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The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Author’s note: poetic license allows me to combine my tenses from past to present.

One former President believed that if certain geological calculations proved to be true then a successful mine could be developed over time. Everyone from the owners to the workers had a vested interest in the engineer knowing his business. Another President believed that laying the right foundation based upon the best architectural designs and the right demographic studies could result in a real estate empire. Eventually everyone connected with the project would somehow share in the success. Both men parlayed extraordinary business careers into becoming President of the United States.

At the time of the election both men had become extremely wealthy. A fact not lost on the electorate. One had achieved the top rung which, at the time was the millionaire’s club. The other had replaced the m with a b to also join the elite status.

Neither man had ever held an elected public office.  One, however, had been elected college student treasurer.

Both prided themselves on understanding the value of efficiency. One was considered the leader of the Efficiency Movement which held that “Every institution, public and private, was riddled with unsuspected inefficiencies. They all could be improved by experts who could identify the problems and solve them.” The other man proclaimed he would “drain the swamp” and put in those “experts who could identify the problem and solve them.”

Job creation was a top priority for both men. Although the terminology may be different, large scale public works projects or infrastructure, the goal was still the same, utilize the government printing press in order to put people back to work and “Make America Great Again!”

Trade was also a significant factor in both men’s agendas. One man believed that his negotiating skills were so highly developed that he could easily correct all the bad deals of the past and in so doing re-establish  America as a creditor nation. Of course his fallback was always a border adjustment tax, a double digit import tariff or even jawboning with threats of substantial corporate fines and penalties for additional offshoring. The other man simply supported the most recent piece of legislation that started out protecting American produce and ended up embracing tariffs on everything.

Immigration also played a role in both Presidencies. One Chief Executive strongly supported the construction of a wall to keep the undesirables out. In addition, through Executive Order, he also proposed a ban on certain people from specific countries from entering the United States for a designated period of time. The assumed numbers of people were always up for debate and very unclear. The other Chief Executive never was unclear as to his immigration policy. Five hundred thousand  unemployed  Mexicans were sent back across the border in a forced migration under the Mexican Repatriation Program.

The press has played a curious role with both Presidents. The first man promised “a new phase of press relations.” He chose to forgo a Press Secretary and asked to be questioned directly after handing out his own handwritten statements ahead of time. The second man declared the possibility of reducing press briefings from daily to every few weeks. He also stated he may conduct the meetings as opposed to a Press Secretary.

One President was extremely proud of his ties with Russia. Much of his wealth came as the result of managing the Czars’ richest and most valuable precious metal mine. Even while President he maintained stock ownership in Russian industries. The opposition made no complaints. The other President has vehemently denied even the remotest possibility of any relationship with Russia and nothing has come forth to counter that claim. The opposition is calling for impeachment.

Both men have presided over, arguable, the two greatest stock markets in history and lay claim to their election as the root cause for such euphoria.

Herbert Hoover-31st President of the United States- “a chicken in every pot.”

Donald Trump-45th President of the United States- “it’s gonna be great, great, yeah great.”

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