In order to get our nation back on track, Republican political pundits tell us what the nation needs now are candidates who have successfully administrated public budgets: State governors. Governors, they assure us, know how to run things, have budgets to adhere to, and the success of Republican governors in their respective States today is a sure formula for successfully running the Federal Government. And so, Republicans who are sitting Governors begin to circle the fields of primary States like a gathering of ravens.
Or maybe Senators. Like Senator Barack Obama. I rest my case.
But pundits get paid to pundify, therefore more often than not they proselytize points of view which represent accepted political doctrine. It behooves their careers to not go too far out on the limb. I, on the other hand am neither paid nor a doctrinaire. I’m more interested in what’s good for America and its people. Not that I am always right; ask my wife. Never the less, let me inch my way far out on the limb of political opinion.
While I agree governorship is a far, far better background for selecting potential presidential candidates than, oh... let’s say, a community organizer or an ex-Secretary of State under investigation... a Governor may not be the best choice to actually win the White House in today’s complex world. Let’s take the example of Republican icon, Ronald Reagan. Governor of California. Is that why he was elected? Probably not. More likely it was his celebrity, his positive personality, plain ol’ popularity and wit. Ronny was winsome. Of course his name recognition didn’t hurt. Folks knew him from his acting career, and they liked him. Sure, he was a bit oldish, but he showed he still had all the right stuff. And G.W. Bush? Governor, sort of, of Texas. Was he elected because he was a gov? Doubtful. He was elected because he had somewhat more of that right stuff than his pompous opponents. Americans don’t take to pomposity. Or to put it another way, he had enough appeal to the vast sea of independent voters to overcome the other side’s trickery and shenanigans at the ballot box, and even in the courts.
On the other hand, there have been successful governors who have lost presidential elections (for example the last one) to those with more personal appeal. Among the current crop of gubernatorial contenders, Ohio Governor John Kasich is likable. He’s capable, all-around experienced, affable, with a successful record. But the simple fact is in today’s American Idol culture, personality, likability, the “cool factor” – Q-score stuff – will trump gubernatorial or other bonafides every time. There. I said it. Trump.
I will admit to having admired The Donald for many years, going all the way back to the '70s when I too was a Manhattaner. So let me give you some reasons why Trump can and should win the presidency now that he has actually thrown his hat (no tonsorial jokes please!) into the ring.
Getting himself out of some dicey financial difficulty to build his glitzy empire proves he can “govern” not only his finances, but people and operations. As a well-schooled corporate manager, he knows it’s critical to hire the right people to craft a successful “brand.” Which is exactly what the name Trump has come to represent; a brand name with a high-end image. He hires good people, based on merit and appeal, to do good work. In addition, he is far, far more successful at creating a popular and powerful national image than any contender since Reagan or “Arnold.” The Donald is a celebrity in his own right.
The economy is likely to still be a big problem in 2016, Trump has proven he knows how to create jobs. Not just minimum-wage jobs. Not just government jobs. While our current president is out playing golf, Trump is creating golf courses, along with jobs for those designing, building and manning these beautiful courses and resorts. Another huge jobs creator, The Miss Universe Organization, has been owned by Trump since 1996. The organization produces the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA pageants, and before the current dust-up over comments Trump made (which are absurdly exaggerated for fairly transparent political reasons) the show was broadcast on NBC/Univision. Trump was the executive producer and host of the NBC reality show, The Apprentice, which generated good jobs and huge audiences, for which he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Okay, the living recipients all pay for their star, never the less...
As far as Donald’s comments, perceived by Democrats as being anti-hispanic, if you believe that Mr. Trump actually thinks that, as some liberal commentators would have you believe, all, or most immigrants from south of our border are “rapists” or at least not the best representatives of hispanic immigrants, well, then what can I tell you. You would probably believe anything.
State governors may or may not be successful managing their State budgets, but few if any have the kind of international experience, familiarity and influence Mr. Trump has. Yes, they have international experience with State issues dealing with neighboring nations and some with other nations, but nothing to match Trump’s crafty dealings with hard-nosed foreign nations such as the U.K. and China. And Senators in the White House? We have one now. They are slow deliberators, consensus seekers, not take-charge leaders. Unfortunately, the consensus our president seeks seems not to be with our people but with our adversaries.
But recent polls suggest that because of the rise of international terrorism, the defense of America has overtaken the economy as our number one concern. Whatever you may think now about Mr. Trump, even skeptical voters will come to understand he will not be had by adversarial international leaders. Unlike recent presidents, Trump assures us he will not make deals on the world stage where our adversaries get everything they want and America goes home empty-handed. Agreements such as those in which we give Iran, or China, or North Korea, or Middle Eastern and African nations what they want and we get nothing tangible in return.
Unimaginably, we do not even get a simple thing like the release of Iran’s American so-called political or Christian prisoners. And what about American soldiers languishing in foreign prisons for ridiculous reasons? We watch time after time, how after our leader makes losing deals with our adversaries, he prances around as if he is a master deal-maker. Deals with crafty foreign nations should not be left to the likes of sheltered college professors, but to the author of the Best-Seller “Trump – The Art of the Deal.”
In 2010, Trump was a potential presidential candidate in the 2012 election. He made a speech to a CPAC gathering, becoming a write-in candidate in its straw poll. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll (March 2011) claimed Trump led potential contenders for the Republican nomination, at one point ahead of Mitt Romney. Newsweek poll (February 2011) showed Trump within a few points of Obama, with many voters undecided. An April 2011 poll by Public Policy showed Trump had a nine-point lead for the Republican nomination while he was still actively considering a run. Polls. Snapshots in time. But enough to establish a point. Trump was, and still is, viable. In my opinion the most viable on the horizon. The guy knows how to work a crowd.
Well, you say, what about Jeb, Carly, Rand, Ted, Marco et al.? A great field of possible candidates. And frankly, Texas Governor Perry sounded pretty good. He would have been a fine candidate.
I like Governor Christie. We have a lot in common. Both born and raised in NJ’s largest city. Italian-American backgrounds. Educated in Catholic schools. Have similar “Jersey attitudes.” Get along well with both sides of the political aisle. Christie is an effective Republican governor of a “blue” State, with a good share of pizzaz. Pizzaz... not pizzas. Well, maybe some of that too. But, like other very popular New York Metro Area Italian-American presidential hopefuls, I do not think he will appeal to enough primary voters outside New Jersey and New York to gain the nomination (remember Rudy?)
Republican delegates tend to be purists. Trump, may not appeal to purists either, but Q facts are on his side. He is a popular celebrity known and respected by millions throughout the U.S. If conservative purists want their nominee to win the White House in 2016, they had better get beyond their parochial puritanism.
Understand, that I am not in any way associated with Trump or any of his projects or organizations. I have never met the man. I do not know him except through the media. As I said, I admit to having admired his style and effectiveness since my New York days. Oh, I know he doesn’t walk on water. According to his detractors, he may not even float. Some tv “news” hosts, like FOX’s Megyn Kelly, and radio maven Michael Medved, seem to be invested in or infected by Trumpitis. This is a kind of mania where saying anything positive about him makes your face look like you’re sucking a lemon but at the same time you never stop talking about him. Of course Donald has flaws like every other human being: climbing to the top of the pile you will inevitably step on a few toes. Who hasn’t?
His opponents both Republican and Democrat will have a field day with his negatives. He has been criticized and accused of business shenanigans over the years, most recently the so-called “Trump U” controversy. But he successfully negotiated settlements of early financial deals which went off the rails. Scandals, according to some. And what about those donations to Democratic candidates? Smart business; Trump donated to both political parties in the past.
On the personal side, he had a well publicized extra-marital affair with Marla Maples (whom he later married, and still later divorced). He’s been accused of being a racist; sometimes his off-the-cuff remarks can be interpreted any which way a reporter chooses. He’s been accused of being anti-semitic, despite the fact that he strongly supports Israel. These accusations seem laughable. He is critical of Obama, and maybe he’s a birther. The list is longer. But most of the charges seem to be politically motivated. No. They are clearly politically motivated. He doubts Obama’s birth claims and bona fides. But, seven years into the Obama presidency, to quote Hillary, “What difference, at this point, does it make?” Trump may or may not be guilty of any of these other things, but one thing is for sure; unlike my doubts about many in Washington DC, I have never once doubted Donald Trump puts America first. He is an American boy. He won't back down under fire.
Despite his past dalliances, The Donald appears to be a good family man. Undoubtedly, he enjoys being surrounded by beautiful women. Horrors! To purists, allow me to say – eat your heart out. You might have said the same about George Washington, Ben Franklin, Kennedy and so many other leaders. But in these times, we are not in need of a saint; right now our nation desperately needs not just a president but a strong-willed champion at the helm.
Trump is blustery, bold, outspoken, and self-centered. Eloquence is not his style. He is refreshingly blunt. In other words, he is like many successful men. There are millions of voters who wouldn’t vote for Trump for reasons I’m sure they think are valid. Just read some of the comments his haters generate on Twitter. But none of their reasons are strong enough to keep this man out of the White House. Should we prefer Hillary Clinton simply because she is a woman and now it’s a woman’s turn to be President? Or because she is a Clinton? In the cold light of dawn, she has done little to distinguish herself as a leader. She has no record of creating jobs, building a business or managing a budget. If anything, her service as Secretary of State has demonstrated her inability to manage complex situations, and an inability to protect the lives of those in her keep. Even her tenure as First Lady did nothing to endear her to national voters. And that’s no lie.
Trump seems to support the idea of Universal Health Care... which is different from Universal Health Insurance. While I don’t think he supports Obamacare, I suspect he understands our nation’s healthcare system is sick, so would like to dump the ACA and start all over again with a system which makes things better for all.
The bottom line is, despite whatever baggage his image may carry, I believe Donald Trump is capable of rising to the job. I sense he has within him the qualities of a great leader; the right stuff, strong character, charisma, and the will to lead America out of its current morass. The office of President of The United States will bring out his better angels. I do not see another candidate, in either Party, who has all these qualities and whose name is very well-known among voters.
After all, what is the problem in America? By his own admission, our current president has worked hard to “bring America down a notch.” Growing the national debt by alarming amounts to help destroy the middle class, creating an ever-expanding government bureaucracy, doing nothing for the poor but give them a wink and a nod that it’s okay to stay there and let Big Government carry them. He is castrating our national defense, making America appear weak around the world, abandoning our allies and “accidentally” pouring billions of dollars into our enemies’ hands, all the while making empty promise after empty promise.
Trump’s detractors know he stands strong against all these things, and political operatives will work tirelessly to discredit him. At minimum, his detractors are outnumbered by those who like Donald Trump and who believe, though he never claims to be a perfect man, he is the cavalry we’ve been waiting for. He is the man who can bring our nation back from Obama’s morass and mediocrity.
More than any other plausible candidate on either side, Donald Trump has what it takes to get America out of the morass our leaders have created in this nation.