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Trump is right to stick to his guns

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From the moment Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi appeared on American national television — looking for all the world like Herman and Lily Munster — to bewail the government shutdown, you knew that President Trump was on to a winner.

It reminded me of President Reagan’s threat to the 16,000 air traffic controllers who, despite being federal employees and thus forbidden to strike, had done so at the busiest time of the year in August, 1981. He fired them all, forbade them from reapplying for their jobs and the $150 million fines imposed on PATCO resulted in the liquidation of that union.

As for President Trump’s walking out of the talks with Pelosi the following day, that reminded me of Reagan walking out of the Reykjavik talks when Gorbachev demanded that he give up the Strategic Defense Initiative. Reagan gathered his papers and said to his Secretary of State, “Let’s go George”. Guess who won the Cold War.

Significantly, both Reagan and President Trump, uniquely amongst the Presidents, were professional negotiators in their private sector careers. Both of them knew when to walk away from a bad deal.

Americans, who suffered under eight years of Obama’s poor economic record when Washington’s suburbs were amongst the wealthiest areas of the country, will not worry about federal workers going without their pay for a few weeks whilst the disgraceful situation at the border........

© The Gisborne Herald