Are His Disruptions Worth the Risk?
In the last decade, I worked for a media maven who was highly successful at creating wealth from good ideas or simply through his reputation. He once issued a motivational piece for the workers of his large radio broadcast division where he urged us to be “disruptors.” I got its surface meaning, but let’s look beyond the buzz word. The meaning of the word includes, “something that interrupts an event, activity, or process by causing a disturbance or problem.” Not all disturbances are good for a group or individual and when you have a smart collection of problem solvers, why would you be giving them something that would move them into disruption? I used to say, with great sarcasm and irony, you better hope that whatever you disrupt is a big success or you’ll be blamed for the problem you created and be the first to go.
This brings us to Donald Trump, who was outraged by Robert Mueller’s public comments and then displayed his anger on the north lawn of the White House. It’s clear that Trump must “punch back” when someone gets in his way, but when did punching ever bring a long-term solution to any problem? Trump would make a horrible poker player because he shows his next move so clearly. While he was putting down Robert Mueller, he announced that he would have a major announcement on the border. By putting those together, he was telegraphing that he would soon be lashing out at another someone or something.
So, late last night, Trump announced “On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP. The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied…” And now we will see reactions in the world markets because Trump’s disruption is a holy trade war, not a well-developed plan to make trade work better for the US.
While the financial “news” networks give large slices of airtime to discussions about American entities like Uber, Tesla and Beyond Meat, there are thousands of our major companies that depend on parts, resources and services from firms around the world. To ignore the reality of a world market is not rational on any level. But Donald Trump is being disruptive with his ignorance in tow.
There was a time I worked on the campaign of a politician who would occasionally come late to the brainstorming meetings of the staff. One particular time we had worked up dozens of ideas on the white board and we all were excited about giving him input. He strode late into the meeting, glanced at the board, then said, “Yeah, we aren’t going to do any of that; here’s the plan.” I walked away from the campaign that night with little respect for the politician and had a feeling of retribution when he lost the election. What I learned is that disruption from the top, when it doesn’t work, means the big guy gets all the blame.
We have many people in America who make a lot of money analyzing and predicting our collective financial futures. And some of the more honest of those folks admit that there are instances when they can‘t explain why the market did this or that. Deep down inside, most Americans know the global economy is the reason we lost much of our manufacturing base. Seriously disruptive waves must be met with adjustment, not bucking the tide and standing ground. Executing a stand-still strategy often leads to failure and disaster under water.
If you are drowning in your own personal debt, you will generally swing away at every other possible cause before you look at yourself and determine the real cause of debt is simply spending more money than you have. Doh! After running businesses with tons of debt and using the bankruptcy escape hatch more than most well-managed corporations, it’s disingenuous when Donald Trump froths at his small pie hole about how everyone else is screwing America. Dangerous Donald is running up the debt in America because the military, border walls and pork for rich people are more important to him than stable governance.
Trump is more stubborn than smart. He’s like a snapping turtle who doesn’t quite understand that holding firmly on the stick isn’t going to keep him alive. Wood is not food and trying to win a battle with a decaying object won’t work. Yes, I am comparing the actions of a reptile to the President of the United States of America, who in most cases uses his reptilian brain rather than the logic circuits of his frontal lobes. Perhaps they died from atrophy.
The citizens of this country may feel good about the strength of the turtle and admire his will to fight, but those who worship the man in the White House must connect the dots to see that the head disruptor is messing up things more and more with each misinformed move. First, and most importantly, after you negotiate a deal you cannot change it. Trump’s moves will blow up the USMCA, which was supposed to fix the “bad” NAFTA trading agreement. NAFTA might not have been perfect, but the USMCA probably has just as many restrictions and weaknesses, but Trump wanted to keep his promise.
The real problems with the migration of people to the US may be greater than our laws. According to the Washington Post, “Migrants say they are coming to the United States because droughts are frying Central American harvests, they can’t pay their bills, and gangs are recruiting children.” Trump ignores the warnings of Climate Change, so how can he possibly apply creative solutions to complex issues?
In the end, the disruptions of the Daft Donald will move us backward. The lack of respect for a deal maker whose word means nothing will haunt America for years to come. Put yourself in the shoes of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or the new Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. These leaders spent time in good faith negotiating a new deal, only to have it ignored by a moody US President. Yes, the immigration problem is real, but reverse it. What if thousands of Americas were leaving our soil for Mexico? We would expect Mexico to stop us from entering, not stop us from leaving. Trump is putting our economic system at risk over things that could and should have been solved at the negotiation table. Sadly, the art of the deal is just more mistruth from the lie master. We need to start to ask, WWPPD, “What would President Pence do?”
BRAND NEW BOOK ON AMERICA
Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.
Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.