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The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/John Locher

At this point in the process, I believe it fair to say there are no neutral voices when it comes to an opinion regarding former President Donald J. Trump.  People either really like him or really dislike him.


Those opinions are mostly set in cement. 

Mr. Trump has not only declared that he is a candidate for the Republican nomination for President but is overwhelmingly leading the ever-growing pack with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis coming in a very distant second.  Even, shockingly to some, in his home state of Florida.

To be sure, a week can prove to be an eternity in politics, so there is not only a very long way to go, but multiple more surprises and Biden-team created political hit jobs yet to come.  But in the meantime, former President Trump is the clear frontrunner.

The main reason -- at least from my perspective and most assuredly that of millions of other Americans -- is the fact that he brings decades of real-world business experience to the table.  Real world experience which does allow Mr. Trump to see the positives and negatives in issues and policies which others routinely miss.  Mostly because they have little or no real-world business experience. 

Back in 1987 while working as a writer in the White House of President Ronald Reagan, I bought and read then New York City businessman Donald Trump’s book titled: “The Art of the Deal.”  At the time, what he had to say rang true to me as an anti-academic, real-world way to conduct business.  


After reading it, I reached out to Mr. Trump’s executive assistant Norma at Trump Tower in New York City.  She was nice enough to get back to me and we became “snail mail” pen pals.  Once on a visit to Trump Tower in the early 90s to have a cup of coffee with her, Mr. Trump was nice enough to sign my copy of his book. 

In a number of positive ways, Mr. Trump’s way of doing business as articulated in “The Art of the Deal” reminded me of the Rodney Dangerfield character from the movie “Back to School.” In that film, Dangerfield’s rough-around-the-edges, ultra-successful CEO character goes back to college to keep a protective eye on his son. While sitting in the back of his son’s Economics 101 class, he gets so frustrated by the professor (who never worked in business) incorrectly telling the class how to start a company that he finally jumps up to articulate how you start a business in the “real world.” The entire class soon turns their backs on the professor to stare at Dangerfield’s character, while furiously scribbling notes.

In many real and quite effective ways, Mr. Trump’s campaign for president in 2016 was life imitating art. He morphed into Dangerfield’s character in the sense that he successfully caused millions of Americans to turn away from the entrenched elite politicians, “experts” and pundits from both political parties to hear his real-world solutions to the country’s problems based upon his life and business experience.


One of the main reasons Mr. Trump was able to win the White House was that his instincts were often right on the mark.  They still are.

Just about two weeks ago while in Michigan, former President Trump was waving the warning flag regarding Electric Vehicles and how President Biden’s environmental extremism is destroying Michigan's Auto Industry.

Said former President Trump in part: “Biden is a catastrophe for Michigan and his environmental extremism is heartless and disloyal and horrible for the American worker and you’re starting to see it…Driven by his ridiculous regulations, electric cars will kill more than half of U.S. auto jobs and decimate the suppliers that they decimated already — decimate the suppliers and it’s going to decimate your jobs and it’s going to decimate more than anybody else, the state of Michigan…”

During that same trip, former President Trump called for same-day voting on Election Day, paper ballots and instating requirements for voter ID.

“…They [Democrats] never want any of that stuff because they want to cheat on elections.”

Former President is correct on all counts when it comes to that general subject.  Just a couple of decades ago – in the age of paper ballots – we knew the results of a presidential election that same night.  Now, in the age of ever-evolving advanced technology, we may not know the winner in some counties or states for weeks.  Why?


Next, regarding the war between Ukraine and Russia – a war where Americans are not allowed to question the sanctioned narrative stating Ukraine and Zelensky should never be questioned or held accountable – former President Trump has not only consistently warned that it could lead to a nuclear conflict, but that a negotiated ceasefire should be instituted immediately. 

Former President Trump’s policies were so effective precisely because of his real-world business experience and instincts.  

Instincts which allowed him to pick three solid conservatives for the Supreme Court of the United States.  A court which recently shocked and outraged the liberal world by striking down affirmative action in college admissions; by backing a Christian website designer; and its rebuke of Biden’s federal student loan forgiveness program. 

Megyn Kelly rightfully tweeted out after those rulings: 

“A spectacular day for Donald Trump whose three conservative picks for SCOTUS were integral to the historic decisions yesterday and today.  Major feather in his cap and will likely (& rightfully) be touted by his campaign in coming months.”

As we just witnessed with those critically important rulings, trusting your instincts formulated by decades of real-world experience can pay dividends for years and even decades to come.  Voters know that. 


The coming Republican primary season may prove to be highly contentious as DeSantis and the others try to take down frontrunner Trump.  But, as they go after him, they all know that former President Trump won the “Real-world experience” primary decades ago so will have to rely on less compelling reasons to unseat him. 

Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and author of the book:  The 56 – Liberty Lessons from those who risked all to sign The Declaration of Independence.


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