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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 13:16:48 11/12/16

In Reply to: Where have we heard this before? posted by ND


When I speak of naivete, I am alluding to what I have seen repeatedly when Trump supporters are interviewed on TV. They appear to seize on a select few positions of his, while ignoring others that are 180 out from their best interests. I personally have never heard a presidential candidate from either major party treat segments of the population with such obvious disdain, yet still find supporters within that segment. Also, I have vivid memories of Jimmy Carter leaning heavily on his "outsider" status in his 1976 campaign. It was hard to get him to delineate planned policy specifics. I see a parallel in what Donald Trump did in his campaign. What I'm seeing in the past couple days is what the press refers to as a "softening" in several of his positions. If that attributed softening actually materializes in the reality of his presidency, he will likely alienate certain specific sectors of his support. These are admittedly small groups, like the KKK and the Alt Right, but he won't care, because he has already achieved his primary goal, which was to get elected. My gut feel tells me that after he gets a real taste of the harsh reality of what a president's day to day life is really like, he may not care about being re-elected to a second term. After all, he has attractive alternatives that most humans don't have.

What kept ringing in my ears during the campaign were P.T. Barnum's words, "there's a sucker born every minute". Some percentage of the evangelical community looked right past some of Trump's glaring moral frailties, and still supported him.

I readily admit that my fear of "amateur night" is founded in looking at some of the names that Trump bandied about in the early days of the campaign, when it appeared he was going to salt his cabinet and other key positions with his billionaire buddies, like Carl Icahn. It's not that I necessarily "dislike" some of his picks. It is more of a fear of a systemic bias creeping in. If suddenly, you had many of the New York billionaires, quite a few of who are singularly focused, heading up federal departments, I fear substantial damage to the citizen stakeholders, who rely on those agencies to one extent or another. There's the old "when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail" approach, and I have seen that firsthand in the private sector in corporate America, when senior management brings a supposed "savior" in to turn something around, only to discover they let a wolf in sheep's clothing through the door. It can be devastating! In Carter's case, he had a number of people who were well-intentioned, but lacked the requisite experience. In Trump's case, I fear you might have individuals with a ton of experience, but not in the appropriate discipline. I'm thinking back to the immediate aftermath of World War II, in Germany, when the country was on its knees, and the infrastructure lay in ruins. What did the Allies do as a last resort to kick start the recovery? They reluctantly brought in thousands of lower level former Nazis to get things moving.

My biggest single fear right now is Trump's lack of focus in the face of criticism. The fact of the matter is that when he simply ignores all the white noise around him, and concentrates, he is a business genius. It is when he becomes a victim of his thin skin that he becomes a danger to himself and the country.

Years ago, I was a big fan of Lee Iacocca, the "Father of the Mustang", when it looked like he might compete with George H.W. Bush to succeed Ronald Reagan. I focused on Lee's history of his success in business, specifically the development of the Mustang and the dramatic turnaround at Chrysler Corporation. I conveniently ignored that he was also the father of the Pinto. At the time, the American auto industry was still reeling from the onslaught of Japanese competition. I saw more relevance back then to a subject matter expert in the business world taking the reins of government. Now, I look at the business leader we finally elected, and see someone who has made his fortune in commercial real estate, construction/development of high rises and resort properties, and imaging/media. I'm trying to figure out how one of America's wealthiest people is going to address the problems that afflict so many of his supporters. I fear history is going to repeat itself.

There is one area where Trump is virtually unmatched, and that is in creating image. If the political version of head fakes and play action passes can intimidate adversaries and manipulate allies, the USA will enjoy unparalleled success!


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