PART I – As the year winds down there will be lots of reviews of all things political. Lists of shifts and outlined accomplishments will be compiled to either show the advances or declines depending on tribal affiliation of the pundit.
However, not many people ever ask the questions behind the “why”. Why is there so much opposition to President Trump?
In the larger analysis, Donald Trump and the Make America Great Again (MAGA) proposition is a daily reminder that citizen inspired government can eliminate the decades-long notion of politics as a profession.
There are hundreds-of-thousands of people within the institutional system known as politics. Each member carving out a specialty and selling their expertise as necessary within the opaque organization known as government. From city council, through state legislature and into federal representation, the primary selling point of each participating member is to declare their operational skill within the institution.
Heck, the professional political enterprise is so accepted as ordinary you can even go to college and earn a degree in how to be a politician. Why?
Boil down government to its most basic of institutional objectives and the entire premise is about operating common systems to the benefit of the aggregate assembly. The only thing that changes is the scale of the assembled constituency, local, state or federal.
In the public sector success or failure is measured in how effectively the individual retains the perception that governance is necessary.
When businessman Donald Trump arrived in Washington DC he represented a wrecking ball to a decades-long Potemkin village that only politicians can govern.
As a direct consequence, if Trump succeeds in solving problems or making things better he’s essentially embarrassing an entire profession; and fundamentally changing the dynamic.
Now, if your core purpose, and evaluation by your peers of success, was to convince people that only a specifically trained group of people could govern effectively, and along comes Trump and does it better than… well, see the problem?
If a team of little people showed up to the winter Olympics and easily won the bobsled competition because their physical stature meant they could remove half the weight of the sled; well, the next winter Olympic year the entire field of bobsled teams would be midgets…
…Then what happens to the ‘regular-sized‘ career bobsled professionals?
Never has there been a more brutally obvious intention on display, than with President Trump’s cabinet selections. Toward the end goal of MAGA, President-Elect Trump assembled his cabinet; these would be the subject matter experts to whom he assigns specific responsibilities.
Now, unlike most ‘politicians’, the filter of cabinet selection qualification did not include political repayment for campaign support rendered. Indeed, all previous political presidencies used cabinet positions to repay political favors; generally, it has always been thus. However, for POTUS Trump the intensely mapped-out MAGA objective is the primary filter. He was looking for results oriented doers not politicians.
Within this cabinet, the level of competency and skill is stunning.
He actually hired the Chief Executive of the largest private business in the world. A man running a multi-billion company with over 74,000 employees around the globe, to be the Secretary of State.
Knowing how energy development would be one of the pillars to ensure maximum use of economic leverage to gain geopolitical national security objectives, President-elect Trump hired Rex Tillerson away from Exxon Mobil. Secretary Tillerson has been beyond consequential in the year he has been running, repositioning and streamlining the State department core mission.
Billionaire Wilbur Ross is the guy all those within international finance knew as the man they could contract to turn corporate coal into diamonds.
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross is as comfortable dancing through the fine print of international trade contracts as Fred Astaire gliding in a Viennese Waltz. The man can make a billion from the contract text covered by the rim of his glasses while sipping tea. If contracts were quarks, Wilbur Ross would be the maestro of particles.
Businessman Donald Trump faced hired contract killer Wilbur Ross once; only once. More than two decades before he hired him to be MAGA’s primary trade contract negotiator.
An odd duck within the international fiance world, who expanded his capital toward learning the machinations of Hollywood production, was also considered a rain-man of sorts by those who tried to figure out his mental algorithms for currency exchange.
The guy looked like Clark Kent and used statistical analysis -to run mental algorithms through the prism of common sense- like no-one had ever seen. That guy is Steven Mnuchin, and President Trump took Wall Street’s mild-mannered rain-man to be our Treasury Secretary.
Rain-Man Mnuchin scared the left-coast elites so much Hollywood made a move about their perception of him but they never credited the origin of the screenplay. They titled the film simply “The Accountant“, and if you saw Ben Affleck character play out the role, you’ll immediately notice the parallel to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin (sans all the killing people with guns part). The Accountant’s brother? Yeah, that’s Gary Cohn right there.
Knowing China was the dominant threat to MAGA on the trade front, the filter for USTR consideration would be depth of knowledge, scale of understanding the Chinese psyche, and willingness to confront an opponent that will never come to equitable terms.
That’s exactly why Robert Lighthizer is our combat wolverine United States Trade Representative.
Trump hired an eagle-scout, Navy SEAL, outdoors-man to be Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke; a life-long Georgia farmer to be Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue. The list of exceptional qualifications goes on, but hopefully you see the larger picture.
The Trump Administration is a strategic assembly of the most inherently competent people ever put together within a U.S. cabinet. And yes, I do mean so much more so than even President Ronald Reagan was able to assemble.
All prior presidencies needed to balance politics with the assignment. Political debts owed, to whom, what party, for what reason, etc. all of this was part-and-parcel of the prism of cabinet nominee selection. But not Donald Trump.
For this administration there is one objective: Make America Great Again. That’s the nucleus, the core, the central goal that radiates outward into the concentric circles of the cabinet and aggregate Trump administration.
That central objective, in combination with the competency currently in place to accomplish that mission, is why Donald J Trump is considered an existential threat to the system.