I Accept the Trump Kool-Aid: Guest MINDSETTER™ Wright

Monday, May 15, 2017
Jim Wright, GoLocalProv Guest MINDSETTER™

Donald Trump
Harry Truman once referred to the Oval Office as the crown jewel of the federal penal system. It occurs to me, that for someone like President Trump, no truer words have ever been spoken. 

When I was younger, I heard a quote that offered advice I would eventually follow. I thought it was Kurt Vonnegut, but now I'm not so sure... "Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in California once, but leave before it makes you soft." So, I lived in NYC for a year, and then I lived in LA for a year, and, you know what, that shit is gospel. No matter who said it. 

Anyway, my point is... I think Trump lived in both places way too long. I'm speaking metaphorically, as I don't think he actually lived in Hollywood, but he certainly grabbed the bull, among other things, by both horns during his time there. 

Let me temper my commentary with the following assertions... 

Donald Trump is a World class businessman. Donald Trump is a master manipulator. Donald Trump understands how to make friends and influence people. None of the things I've mentioned are negative attributes, and, in fact, represent the main reasons he was elected President of the United States.

Now, I'm all for rejecting career politicans and thumbing our nose at the establishment. It's quite obvious to me that Trump was elected largely for those reasons. I get it. His rhetoric was appealing to many Americans, and he's the polar opposite of the Washington insider. His poetry was like crack cocaine to his base, and, there's no reasoning with an addict with an unlimited supply.  

Honestly, I think his victory in November took him completely by surprise. Now, he's pissed about the number of people he needs to receive permission from before he does whatever the hell he wants. And, now we're back to Truman. 

Trump Can Succeed

To be successful, an American President needs grace, wisdom, strength, resolve and compassion. I would challenge you to point to the attribute on this list that President Trump possesses... I'll wait... Look, I hope I'm wrong. I pray that President Trump will adorn the history books with his prodigious acts and deeds. The reality of it is, however, that we have a con man running the White House.  

Yes, the President has advisors. Many of whom are incredibly intelligent and experienced. I hope he accepts their counsel and acts on their recommendations. The problem I have is that no one elected these people to anything. They all serve at the pleasure of the President. And, as we learned this week, they can be shown the door by him as well. "Night of the Long Knives" style... 

When I imagine my President in the Situation Room interacting with the Chiefs, or looking at keyhole satellite photographs of a heavy water reactor being built in Iran, I have always found comfort in the fact that he or she is a serious person and draws his conclusions from a lifetime of knowledge and experience. Gravitas. That's what I want from my President. Not unofficial tweets, tax revenue draining golf weekends, and endless conflicts of interest. 

Look, he's my President. I'm an American, and I accept the Kool-Aid. The framers made it very clear that the Executive branch of our government would be controlled by the President. However, they tempered that power with checks and balances that protect the citizenry... even in 2017. 

Where to go from here... 

I don't think President Trump is going anywhere. He has weathered stronger storms than anything Congress or the agencies can whip up. His personality type is not a fit for the straight-jacket that he has donned since January 20th. That being said, it's my guess that he rides this wave all the way to the beach. 

I sincerely hope the beach is still there.


Jim Wright is the National Director of Catch a Rising Star Comedy Clubs. He lives in Providence.

  • Jennifer Duffy

    Cook Report

    "We don't really know what a Trump presidency means for the nation, never mind the smallest state.  One of the unintended consequences of last night's results is that Sen. Jack Reed won't be chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.  Chalk that up as a loss for RI."

  • Pam Gencarella

    Head of Ocean State Taxpayers' Association

    "Trump’s win means that his signature issue, illegal immigration, could have a big impact on RI, hopefully reversing our course as a sanctuary state and saving the state taxpayer millions of dollars.  While we agree with his 'repeal and replace' Obamacare stance, we have no idea what that means to the RI debacle known as UHIP.  It is not a stretch to believe that federal funding for this kind of system will be off the table so, will RI be stuck with this massively expensive system that still doesn’t work and that is expected to cost another $124 million to fix?  

    Trump's belief that there is significant fraud in the Food Stamp program and the policies that may come from that belief could have a negative impact on RI's local economy since there are businesses in certain cities that rely heavily on this program, fraud and all. On the upside, we may be able to ditch the UHIP program if there is significantly less need for processing welfare program requests (ie. Medicaid and food stamps) resulting from fewer illegal immigrants and less fraud.  While we are ambivalent about his touted child care policies, if enacted, it may force our legislators to revisit the ever growing state cost of subsidies in this area and possibly reduce the fraud and abuse in this system." 

  • Kay Israel

    Professor at Rhode Island College

    "With a Republican President and Congress, Rhode Island will probably be excluded from the 'fruits of victory."  

    The congressional delegation will be able to vocally make their presence felt, but in the long term it's more symbolic than substantive.  

    For Rhode Island it's a matter of holding on and waiting until '18 or '20 and a surge in Democratic influence."

  • Jennifer Lawless

    Professor at American University

    "The RI congressional delegation just became even less powerful than it was. With unified government, Trump doesn’t need to quell Democrats’ concerns or acquiesce because he’s worried about a Democratically-controlled Senate.

    His appointments will reflect that. His executive orders will affect that. And the conservative policy agenda he puts forward will affect that."

  • Len Lardaro

    Professor at University of Rhode Island

    "Well there's a few things -- because there's not going to be gridlock, that's a big difference if it had been Hillary and a GOP Congress, in which nothing would got done. We'll at least get a half a billion in infrastructure that's going to pass which will have an impact.

    I think you'll see there will be reduced reliance on government nationally -- and that's where we'll stick out like sore thumb. We've relied way too much on government -- and our government is highly inefficient and ineffective.  Maybe, just maybe, in this who cycle of things we might be forced to be small and more efficient for once.

    A couple of other things -- interest rates jumped. The one to follow is the ten year government bond rate -- which is tied to mortgages. It went from 1.7% to 2.05% in one day. The point is -- if the ten year stays high, mortgage rates will start going higher -- and in the short time people will run to re-finance. 

    That's the short term impact -- but then if rates stay hight, that will make mortgages more out of reach. And we just passed a bond issue to limit open space -- housing has limited upside here.
    The next thing -- the Fed Reserve will go ahead with tightening next month. A strong dollar will hurt manufacturing. When the dollar is strong our exports become more expensive overseas. 

    Our goods production sector -- manufacturing and construction -- in the near term will do a little better, but as time goes on will be more limited. But something you won't hear, is there are lags in fiscal policy, of six months to year. So we won't really see the effects until the third our fourth quarter of 2017, going into 2018."

  • Mike Stenhouse

    RI Center for Freedon and Prosperity

    "As the unbelievable turned into reality this morning, it struck me that the presidential election was not really all about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It was about a fed-up people, revolting against a corrupt system - the "beast" - that relentlessly favors insiders. Hillary personified the beast, while Donald personified the slayer.

    Sadly, based on election results in our state, Rhode Island's version of the beast lives on. I fear our political class has not learned the lessons from the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump movements - and will continue with their government-centric, anti-family, anti-business status quo."



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