Trumpy Techniques

100 days in is an arbitrary measuring stick.  A cursory examination of previous presidents suggest that success, or failure, during the earliest part of the administration doesn’t have much bearing on the rest of it.  The only reason we hear so much about it is that it’s a nice, round number that’s easy to hang a narrative off of.  But there is one thing we can learn, and that’s what techniques the president in question prefers.

In Obama’s case he preferred slow, measured progress, though his patience wasn’t infinite.  He would get frustrated when he saw others as not doing enough to resolve the situation.  Before 9/11, Bush liked to try and build bridges.  He tried to build good relationships with the opposition party.  9/11 changed all that, and he became far more hawkish, and far less interested in any type of compromise.

Trump likes to throw everything at the wall he can and then watch what sticks.  His very first speech when he announced his candidacy he said he would build a wall that Mexico would pay for.  I categorically refuse to believe that this was a careful, well-thought out plan that had input from experts on international relationships and was approved by his closest advisors.  No, this is probably something he just said at the spur of the moment.  No forethought, no planning, just shoot from the hip.  And you know what?  It worked.  It did the job he hoped it would, which was get him elected.  He did lots of things like that.  Some of his speeches he would explicitly ask the audience how they felt about him bringing up certain subjects.  His whole business career indicates a guy who likes to try lots and lots of different things.

Now, as a private business person, this is fine.  There are consequences to getting things wrong, but not so bad that they can’t be overcome.  As president that’s not quite the case.  Failures have consequences.  Hell, even successes have unintended consequences.  The annoying thing is that I would like a president willing to try unconventional things.  Our world changes very rapidly.  It’s impossible to be able to predict the best course of action.  I just wish we had a president who was willing to try things that weren’t so transparently stupid.  Ah well, maybe next time.


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