Today marks the 230th anniversary of an event of global significance. On Sept. 17, 1787, many of America’s greatest thinkers put their stamp on a founding document as misunderstood and misquoted nowadays as the Bible. Presidents, preachers, legislators and jurists on both the left and right have sought to twist and confuse its meaning. Political movements have cherry-picked what provisions they will abide by — while ignoring or even defying the rest.

Many when speaking of the Constitution more specifically mean the Bill of Rights, which was passed later to calm those who feared the Constitution didn’t state clearly rights worthy of protection. The Constitution, after all, is more concerned with the workings of governance, the powers and limits of each branch and the cherished concept of checks and balances. It’s an owner’s manual to help facilitate the passage and enforcement of laws.

So what does the Constitution mean in the Age of Trump? It’s quite obvious the president is somewhat unfamiliar with the document. As a candidate, he famously vowed devotion to all 12 of the Constitution’s articles. (It has only seven.) And early on the president expressed deep reservations with such legislative customs as the Senate filibuster. He also has failed to grasp the purpose of an independent judiciary beholden to no one but the Constitution and its amendments.

Yet the past two weeks suggest Trump may well be gaining his footing as a chief executive, particularly after months of failure and stalemate. The Republican president hammered out a deal with Democratic Senate and House leaders to approve vital hurricane relief for our hard-hit Texas coast while also raising the debt limit. Now he’s talking with Democrats about a pact to protect young immigrants known as “Dreamers” from deportation in return for Democrats agreeing to “massive” border-security measures, albeit minus the infamous wall.

Right-wing pundits and Republican extremists are outraged over such deal-making, though the art of the deal is what Trump promised in his unconventional campaign. (For the record, Democratic activists are venting angrily against Democratic leadership for condescending to deal with Trump.) It remains to be seen whether Trump’s fiercely loyal followers will condemn Trump’s efforts to craft deals and negotiate solutions. Quite possibly, this is what they have long sought from Washington leadership. Imagine the possibilities if lawmakers of both major parties could actually manage this more regularly on their own.

In the 2016 campaign, many Trump voters expressed frustration with how Washington did business. If they referred to all the gridlock and dysfunction, if they meant how Republicans and Democrats are unwilling to work together and craft deals that they could then sell to their constituencies, then perhaps this president truly can deliver something unique where supposedly better-schooled politicians have failed. In that sense, Trump might even prove that, yes, the Constitution can work if one is careful to embrace George Washington’s wise warning about the perils of partisanship and work deals benefiting everybody, at least to a degree. And to do that, Trump doesn’t even need to know how many articles are in the Constitution.