Call me a town crier. Call me a party pooper. Call me establishment, although I am not sure what that is. Call me stupid, or maybe just Cassandra. But here is the reality. There are many reasons, and here are ten, that the eminent, self-impressed Mr. Trump will fail to fix anything. Starkly, he will fix nothing.
- (1) Closely aligned with Hillary Clinton. Look yourself in the mirror tomorrow morning, and ask your Trump-contented reflection this question: If someone has given thousands of dollars to Hillary Clinton, invited her to his wedding, contributed to her foundation, encouraged his daughter to befriend Clinton’s, tracks her positions (including abortion and government health care), and refuses to attack a swath of her agenda, is that person aligned with you or with her? And honestly, how much has she fixed?
- (2) Closely aligned with Chuck Schumer. When your view of government dysfunction and anger at Washington puts on a face, it may not be Chuck Schumer’s – but when he takes over the Senate next year, it will be. And who does he feel confident he can work with? Is that the sort of person you want working for you?
- (3) Relies on Cronies, not on experts. Management is about people, full stop. Who you pick, defines what you will get done. Trump’s record is clear. He does not pick tops in field, create a wide and empowered base of top performers, and then ask them to pick top performers. The reverse. He picks family and cronies, and makes no apologies for it. He is not interested in hearing what he is not interested in hearing. That is called a formula for bankruptcy. Exhibit one: Trump’s four bankruptcies.
- (4) Merit System Board prevents mass firings. Oops. The law. Oh yeah. Ever heard of the Merit Systems Protection Board? Neither has Big Don. As a former Senate-confirmed official, who wanted to remove more people than I was ever able to, this wrench in the works slows all firings, even when they are or would be for merit. It would prevent Mr. Trump – even if he were not a Clinton-Schumer protégé – from mass firings. If he undertook mass firings and ignored the Board’s legal strictures, perhaps with his own executive orders, gridlock would become court-lock. Until a savvy President, one who knows the system, works within it to reform it, no strongman will do more than get in legal trouble.
- (5) Military will not follow Unlawful orders. High ranking former decorated General officers – some boldly and without reservation – have made clear that actions Mr. Trump says he will order, like harsher torture and the killing of families tied to terrorists, are “unlawful.” Moreover, they have said – again boldly – that if Trump orders the military to do such things, these young men and women will be under a legal obligation not to. Ask yourself what American President would ever put our fighting men and women into such an untenable position?
- (6) No Credibility among world leaders. Credible (and conservative) world leaders are asking us, what are you doing? Looking at Trump and Clinton, they are asking – what has become of the strong, stable, sage and time-honored global leader we knew as America? They laugh at Obama’s cowing; they shudder at Trump’s lack of understanding. To make a country strong, you must do more than puff, shout, and declare. You must earn respect and have credibility on the global stage. Trump has made himself a laughing stock before he begins. The world is too dangerous, too connected, to believe we can hold it captive, lecture, or fire it. Sorry.
- (7) No understanding of history. To be president, you do not need to have memorized the Constitution, read Washington, Jefferson, Madison, or Monroe. It helps, of course, but is not necessary. After all, Hillary Clinton mixed up the Declaration of Independence and Constitution last week. But that is her oops, not ours. If you condemn two sitting Senators for being part of “the establishment,” not acknowledging that they have fought “tooth and nail” to apply hard brakes, stop runaway debt, secure our country, and reform it – your are either disingenuous, or do not understand fixing starts within. Without history or experience, your wheels will spin and you go nowhere. Service is not a bad word. Cruz at least has been fighting for us – hard.
- (8) No understanding of military doctrine. Suffice to say that the absolute top priority of a president is national security. Suffice to say that Mr. Trump – unlike Senators Cruz and Rubio – has no idea what national security is about. He did not know what the nuclear triad was. How would he explain Counterforce and Countervalue, Force Protection, COIN Strategy, Unity of Command, Balance of Power, National Technical Means, or the Weinberger-Powell Doctrine? As a Commander in Chief, you fail if you know nothing of national security.
- (9) No respect for First Amendment. Words are cheap, law suits expensive. How can an avowed defender of the First Amendment – and recall only Cruz has defended it at the Supreme Court – want to widen libel laws and sue the press? Libel is a civil penalty that amputates the First Amendment. Mr. Trump is a libel guy, not a free speech guy. Libel is the bedfellow of political correctness, not the reverse. Think about it.
- (10)Objective is Power, not fixing anything. Finally, cut to the quick. Mr. Trump is clearly big on power, leveraging more from less. He fashions himself able to create wealth, although the jury is out until we see his tax returns – and the audit. Mr. Trump quashes the public’s right to know, and thinks nothing of it. Why do we let him? Why do we let a man who has chased power, wealth and other alluring prizes take us for fools? Neither unifier nor conservative, neither principled advocate nor successful manager of even one public company, he is not equipped nor prepared to fix anything. So let’s get it right, other than a skating rink in New York, this is no fixer.
- The good news? There are still choices that will fix things – in July (convention), in November (election), and in our future. Let’s start thinking harder about this.
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