By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) — “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” President Trump proclaimed in his inaugural address four years ago. Actually, it was just beginning.

From kids torn from their parents and caged, to a wink, nod, and exhortation to “stand by” to new-Nazis and racists, to a botched pandemic response the homicidally put politics above public safety, to the ultimate, unthinkable debacle at the Capitol, this was the presidency of 25,000 lies and much worse.

READ MORE: Woman Hit And Killed After Getting Out Of Friend's Car On I-93 In Medford

But while it’s easily forgotten amid the avalanche of incompetence and bile, the Trump era had its moments of bipartisan agreement and achievement.

The widely unpopular 26-year-old NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) with Canada and Mexico was rewritten with broad support across the aisle, raising worker wages and, in theory at least, preserving American jobs. The jury is still out on the six-month-old deal, but it passed both branches of Congress overwhelmingly.

READ MORE: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments

The innovative new tech moguls once enjoyed wide public approval. But as the damage fueled by their unedited social media products became clear, from Trump to Elizabeth Warren came calls for antitrust action to reign them in, and the first legal steps are underway.

Other well-received acts of commission and omission included:

  • A long-sought audit of Pentagon spending that the president-elect is expected to pursue;
  • A push to help consumers by making health records much easier to share;
  • New financial reporting requirements aimed at cracking down on tax evaders and money launderers;
  • And despite early saber-rattling, a stand-down from the war on marijuana, opening the door for lucrative legalization in 18 states over the past four years.

How much did the perennially-distracted, legislatively-inept president have to do with any of it? That’s debatable. But these relative successes show there is no ideological or partisan monopoly on good ideas, and that even in the most bitter times, serious people can still get work done.

MORE NEWS: 'It's Panic': CareWell Urgent Care Patients Concerned 2nd Vaccine Doses Will Be Canceled

Call it a positive chord beneath the cacophony of sour notes that mercifully begin to fade away tomorrow at noon.

Jon Keller