and most important issues Congress always slogs along like a old freight train, not a bullet train.

What we conservatives need to do is ignore the liberal media’s partisan impatience and arbitrary deadline and say, “OK, President Trump is not going to get everything done in a hundred days and we shouldn’t expect him to.”

Really, what’s the big rush? He’s got three years and eight more months to get it all done. If he gets it right, he’ll get four more years after that.

And if conservatives keep bringing up my father’s record, as they never stop doing, they have to remember a few things.

My father didn’t get major tax reform done until Aug. 13, 1981 — eight months into his administration.

And in the first couple of years he was so far down in the popularity polls Republicans were terrified he wouldn’t be reelected in 1984.

But after his policies took affect, the economy turned around, the job figures turned around, and he buried Mondale in a landslide.

Once you are in the Oval Office it takes time to get your presidential feet under you. Donald Trump is still a rookie in Washington who’s trying to learn how to hit a knuckle curve.

We conservatives have to stop booing him and need to gain patience.

Becoming unglued so soon because our rookie president is taking too long to hit his first home run is only going to let Chuck Schumer, the Democrats and the anti-Trump media defeat what could be a great presidency.

MICHAEL REAGAN is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). He is the founder of the email service and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at and Send comments to Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.