Saturday, August 1, 2015

Between the Bridges in Broad Channel

Between the Bridges – The Trump Conundrum

It appears that everyone is having a difficult time dealing with Donald Trump’s presidential aspirations. Every time the Donald opens his mouth the media is quick to malign his message and headline his immediate departure from the campaign in disgrace and are then perplexed when, rather than flaming out, Trump’s poll numbers keep growing. His republican primary rivals, in an attempt to diminish this non-politician’s impact on the primary race, have referred to Trump as a “blowhard,” a “barking carnival act” and “the world’s biggest jackass,” only to be taken aback when the Donald responds in kind with his version of a verbal “shock and awe” response accompanied by the applause of a long suffering and politically distrustful public.
Even our very own local City Councilman, Eric Ulrich, has (and I think foolishly) entered the ongoing Trump dust up by complaining that “Since [Trump] announced his presidential bid, he has gone out of his way to offend immigrants, women and now veterans.” Ulrich continued, “His recent attack on Senator John McCain is downright despicable. He is not suited to be President of the United States and does not deserve to have a hospital facility named after him.” Councilman Ulrich’s remarks were summarily dismissed by the Trump Organization as a “publicity stunt by an unknown politician” and also pointed out that the Trump Pavillion for Nursing and Rehabilitation at Jamaica Hospital was named back in 1975, not after Donald, but rather his mother Mary who, to the best of my knowledge, never made any disparaging remarks about illegal immigrants, women or veterans in her entire life. Our Councilman would do well to keep in mind that however Donald Trump’s venture in presidential politics plays out, he will, at some point, return to his corporate headquarters in New York City at the Trump Tower and will still be a economic force to be reckoned with.
This Trump conundrum derives its momentum from the simple fact that Donald Trump, unlike his political rivals, is a businessman and not a politician. A politician is an animal who will promise you a bridge even when there is no river or chasm to span.  A businessman will analyze the situation and then factually tell you whether or not you need a bridge. A politician is careful to nuance his or her words very carefully so as to not offend any segment of a constituency.  A successful businessman deals with the “bottom line” or as it is sometimes referred to as… the truth! You have to know that a candidate who speaks his or her mind is bound to drive his fellow candidates crazy!
If you want to know where Donald Trump is coming from and why he is driving the media, politicians and others crazy, I suggest you read his book, the business classic, The Art of the Deal wherein he discusses those real attributes that have made him a wildly successful businessman. In Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life, Trump further discusses some of the attributes he’s now using to befuddle his opponents such as: “Everyone who does anything is criticized. Expect it. Listen to it. Then dismiss it. I’ve been criticized for everything I’ve ever done. I do not let it get to me. … Do not let it stop you. Speak up and stand out”…. “I like to go against the tide”…“When you are attacked publicly, always strike back”… “Don’t think about how you can make money. Instead, think about what you can produce or what service you can offer that is valuable and useful to people and your community.”
This column is not an endorsement of Donald Trump’s campaign as I tend to expect that at some point in this primary race the Donald’s ego and proclivity for allowing his mouth to override his thought process will eventually cause his campaign to flame out, perhaps even by the time this article goes to press. (Or perhaps not?) Until then, these words simply stand as an endorsement of the presence of a candidate who is not a politician; who is not beholden to the taxpayer’s dime; who is not bound by the shackles of political correctness and, is possessed with the confidence of his opinions and unafraid to state them. The Donald’s presence in this race, for however long it lasts, will ensure that the other candidates will have to up their games and maybe, just maybe, straighten up and start treating the electorate as adults.
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