3 Antidotes for Your Trump Weariness

Will Samson No comments exist

Before Donald Trump was elected, many of us opposed his candidacy because of what he believed, which was a dumpster fire of slogans, failed ideas and crackpot schemes. His policy platform, such as it was, could never have formed the basis for a governing philosophy. But, at least as concerning was what many of us believed *about Donald Trump,* which was that he was shockingly incompetent and dangerously unprepared for the role of, what was at the time, the leader of the free world.
We have seen this demonstrated time and again in the last five months since the inauguration. The easiest way to understand this incompetence is in Trump’s preparation for last week’s G20 Summit. Without a doubt the G20 is one of the most important meetings he will attend this year, yet about three days before the event Trump’s staff realized they had not yet booked a hotel room in the host city. That lack of management would get an AA fired at a five person law firm, but it was just par for the course for this lot.
Trump’s financial biography should have prepared us for his bumbling ineptitude. A man who inherited millions of dollars in the 1970s nonetheless had to file for bankruptcy protection four times. In other words, Trump was born on third base but still managed to foul out of the game repeatedly. His net worth, if it is as high as he self reports (~$10B), is still at least 33 percent lower than if he had taken his inheritance, stuck it in index funds and spent the last 40 years partying in Cabo San Lucas. During that same time, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos rose from virtually nothing to become the richest people in the world, each with a net worth of at least six times the most optimistic estimate of Trump’s. And, if Trump’s net worth is as low as Forbes estimates ($3B), he has underperformed the average of the market by 80%. He isn’t just a business failure, he’s a business disaster. If performing to the average of the market earns you a “C,” Trump business record earns him a solid “F.” Despite this, it was his perceived success as a businessman that most of his supporters cited as the prime reason to support him.
Fast forward to today – Donald Trump, Jr., in an interview with Sean Hannity, cited his inexperience in campaign work as the reason he made the mistake of violating FEC law and possibly violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Jared Kushner’s lawyers were smart enough to have him update his Short Form 86 (the form you fill out for top secret security clearance) but it doesn’t change the fact that he violated the law and, if he were Joe Plumber, would likely go to jail for that flagrant mistake. We can now verify that at least seven of the Trump administration’s appointees lied on either the SF86 form, to Congress, or both. The citizens of Trump-world exemplify that well-worn adage that “birds of a feather flock together.”
So, what’s next? All the liberal dreaming in the world won’t make the Trump administration disappear. And, the hope for salvation from the Special Prosecutor is more than a year away, assuming that ever comes to the point of removal for Trump, et. al. So, what do we do? Well, here are three suggestions – feel free to suggest more:
1. Look for a local candidate whom you can support with your time, money or both. Present President aside, most candidates for public office start by kissing babies in the county or town square. Who is that person for you? What can you do, today, that will help that individual be a viable voice for the future of American democracy 20 years from now? This could be a candidate for State House or Senate, or it could be County Commissioner, City Council, etc. This is a great chance to try out the biblical principle that “He/she who can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.”
2. Look for a federal candidate whom you can support with your time, money or both. Similarly, few start out by running for President. Most begin their federal political careers by running for US House or Senate. As with the local candidates, what can you do, today, that will help that individual be a viable voice for the future of American democracy 20 years from now?
Look for a community organization you can support. Sarah Palin once compared her experience to Obama’s by saying “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.” He then went on to kick her ass by using the principles of community organizing in service of a presidential campaign that understood winning a national election is winning a whole bunch of small elections. Community organizations understand that.

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