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The Trump Earthquake Or The Earthquake That Gave Us Trump

by John on 11/09/2016

trump-wins2My first post while live blogging the election last night before the returns was:

“My head tells me Hillary, but my gut tells me Trump.”

A few hours later, long-time Vegas friend Bill Stafford correctly posted back:

“Should have listened to your gut.”

This was a gut election.  And you normally react with your gut during the middle of an earthquake.  And we are in the middle of an earthquake that has been shaking since the Great Recession of 2008.  The world, as we know it, has been turned upside down for many of us.

Daniel Kahneman’s book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, says fast thinking can save you during a life-threatening situation: someone has a gun, you react. Slow thinking, which is more difficult, allows you to realize that person really isn’t carrying a gun and you don’t shoot back.

You think fast – with your gut – during an earthquake.  That’s what happened last night.  A large number of Americans did what they had to do because they feel threatened.

They said f@&k you to the establishment.

Hopefully that loud yell or command will stop the shaking.

Because if it has, now you govern by thinking slow.

Let’s hope Donald Trump, our other elected officials, and the American people who voted for and against Trump realize that – and start thinking slow again.

Trump needs to:

  • Be true to his CEO credentials by picking the best Cabinet and staff no matter whether they supported him or got him elected;
  • Move on his promise to clean the DC swamp by reforming campaign finance laws and pushing laws that don’t favor special interests;
  • Realize that some of his promises are impossible to meet like bringing back coal and manufacturing jobs;
  • Move quickly in the first 100 days to get things done while working with both his so-called party and the Democrats because your voters will only be loyal for so long;
  • Tell us something tangible now about what will replace Obamacare;
  • Don’t promise a corporate tax cut until you have completed tax reform; all your doing is giving breaks to the people who your voters hate;
  • Quiet the nerves of the rest of the world leaders by not being a raging lunatic;
  • Learn Reagan civility.

Trump voters need to:

  • Demand immediate action on proposals that will lead to job creation;
  • Understand that some of the jobs you want are relics from the 1980s;
  • Understand Trump cannot meet all the promises he made during the campaign.  No President ever has;
  • Try to understand the other 50% of Americans that voted against Trump also have legitimate concerns.

Those who voted against Trump need to:

  • Accept the results.  Treat him like he is your president;
  • Push for legislation that will help your causes while not taking a scorched-earth take-it-or-leave-it stance.

The Congressional GOP needs to:

  • Understand you are on the clock.  You cannot just deflect, delay, and defeat laws.
  • Stop pandering to the special interests that funded (bribed) you for your election win;
  • Be true to the goals of balancing the budget, reducing the debt, growing the economy, and creating opportunity for more than the wealthy.
  • Understand you are not living in a 1980s economy: tax cuts alone won’t do it; you need investment and retraining dollars along with spending cuts.

Congressional Democrats need to:

  • Listen to the American people;
  • Don’t be like the past Congressional GOP that immediately talked about making a one-term president or threatening impeachment.  Show an example of statesmanship;
  • Work to create jobs and opportunity, not pander to special interests;
  • Understand this is not the 1990s: besides growth you have to reduce long-term deficits by spending wisely and not trying to give stuff away.

Am I worried about our democracy?  No.  We will survive.  But I think there are dangers ahead.

Trump still frightens me when it comes to foreign policy.  ISIS or some foreign power – China, Russia, or Iran – will test or tempt Trump’s temperament.

His protectionist talk could lead to a worldwide Depression as he tries to create high-paying jobs for those Americans who supported him while those jobs are not feasible in this new world economy.

Still, let’s give him a chance to govern.

(Side note: thanks for those who followed me live blogging last night.)

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